OVO Energy: How the energy crisis sparked job losses at OVO Energy

In business since 2009, the energy company currently has over 6,000 employees.

On January 13th, OVO Energy announced that they would be making a quarter of its workforce redundant.

The job cuts are expected to affect roughly 1,700 of the company’s current 6,200 employees.

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This comes just a few days after OVO Energy faced criticism for an email that customers felt made light of many people’s struggles with energy bills during winter months.

OVO Energy also cut 2,600 jobs following the SSE merge in 2020. Photo: Jeremy O'Donnell.

Here's what we know about the redundancy decision so far.

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What is OVO Energy?

OVO Energy is the third-biggest energy supplier in the UK, serving roughly five million customer across England, Scotland, and Wales.

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The company was set up in 2009 and expanded further by the acquisition of SSE in 2020.

Why is OVO Energy making employees redundant?

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First reported by Sky News, the job cuts are part of ongoing efforts to save costs during the energy crisis.

The redundancy programme was announced alongside a commitment to increase the minimum pay to £12 an hour.

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The job cuts come amidst ongoing plans to open a new academy in Glasgow and to close a number of its UK sites, consolidating to just three locations in London, Bristol, and Glasgow.

It’s unclear as yet where exactly the redundancies will be made in the UK.

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Is OVO Energy safe?

On their website, OVO Energy maintain that, despite understandable concerns from customers about the energy crisis, the company “is in a stable position and your energy supply is safe”.

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"Our number one focus is on keeping you warm and safe this winter,” the statement continues.

The move to sacrifice such a large proportion of the workforce may be a sign that the enegry company is under pressure, but could equally be related to the SSE acquisition and recent automation of many of OVO Energy’s internal processes.

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Trade union, Unite, gave warnings about Ovo's takeover of SSE's retail business and the possible impact on jobs back in 2020.

On January 13th, Unite's general secretary Sharon Graham said that the union “will do everything in our power to defend our members' jobs.

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"We will not sit by and watch our members being made to pay the price of the pandemic."