Harlow MP Robert Halfon meets with key government ministers over BHS job losses in Harlow

Politics / Tue 7th Jun 2016 pm30 12:10pm

FOLLOWING the impending closure of Harlow BHS along with others around the country, Business Minister, Anna Soubry, has pledged the following help for Harlow workers:

1) All affected Harlow employees will be looked after by a special Job Centre Rapid Response Service. Workers will be assisted with their CVs, interviews, training, and support (eg. with childcare and travel costs) to enable search for new work.

2) The Business Secretary is also in contact with other major retailers to open their doors and provide opportunities to BHS workers.

3) In terms of pensions for Harlow BHS workers, the BHS pension scheme is being examined by the Pensions Regulator to see whether the company can afford to pay the pensions itself. If it cannot, the Pension Protection Fund guarantees 100% of the pension for any workers over the scheme’s normal pension age and 90% of the pension for everyone else yet to retire.

Harlow MP, Robert Halfon, has met with Business Secretary, Sajid Javid, and with the Harlow BHS shop manager.

Robert said, “We need radical reform to ensure that when companies are in difficulties and taken over, there are strict checks to ensure that those who buy the companies are fit and proper and can cover pension liabilities.

I will be pushing this in Parliament and in Government and also urging the Business Department to do everything possible for Harlow Workers to help them find new jobs‎, get their redundancy money soon and guarantee their pensions.

In my meeting with Business Secretary, Sajid Javid, I have been urging reforms to ensure that companies are sold properly and pensions are guaranteed. I am glad that the Secretary of State has begun an investigation into the way the business has been run and that parliamentary committees are also carrying out an inquiry into what has gone wrong so that we can learn the lessons.

I thank the Harlow trade unions, particularly USDAW, for all their work in looking after the Harlow BHS staff. I am pleased to work with them and any Harlow worker who needs assistance.”

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