Unite the union has criticised the government for a ‘business as normal approach’ towards the collapse of Carillion and for failing to take action against those guilty

This week (6 September) marks 600 days since the collapse of Carillion on 15 January 2018 when the construction giant was forced into compulsory liquidation with liabilities of £7bn and thousands of workers lost their jobs. Yet no action has been taken against the company’s directors or senior managers responsible for its collapse, says Unite.

The Official Regulator is undertaking an investigation into whether there was any criminal wrongdoing by Carillion’s directors prior to the company’s collapse. The investigation is not expected to be completed until early 2021.

Meanwhile, the Financial Reporting Council is undertaking several investigations into the company’s financial reporting and the accuracy of its auditing processes. No date has been given to when this investigation will be concluded.

At the same time, Carillion’s two hospital projects the Royal Liverpool hospital and the Midland Metropolitan hospital are years behind schedule with work not yet restarted or only just getting underway.

Workers who lost their jobs following the collapse of Carillion are also seeking justice for the failure of the company to consult them before making them redundant. Unite is representing around 220 of these workers and the employment tribunal case which is being vigorously defended by the Official Receiver is scheduled to be heard in late 2020.

Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail, said: “As we approach 600 days since the collapse of Carillion it is totally apparent the government has failed to learn any lessons from this debacle.

“The guilty directors and senior managers remain unpunished and are free to pursue new lucrative roles while the innocent workers have a long battle ahead of them in their battle to secure compensation in the courts.

“Flagship hospital projects are years away from being completed, meanwhile patients and staff have been left to struggle on in facilities that are no longer fit for purpose.

“Government ministers have clearly washed their hands of the whole mess and now pretend it is no longer their problem.

“It is quite clear that their needs to be a root and branch reform of company law to prevent similar collapses in the future and the creation of effective regulators with real teeth who are able and willing to tackle bandit capitalism.”

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