Jingye Group starts to shape British Steel future as employee offers received

British Steel’s future is being shaped as efforts to complete the sale to Jingye Group continue as “quickly as possible”.

Workers are now learning their fate, with employment offers being sent to some as negotiations aimed at finalising a takeover continue.

The Chinese company is understood to be sending individual job offers by email to staff it wishes to retain should the sale get over the line, informing them of their new pay, terms and conditions.

But others are being told they will not be given an offer,

Unions agreed an employment package earlier this month, with upto 500 job losses highlighted then.

Reports have also emerged of staff finding out that they are being put on “gardening leave” until March 9 while decisions are made over their future.

Huiming Li, chief executive of Jingye Group, at British Steel’s Scunthorpe works.
(Image: British Steel / Twitter)

A spokesman for the Official Receiver said: “The parties are working to complete the sale as quickly as possible.

“As part of the sales process Jingye is making individual offers of employment to those staff who they wish to retain.

“Letters are being sent to all employees via email. Staff were told last week to expect to receive them today.”

Government funding for British Steel is understood to have been extended but travel restrictions caused by the coronavirus outbreak are reported to have added delays to the sale of the company, with the consent of French authorities also awaited for the Hayange plant.

Plunged into compulsory liquidation in May, the Scunthorpe-headquartered business which also has significant operations in the North East, has been under the control of the government’s Official Receiver, with special managers also brought in,

While the deal has been in the offing, others have been broken – with an agreement to sell a number of British Steel distribution centres to stockholder Barrett Steel now in place.

With British Steel in liquidation, Jingye does not have an obligation to offer new jobs to staff, as it deals with “assets” although retaining skilled employees is seen as crucial to the company’s turnarond chances – with £1.2 billion of investment previously flagged up.

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