28/11/2013 05:22 GMT | Updated 28/11/2013 05:24 GMT

Npower To Slash 1,460 UK Jobs, Outsource Admin Work To India

Andy Hepburn/PA Wire
File photo dated 7/12/12 of Npower bills as energy firm npower said today that electricity prices will rise by 9.3\% and gas prices by 11.1\% from December 1.

RWE npower has confirmed plans to slash 1,460 jobs from its 9,600 UK workforce and transfer back office administrative work to India.

The German-owned energy giant said its plans were "necessary" to help "deliver the levels of service our customers deserve". The proposals would see 550 employees affected by the closure of its Stoke on Trent offices, 400 made redundant as it closes one of its Oldbury offices, 430 losing their jobs at Rainton Bridge, Sunderland and a further 80 made redundant at npower's Leeds site.

Npower's back office administrative activity, like checking meter readings against customers' bills, would be managed to Tata Consultancy Services, in India.

In response to the news, GMB union north region senior organiser Colin Smith said: "GMB will vigorously campaign against the offshoring of jobs to India because it has absolutely nothing to do with customer service and everything to do with cost."

RWE npower CEO Paul Massara said in statement: "I understand that these changes would be incredibly hard for some of our employees and we’ll be doing everything we can to support them over the next few months."

"This restructure is necessary if we are to deliver the levels of service our customers deserve.

"We would have the flexibility to keep call waiting times down during busy periods, and continue to keep costs down so we can keep bills down."

The UK energy giant caused controversy when it announced plans to increase bills by over 10%.

Npower's operating profits fell 3% to £176 million in the first half of 2013. The firm announced plans last week to sell 770,000 customer accounts to Telecoms Plus, which trades as Utility Warehouse for £218 million.