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Concentrix staff 'found out firm was dropped by HMRC via BBC tweet'

Published 14/09/2016

Jane Ellison said it was important to
Jane Ellison said it was important to "reflect that many people are working hard to do their job as well as possible"

Staff at embattled contractor Concentrix discovered the firm was being dropped by the Government via social media, an MP has complained.

The American company brought in to cut fraud and error in the benefit system will not have its contract renewed by HMRC following complaints it wrongly cut payments to hundreds of claimants.

Democratic Unionist Party MP Gavin Robinson said the 1,800 staff based in Belfast were not informed about the decision.

The Belfast East MP said: "With 1,800 people employed in Belfast by Concentrix, with Concentrix redeveloping on to one location in the city of Belfast, can I ask you to reflect how appalling it was that members of staff, many of whom are my constituents, found out this news last night by a tweet by the BBC - as opposed to any communication from Concentrix or indeed any statement to this House?"

Financial Secretary Jane Ellison told MPs: "The contract is not going to be renewed - it's not been terminated.

"To that extent the consideration of whether any contract is renewed is something that takes place in the normal course of events.

"At the same time as we shine a light on areas where performance is unacceptable it's also really important that we take the chance to reflect that many people are working hard to do their job as well as possible."

The contract awarded to Concentrix, worth between £55 million and £75 million on a payment by results basis, will come to an end in spring.

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