Working Links, who own 3 Community Rehabilitation Companies delivering probation services in Wales, Avon and Somerset, Devon and Cornwall, has gone into administration leaving uncertainty for staff and service users.
Napo, who had repeatedly warned the Minister that the company was in dire straits, has been informed that the company will now go into administration leaving staff and service users unsure about the future.
Ian Lawrence, General Secretary said: “This is exactly what we warned the government about from day one of this disastrous privatisation programme that has seen an award winning service fall into total chaos in just 4 years. They admit it has failed and are ending the contracts early but the situation with Working Links is beyond the pale. They are avoiding their responsibility to staff and the public by not intervening and allowing the company to go bust rather than bring it back into public ownership and step up the liabilities of their own making.”
Working Links has been heavily criticised by Napo and other stakeholders over the last 4 years with huge redundancies, unsafe operating models and a failure to engage constructively with Trade Unions.
Ian Lawrence said: “Our members have been through a huge amount of turmoil and stress with this disastrous company. We need assurances from the Minister that the 3 CRCs will now be brought back into public ownership and that no more staff will lose their jobs or face any more uncertainty.”
Working links was bought out by Aurelius in a desperate attempt to keep it afloat in 2017. The Government now wants to hand the contract over to another provider, Seetec rather than face up to any liabilities that its own programme has created.