There are more than two million people employed in various call centres across UK. Until a few years ago, it was fashionable and economically attractive for companies to offshore their operations. Cost pressures and better valuation of the business with off-shore, forced many businesses to transfer their operations to countries like India and South Africa. The myriad of customer service problems encountered due to this led several companies to re-locate operations back to the UK. The companies that re-located to the UK started using “UK based call centres as one of their USPs”.

Call centres have been once again in the news as some ones have been forced to close shop due to changing business landscape in the UK. Traditionally the jobs were mostly in the motor trade, financial services and in the insurance sectors but things are changing fast and while the traditional sectors are facing unprecedented challenges, new sectors are creating fresh employment opportunities. There are two such examples in the last week. Due to the opportunities available for call centre staff, they never had to consider protection or insurance such as redundancy insurance or income protection insurances.

About 1,042 redundancies were made at Auto Windscreens after administrators said that they were unable to save the business. The announcement from Deloitte, the administrators that despite 90 approaches, they were unable to find a buyer and all efforts to raise financing failed was difficult to swallow. Auto Windscreens a successful business running for past 30 years run into difficulties due to cash flow, IT costs and delayed income coming in.

On a brighter note, companies specialising in home energy efficiency are busy recruiting. Nationwide Energy Service plans to create 360 jobs at a Swansea call centre. The new staff will help track and administer the home visits of its inspectors offering consultation and advice on insulation and solar panels. Air operator Virgin Atlantic created 200 jobs, they said that they were recruiting a further 300 more during this year.

While there are bound to be more job losses and job creations, it is very difficult to make any guesses as to where the UK economy will be in the next 2-3 years and how many employees would keep their jobs. As always insurance does come handy and some form of redundancy insurance if chosen careful can help cover the essentials such as mortgage, rent or loans. Many insurers have reported that the number of call centre employees buying income protection and redundancy protection is on the rise. Relatively low income levels and not having mortgages have made it difficult for some of the call centre people to buy income protection and redundancy covers.

Some insurers have launched stand alone products to fill the gap and now regardless of any mortgages or loans, call centres employees can buy income protection and redundancy protection insurances.


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