Essar staff offered £30,000 “leaver incentive” package

As reported in July, Essar’s 1000 employees at the Stanlow Oil Refinery are being offered a voluntary severance package, now rumoured to be worth a fixed-sum of £30,000.

All employees will be offered the “leaver incentive” package, but not all “volunteers” will be accepted by management.

“The offer is available to all employees, but will be granted on a discretionary basis, dependent on the right blend of skills and experience required to help us build a positive and long term future for our business,” said Ian Cotton, head of communications and community for Essar Oil (UK) Ltd.

In a statement explaining the move, Mr Cotton said: “Essar Oil UK announced in February our intention to increase the production of higher value products from the Stanlow refinery by closing the smaller of our two crude refining units later this year.

“As a result of this optimised configuration going forward, organisational changes may be required to create additional efficiencies.

“Before considering any changes, Essar Oil UK has, in conjunction with a proposal from a specially formed Joint Working Group of employees from across the company, decided to offer an entirely voluntary leaver incentive scheme to staff who may be considering alternative options for their future career.

“The amount on offer is a fixed sum to all employees – but we consider that detail confidential between ourselves and our staff.”

Essar have denied reports it intends to sell Britain’s second largest oil refinery, which it bought from Shell in 2011 for $350 million. The refinery supplies around 15 per cent of the UK’s transport fuels, which equates to an annual production of more than two billion litres of jet fuel, three billion litres of petrol and 3.5 billion litres of diesel. It also processes over 11 million tonnes of crude oil each year.

The company, part of the Indian Essar Group, said refining margins had been “exceptionally poor” but stressed its commitment to working in the region and in the UK.

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