British Gas engineer who starred in firm's recruitment adverts axed

Mother-of-three British Gas engineer who starred in firm’s recruitment adverts is put through ‘hell’ and axed after refusing pay cut under ‘fire and rehire’ plan despite 12 years’ service

  • Hundreds of British Gas engineers have lost their jobs after refusing new deal
  • Holly Mailey, 33, worked for firm for 12 years and was part of recruitment advert
  • She said she had ‘no choice’ amid a bitter row over pay and working conditions 

An engineer with British Gas who appeared in a recruitment advert has lost her job after refusing a contract cutting her pay.

Holly Mailey, 33, worked at the company for 12 years but has lost out as part of the energy giant’s ‘fire and rehire’ scheme.

Hundreds of British Gas engineers have lost their jobs after they refused to sign up to tougher employment terms forcing them to work longer hours and face cuts to higher pay rates.

Holly Mailey, pictured with children Matilda (three), Spencer (eight) and Camilla (five) says she had ‘no choice’ but to reject the deal from British Gas

The energy supplier, which is one of the UK’s Big Six, handed dismissal notices to around 1,000 engineers who install and repair boilers and heating systems for the company’s nine millions service customers, on April 1 amid a bitter row over pay and working conditions.

Among those to lose their jobs after rejecting the deal was mum-of-three Holly Mailey.

She told the Mirror: ‘I was so proud to wear the British Gas uniform and I have always loved my job but the last few weeks have been hell. I have been crying a lot.

‘To think after nearly 12 years of service that’s it, it’s all over. It’s not just me. British Gas is losing ­thousands of years’ experience by getting rid of all these engineers.’

Former British Gas engineer Holly Mailey appeared in a recruitment advert for the gas giant 

‘They have given me no choice.’

Parent company Centrica, which currently employs around 20,000 people in the UK, announced plans last summer to cut hundreds of jobs and change the terms of existing contracts using a controversial ‘fire and rehire’ tactic that has infuriated unions.

Under the new contracts, full-time engineers would be required to work an extra three hours a week, or 40 hours a week in total, and would not be paid a higher rate to work when required on weekends and bank holidays.

Dozens of the workers set to lose their jobs took to Twitter to share their stories. 

Though the terms were accepted by most trade unions and employees, the GMB has staged more than 40 days of strike action in recent months in protest against the ‘mass sacking’ of its members and said British Gas ‘should be ashamed’ of the treatment of its workers. 

A Centrica spokesperson said: ‘We are changing the way we work to give our customers the service they want and protect the future of our company and 20,000 UK jobs. 

‘The changes we need to make are reasonable and 98% of the entire company has accepted new contracts. We have not cut base pay or changed our generous final salary pensions. 

‘Our gas service engineers remain some of the best paid in the sector, earning £40,000 a year minimum. 

‘While change is difficult, reversing our decline which has seen us lose over three million customers, cut over 15,000 jobs and seen profits halved over the last 10 years is necessary. 

‘The changes will also unlock our ability to grow jobs and hire 1000 green apprentices over the next two years.

‘We care about all of our colleagues. That’s why we’ve had to make changes to ensure the survival of the company – to reverse our decline and protect the future of all our employees.’ 

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