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Updated: 21st January 2021

Advice for contractors & subcontractors at Sellafield facing distress

Sellafield, Britain’s biggest nuclear waste site, is rarely out of the headlines.  The latest spate of negative publicity centred on a Panorama exposé which questioned the safety of the site, with allegations that in the six months to May 2016, staffing levels fell below the ‘minimum safety manning level’ at an average rate of once a week.

Despite this, Sellafield are in the process of cutting contracts. The shift in focus at the site from reprocessing to decommissioning, coupled with a desire to cut costs, has seen a number of contracts not being renewed. This has had a devastating impact of the contractors and subcontractors who have come to rely on the work at Sellafield to pay their bills.

At the start of last year, NMP, which employs 10,000 people, lost their long-standing contract with Sellafield which they had held since 2008. In August this year, local work wear company Romar, similarly lost a contract with Sellafield which resulted in 16 jobs being axed and the company being forced to relocate to smaller premises.

What is the current situation?

With around 3,400 contractor staff working at Sellafield at any given time, the uncertain nature surrounding the future of the company can mean sleepless nights for many who have relied on this work for years and may now find themselves an unwitting contestant in a race to find a replacement contract.

A 2003 study showed that, of those working for Sellafield, almost half stated that they lived in West Cumbria in order to be close to the site, and almost a fifth moved to the area specifically to take up work at the plant. Unfortunately for those who have lost contracts, employment opportunities in Cumbria outside of Sellafield are minimal; meaning those that have relocated to this area of the country may find it challenging to land a replacement contract immediately.

How we can help

With replacement work difficult to come by, and debts mounting up, you may feel as though you have nowhere to turn. If you or your business has been impacted by the cuts at Sellafield, we could help you. Seeking professional insolvency advice should be your first port of call when you are faced with such challenges, as there are a number of solutions available to you. Our expert team at Real Business Rescue has vast experience in helping people just like you. We can provide you with tailored advice and guidance, to help you to understand your options and detail the best course of action for you and your business.

Additional financial help could be at hand

While contracting does come with a whole host of positives, one of the negatives is the lack of security you may feel when the going gets tough. You are probably aware that those in traditional employment are entitled to redundancy pay if they lose their job; however did you know that if you are operating as a limited company, you as the company director, can also claim redundancy if you decide to go down the route of liquidation?

We could refer you to an independent company with over 40 years’ experience of helping company directors claim the redundancy they are entitled to. This could provide you with a sum of cash which could ease your current financial worries and help you move forward.

With 100 offices stretching from Inverness down to Exeter, Real Business Rescue can offer unparalleled director advice across the UK. We’re part of the Begbies Traynor Group, the UK’s leading business recovery practice. If you think we can help, call our team today for a same-day meeting.

Keith Tully


0800 644 6080
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