A cross-government Taskforce featuring Mayor James Palmer has officially concluded, having issued £59 million in redundancy pay to 8,281 ex-employees of former travel agency Thomas Cook, after it announced liquidation in September 2019.
The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Department of Work and Pensions, who chaired the Taskforce, wrote to its members including Mayor James Palmer and Chair of the Business Board Austen Adams to thank them for their work in helping to mitigate the impact of Thomas Cook’s insolvency for over 9,000 former employees and on local economies including Peterborough, where many ex-employees were based.
The Taskforce was made up of Local Authorities, Trade Associations, Unions, Government Ministers, Government Departments and MPs. Members brought relevant knowledge of the situation and local business networks to find new opportunities for employees and relieve hardship where possible.
In Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, there have been job fairs, staff have been linked to new employers and offered packages of support and other services through partners such as Opportunity Peterborough and local job centres. This support will continue for those that require it.
Approximately 1,300 ex-Thomas Cook employees who registered with the Department of Work and Pensions to make a claim have moved back into work.
James Palmer, Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, said:
“I’m pleased to have had the opportunity to serve on this important Taskforce which has helped people in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough affected by the unfortunate and shock closing of Thomas Cook to get back on their feet. My support doesn’t end here. Since Covid 19 broke out, we have launched a range of measures including business funding, training and job matching. I urge everyone in the region to continue to access the resources available to help individuals and businesses maintain resilience during this challenging time.”