British energy group OVO on Tuesday said it planned to cut 2,600 staff following its part-purchase of rival SSE, with the job losses rushed through owing to the coronavirus outbreak.
"OVO Energy today announced proposals to reduce the number of roles across SSE Energy Services and OVO by 2,600 largely through voluntary redundancy over the course of 2020," a statement said."Since the acquisition of SSE Energy Services, OVO has been planning the integration of the two businesses which would have always required changes.
"The impact of COVID-19 has now accelerated changing consumer behaviour with more and more customers going online and using digital tools.
"This has permanently reduced the demand for some functions and roles" such as meter readers, it added.
OVO last year bought SSE's retail operations for £500 million ($603 million, 552 million euros), creating Britain's second biggest provider of energy to UK homes and businesses, behind only British Gas.