High street retailer John Lewis has reportedly moved its call center tasks to the Philippines to cut costs. About 300 UK call center employees have been laid off, with staff at its outsourced call center in Plymouth told to expect redundancies on December 20, according to a report from The Guardian. Contract workers in Manila are said to perform at least 20% of the UK staff’s work, with more offshoring of further roles to come. However, John Lewis has reportedly denied that it had a role in the redundancies as the Plymouth call center is operated by US company Sitel on its behalf. The retailer said that it is not relocating substantial numbers of Plymouth jobs to the Philippines, but confirmed that it expanded its operations in Manila in March and that the Plymouth redundancies had nothing to do with its Manila expansion. According to a spokesperson from John Lewis, the reduction of its scale of operations in Plymouth is not linked to the small operation launched from an international Sitel site over a year ago. Rather, the Plymouth site changes are part of a broader strategy to boost the capacity of their UK in-house contact centers run by John Lewis Partners.
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