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CSC orders staff home in cost-cutting shutdown

'It's OK, you can use up next year's holiday!'

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Outsourcing firm CSC has joined other IT giants by ordering staff to take extra holiday over Christmas in a bid to cut costs.

Managers in CSC's Global Outsourcing Services (GOS) division have been told to identify critical areas that need to be staffed by a skeleton crew during the festive period, according to an internal email this week seen by The Register. "We do not want this to be a financial hardship on anyone and recognize that this is short notice," CSC said.

The shutdown will run from December 20 to January 4.

Staff who do not have the necessary seven days paid holiday remaining to cover the period (three of the working days in the two weeks are public holidays) would have to use up days from their next paid holiday entitlement. "We do not want this to be a financial hardship on anyone and recognize that this is short notice," said the email, signed by Richard Ricks, president of the GOS division.

He continued: "The holiday shutdown is a significant opportunity for cost containment, and thereby contributes to our competitiveness and shareholder value. We appreciate your support as we pull together during these challenging times and tough market conditions."

CSC is just the latest big employer to insist that its staff don't come to work as the banking crisis that began more than a year ago spreads to the real economy.

In November nearly all Dell employees were asked to take a week of unpaid vacation. The Texas firm said it hoped to avoid big layoffs. HP quickly followed suit, already having announced almost 25,000 job losses.

The firm's UK arm said its offices would remain open over Christmas except for three working days. It said this was a long-standing policy. In 2006 CSC UK withdrew its Christmas bonus plan. Last year staff got a mince pie. ®

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