THE Government is setting up a task force to support firms and workers affected by the collapse of Carillion.

The Business Department met yesterday to review the impact of the crisis caused by the construction giant going into liquidation.

A spokesman said: “We have created a task force to continue to support and monitor the impact on small businesses and employees who have been affected by Carillion’s insolvency. The task force comprises representatives from business, construction trade associations, the trade unions, lenders and Government.”

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) is part of the task force and is pressing for the transfer of private sector contracts to alternative providers with jobs, pay and pensions protected. It is also seeking a support package for at-risk workers, apprentices and small firms.

Unions also want protection for Carillion's agency and zero-hours workers to ensure they can recover unpaid wages.

Banking giant Lloyds has announced a £50 million package of support to its small business customers affected by Carillion’s collapse.