POOR investments are behind redundancies at a Dorset firm recently voted the best place in the UK to work, an email suggests.

As previously reported, Christchurch-based telecommunications firm 4Com Plc is thought to be considering as many as 50 redundancies among its 300 staff after reporting a pre-tax loss of £1million for the year ending June 30, 2016.

In an email to staff, the firm's chairman Daron Hutt said "millions of pounds invested in products, systems and processes" over the past few years has only amounted to "extra cost but with no return at all".

The email mentions "new funders" which have guaranteed financial backing for the Aviation Park West-based firm, with "strict conditions on costs and profitability".

In particular, Mr Hutt said: "It is clear to us that the current old fashioned hierarchical type of management structure is not fit for purpose when trying to facilitate rapid and efficient change."

"4Com has a number of competitive challenges to overcome in this high tech world and needs to have management structures which reflect the way that modern companies are managed."

He said the board is planning "regular meetings" with staff to share ideas and improve teamwork.

No figure is given for redundancies, but the email states job losses will be from "management areas" and departments "where there may be overstaffing".

The company has been operating two management structures for separate product ranges, from technology firms Samsung and Hihi, a set-up described in the email as "extremely expensive and inefficient".

It is planning to focus on Hihi and cease providing new Samsung systems.

In the email, Mr Hutt said: "It is with great regret that the group board has no choice but to announce that there will be some at risk of redundancy in some management areas.

"There is further risk of redundancy in areas where there may be some overstaffing.

"Today we have already spoken to or contacted everyone at risk of redundancy.

"Those remaining, who have not been contacted, are not at risk of redundancy for the foreseeable future.

"We will now be going through a consultation process with affected staff with a view to minimising or avoiding redundancies."

A 4Com spokesman said: "This e-mail was sent to inform and reassure our team in light of the changes here at 4Com.

"As we have said previously, as the consultations are ongoing, we will not be making further comment out of respect to those involved."

4Com topped this year’s Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For in the main list for medium-sized businesses. The 4Com Foundation, set up in 2014, has raised more than £200,000 for charities.