Britain will pay Carillion's private sector workers for 48 hours -minister

LONDON, Jan 15 (Reuters) - Britain will pay Carillion workers on private sector contracts for 48 hours after the infrastructure firm's collapse but will not offer them the same protection as those in the public sector, the minister handling the liquidation said on Monday.

The government is paying the salaries of Carillion's workers after it collapsed on Monday, but Cabinet Office minister David Lidington said that those private companies employing Carillion would have only two days of government support.

"The position of private sector employees is that they will not be getting the same protection that we're offering to public sector employees, beyond a 48-hour period of grace," Lidington told lawmakers in parliament.

He said the move would "give time for the private sector counterparties to Carillion to decide whether they want to accept termination of those contracts, or themselves to pay for the ongoing costs."

"I think that is a reasonable gesture towards private sector employees," he added.

(Reporting by Alistair Smout and Andrew MacAskill; Editing by Susan Fenton)