Veolia Environnement
A worker of Veolia Water pushes a barrow during roadworks in the street in Cambrai, northern France (Reuters)

French utility giant Veolia Environnement will scrap 700 jobs as part of a cost cutting plan.

The employer, which is the world's largest waste and water company, said the losses will fall in the firm's water unit in France.

The announcement follows the news in March that the company plans to slash around 1,500 jobs by the end of 2014 in France, which the 700 job losses are part of.

The firm, which has around 220,000 staff worldwide, has been hit by Europe's turbulent economy and cash-strapped local governments in France.

Veolia plans to cut costs and restructure itself to become more competitive and become more profitable.

The company's French water unit employs around 15,000 employees, meaning 4% of its workforce will be scrapped.