Purchase of Annual Leave (POL)

Issue No. 011/2019

04 March 2019

To All Branches with Members in Ventures Voice Services (VVS)



Dear Colleague

Purchase of Annual Leave (POL)

Good News for our members in BT Ventures Voice Services.  Purchase of Annual Leave is now available via Your Rewards.

Back in 2017 CWU members in Ventures Voice Services (VVS), particularly in Portadown were unhappy about being excluded from the Purchase Of Annual Leave (POL), a Flexible Benefit available widely across BT Group in Your Rewards.

The reasoning for the exclusion at the time was down to the volatility of demand across the line of business particularly within the 999 service but also against higher attrition.  This meant that it wasn’t feasible due to service demands.  VVS were not involved in the concept nor design of the POL scheme and were, therefore, unable to consider how to sensitively adopt and manage the scheme when it was introduced.

The issue came to light in April 2017 when some CWU members in VVS applied for POL but had submitted requests very close to the final submission date confusing management who were unaware of the Flexible Benefit.  There was also misunderstanding on both sides about the process involved which created some unrest amongst members.

Through our regular contact with management, the CWU have kept the POL issue current.  Management understood and agreed that a BT-wide benefit was being denied to this group of workers and in acknowledging the Union’s position agreed to trawl for interest amongst advisers.  Throughout December expressions of interest were sought and the results analysed to understand what the potential take-up would be and to examine what impact this would have on resource planning.

This is a good news story for the CWU and shows the value of having a good working relationship with management.  Although we now have concerns about how bought leave is allocated and whether there are sufficient leave slots available to accommodate the additional leave, we understand that planning have done an analysis and VVS believe that the impact can be absorbed but we will continue to monitor this.  The POL application window opened on March 5th and runs to March 26th.

It is important that members read and understand the limitations; the salary sacrifice terms and conditions and how much POL costs.  In addition, that Line Manager approval is required and normal leave rules apply.  Branches are asked to encourage members to pre-book as much leave as possible to avoid disappointment.

Attached for information is the management announcement.


Any queries should be directed to your local branch/rep in the first instance.


Yours sincerely,

Brendan O’Brien

Assistant Secretary

VVS 011.2019 – Purchase of Annual Leave (POL) 04.03.19

VVS 011.2019a