CWU in urgent talks with Capita as 265 workers enter 45-day redundancy consultation period


Clarity is being sought from Capita over any redeployment options that may exist for 265 individuals who have entered a formal 45-day consultation period that could result in redundancy – with the CWU intent on ensuring that every effort is made to mitigate against compulsory job losses.

Under plans announced by management last Wednesday, VMO2 contract work on the Small Office Home Office (SoHo), Small Medium Business (SMB) and Social Media workstreams will transfer, at VMO2’s behest, to a different outsourcer which intends to conduct the work in the Philippines.

Around 80% of those impacted are badged to the Leeds ABC contact centre – with the majority of the rest based at the unrecognised Dearne Valley site in Yorkshire, though some Preston Brook employees are also affected.

“This is incredibly sad news which we know is causing considerable uncertainty and distress,” CWU national officer Tracey Fussey told CWU News.

“Capita has advised us that their contract for the provision of work with VMO2 was subject to a re-bid which has resulted in changes to the operating model at the behest of the client.

“Because of the intention to offshore the work, TUPE does not apply – so the chance of impacted individuals being able to follow their work has been cruelly taken away from them.

“The CWU is 100% resolved to provide every possible support to members throughout the forthcoming consultation. While we accept that Capita was not partial to the operational decisions of the new supplier to fulfil this work in the Philippines, we will be pressing management hard to seek solutions that minimise the effect of these proposals for as many employees as possible.

Capita has itself stressed that it will continue to work with VMO2 in the UK, employing  CWU members to fulfil other customer care roles” – and accordingly the union is demanding full visibility of all redeployment options.

Tracey continues: “We are naturally saddened and dismayed that the loyal service our members have given conducting this work over many years has not been taken into consideration and that it is now to be moved offshore by a different supplier rather than maintain jobs in the UK.

“One line of enquiry the CWU national team will be robustly pursuing is the question as to whether work on Capita’s VMO2 contract that is already offshored can be brought back to help mitigate against compulsory redundancies.”

The consultation period triggered by Wednesday’s announcement will last for at least 45 days and is anticipated to end on August 25.

With one-to-one meetings with affected employees expected to commence imminently, Tracey urges all impacted members to contact their local branch without delay to ensure they are properly represented – as is their legal right.

“Members can rest assured the CWU national team will be leaving no stone unturned with regards to securing clarity on any redeployment opportunities on other contracts that may exist, and the CWU will also be submitting counter-proposals to Capita wherever that is appropriate,” Tracey concludes.

“I’d also encourage individual members to put in any counter-proposals that occur to them – but above all for them to ensure they avail themselves of the CWU support at every stage of this process that the union is committed to give.”