CWU seeks full visibility of redeployment opportunities as more Capita redundancies are announced


Hot on the heels of Capita’s welcome confirmation that enhanced redundancy entitlements apply in job loss situations involving ex-Telefonica staff (see story below), another 233 employees have been plunged into uncertainty over their future employment prospects.

The devastating  news was broken to the predominantly Leeds-based Business-to-Business Customer Service workforce yesterday (Thursday) – just weeks the city’s longstanding Arlington Business Park site was rocked by the earlier announcement that it was bearing the brunt of 265 job losses on the VMO2 contract Small Office Home Office (SoHo), Small Medium Business (SMB) and Social Media workstreams.

As with last month’s redundancy announcement, the bitter news that just 128 of the current 233 Business-to-Business CS roles will survive a major resourcing review is made all the harder to swallow by the fact that around 30 UK roles are being transferred offshore.

One big difference, however, is that this time it is Capita, not VMO2, that has initiated the Business-to-Business offshoring to India. By contrast, the earlier announcement of the transfer of  SoHo, SMB and Social Media workstreams to the Philippines rested squarely on VMO2’s decision to transfer that work from Capita to another outsourcer.

CWU national officer Tracey Fussey told CWU News: “The union is both saddened and shocked by this latest development,  particularly with it coming on top of the recent announcement affecting the SoHo, SMB and Social Media teams.

“In total we are now dealing with a situation in which more than 350 CWU-represented roles in the recognised part of Capita are ‘at risk’, with the Leeds site the worst affected by far, but others also affected  in Dearne Valley, where we have a significant membership despite not being recognised for collective bargaining purposes.

“We fully understand that this situation is creating  anxiety for not only those in scope but also for colleagues across the business. Above everything,  I’d strongly advise all those who have been directly impacted  to seek advice and support from their CWU representatives without delay, and to arrange for union representation at their consultation meetings – as is their legal right.”

Referring specifically to yesterday’s Business-to-Business CS announcement Tracey continues: “The CWU is disappointed that, although the decision that fewer people are needed on this workstream has undoubtedly been led by VMO2 as client, Capita is also complicit in failing to reward the long service that our members have given by offshoring  some of the remaining work to India, rather than providing job security to loyal employees in the UK.

“The CWU will certainly be submitting counter-proposals to Capita throughout the consultation process  – but above everything we will be demanding full visibility of any redeployment opportunities that could mitigate the need for compulsory redundancies.

“While it’s certainly true to say that Capita’s belated  confirmation that enhanced redundancy entitlements  and a 90-day consultation period applies to all our longstanding ex-Telefonica members is welcome at this difficult time, most would far prefer to have the security of continued employment by way of the redeployment.

“Recognising the worry and uncertainty that is sadly widespread amongst our ‘at risk’ Capita members, members can rest assured  that the CWU will be pressing Capita hard to identify alternative job opportunities wherever possible.”

See more on the Business-to-Business Customer Services redundancies in Capita-VMO2 members’ bulletin No.142/2023