Decisive CWU intervention ensures correct redundancy entitlements and consultation for in-scope Capita members

Telecoms & Financial Services

CWU representations reminding Capita of its special legal responsibilities to ex-Telefonica employees in redundancy situations have led to a reversal of the company’s position on two important points.

Under the 2013 TUPE ‘Matrix’ – which records the precise terms of what was then the biggest outsourcing of staff in UK industrial history – a formula stipulating how enhanced redundancy terms in any job loss situation should be calculated is set out in black and white, along with a cast-iron requirement that ‘any major change involving 100 or more affected employees will involve a consultation period of at least 90 days.’

Yet, surprisingly, following Capita’s announcement last month that 265 staff were being placed ‘at risk’ of on account of VMO2’s decision to move their work to a different outsourcer –  which in turn plans to fulfil it in the Philippines – the company communicated that only statutory redundancy entitlements applied, and that the consultation period would be just 45 days.

The departure from the TUPE matrix on both counts was immediately spotted by the CWU and duly flagged up to Capita management – along with the requirement that all redeployment opportunities are fully explored to mitigate against compulsory job losses. (See story here)

This week, following further representations  by the union, Capita has unequivocally confirmed that the union’s interpretation of both the enhanced redundancy terms and consultation period in the TUPE Matrix is correct, and that it will abide by them in full.

CWU national officer Tracey Fussey told CWU News: “This is an important victory for the predominantly Leeds-based ex-Telefonica Capita members working on VMO2’s  Small Office Home Office (SoHo), Small Medium Business (SMB) and Social Media workstreams – as the enhanced redundancy terms now on the table, involving three weeks’ basic pay for each year of service up to a maximum of 52 weeks, are considerably above statutory terms.

“The CWU national team is acutely aware, however, that most of our ‘at risk’ Capita members do not want to be made redundant and would far prefer to have the security of continued employment by way of the redeployment opportunities we are continuing to press  Capita to explore.

“I am glad, however, that Capita has done the right thing in moving swiftly to clarify the enhanced redundancy terms that exist for ex-Telefonica  employees, and the longer consultation which will now apply.

“We are now naturally keen to progress discussions and find solutions for all our members as quickly as possible,” Tracey concludes.