A recurring theme across a number of companies is a brutal approach to members with disabilities/medical problems. In Sky, Virgin and Interxion there have been recent cases of dismissal/non payment of wages as reasonable adjustments are refused. We can advise on claims.
Ofcom have announced that BT will be required to set up Openreach as a subsidiary company, although it will remain part of the BT group. This is the next stage in a process begun earlier this year, when Ofcom announced their preference for this option. At the time it was widely reported that BT was NOT being split – but the subsidiary company status was in the ‘small print’. Details of the changes will now be worked out, which could include a massive ‘TUPE’ transfer to a new employer.
A number of members have reported from different locations that their sales duties are being changed. Anyone affected is advised to pursue a formal grievance for their own long term protection, for example if there are redundancies later.
We have identified a lack of policy and process for Sky to deal with its legal obligations to disabled members, especially in field engineering. One case will be going to Employment Tribunal shortly, with the union vigorously supporting the member’s case for reasonable adjustments at work. Another case may not be far behind.
After years of attacking engineers and union under the heading of performance management, Openreach Service Delivery has announced a welcome new approach, changing from an individual productivity to a team based customer focused system.
We still have strong concerns about those people who have been dismissed or victimised by the old system. And we await to see if the new approach will extend to all the other parts of Openreach; we are still dealing with a number of other cases in BT. Members concerned should contact the union for advice as early as possible.