BT Business Reorganisation

BT Business Reorganisation

During the last 3 weeks Prospect has worked with the company on the significant reorganisation that is taking place in BT Business (BTB).



We have been consulted with and received emerging details as particular units move ahead with their reorganisation plans. We welcome approaches that have sought to improve the experience of this reorganisation from previous changes.


Through the consultation process we have provided BTB with feedback on proposals and suggested improvements in line with the company's commitment to manage changes transparently, fairly and efficiently. A significant part of our role has been to ensure that feedback received directly from members is given a platform. We have had very many queries from members, both on collective concerns of policy but also requesting individual and specific advice.

Given the extremely pressing time-scales involved it would seem that we are now at the stage of the reorganisation where members roles will continue, cease or change. We have written to the business to ask, as a matter of urgency that governance is clear, and support is in place to ensure that the professional approach is managed, consistently, across BTB in a fair way for our members.

Selection for combined roles

BTB have stressed that they understand that where roles are being 'combined' that those not selected will be given meaningful feedback that is robust and able to be challenged. It is our view that this is critical in ensuring that the process is seen to be transparent and fair.

We have made it clear to BTB that selections for 'combined' roles are not part of the performance management process, and should not be used to in a way that prejudices individual's options for BTB Leaver Payments or redeployment, for example.

Redeployment

Within the BTB 'People Principles' developed to support the reorganisation, it is explained that individuals being managed under a formal process, such as attendance or poor performance, cannot be placed into the BT Transition Centre (BTTC). This is consistent with other reorganisations across BT.

We have received queries from members which suggest that a barrier is being more broadly applied, and have pressed the company to ensure that individuals who have a 'General Satisfactory' marking but who are not being managed in a formal process move to the BTTC once their role disappears. Being in the specialist redeployment unit pan-BT with access to Transition Manager and latest vacancies is the right approach for those individuals and the business in these circumstances.

We have stressed the need to provide full details of how the BTTC operates, the effect on individual's terms and conditions and the support that is provided within it.

Some members whose roles are ceasing have informed Prospect that they will be managed as 'pre-deployees', and remain working within BTB albeit not on their previous work. We have asked BTB to provide further clarity on when this will be appropriate, how this will be managed and will be pressing for assurance that this approach will not result in any detriment to members.

Workloads and Objectives in BTB

As part of the consultation process we have emphasized the need for the reorganised BTB to have intelligent job design, with individual objectives that are achievable and assist in getting the business on track. We have also stressed the need for proper training to be provided, particularly in new roles and for workloads to be manageable. BTB have agreed the need for this. Where members have concerns they should seek to raise them with their line managers in the first instance. If those concerns are not satisfactorily addressed then please get in touch with Prospect for further advice.

Compromise Agreements

Prospect has been contacted by a small number of members who have been offered Compromise Agreements to leave the business.

We have met BTB on this matter and have confirmed that Prospect do not accept Compromise Agreements as an alternative to BTB Leaver Payments, transition to a new role, or proper use of the performance management system.

BTB has confirmed that Compromise Agreements should be offered only in specific, mutual and limited circumstances, and that there is no policy to force these on people. We have made it clear to BTB that we will pursue robustly examples of behaviour that is not in line with this.

If you are approached with such an offer, or instructed to make such an offer that is inconsistent with the principles above please contact the union immediately for confidential advice.

Next steps

We will continue to meet and work constructively with BTB to address the outstanding issues as the reorganisation takes shape. We will report back to members on developments.

If you have any queries please contact our Helpdesk on 020 8971 6060 or email union@connectuk.org

Please note that we are unable to assist non-members with their queries. If you have any colleagues in BTB who are not yet members please encourage them to join us by visiting connect.prospect.or.uk/join