BT Consumer: Christmas/New Year Holidays
20 September 2016
BT is in the process of seeking volunteers to work the Christmas and New Year Bank Holidays.
As part of the agreement for returning work to the UK and reducing the reliance on agency staff it was accepted in the Transformation Agreement that arrangements would need to be put in place for UK BT staff to cover Bank and Public Holidays.
The process involves seeking volunteers in the first instance before taking any steps to mandate staff to attend.
The Agreement confirms that:
“early and meaningful consultation will take place with the CWU at National level in relation to the Company’s resource requirements to meet anticipated customer demand on Bank / Public holidays”
BT has already briefed out in Service areas asking for volunteers.
This was supposed to be done via team briefs making it clear that final decisions on arrangements would be made once the level of volunteers is clear.
However, in the event this was issued on many sites as an email without a full explanation and prior to any discussion with the national CWU. The CWU has objected to this approach and arrangements have now been put in place to ensure that the correct process is followed in future.
Sales, Retention and Easy Assist
Following discussions with the NT communications were issued in Sales/Retention and Easy Assist. Volunteers are requested by 2 October 2016.
Once BT is aware of the level of volunteers across Consumer (sales and service) there will be further discussions with the CWU about the final arrangements, prior to any formal mandating.
BT Consumer: Attendance Sales/Retention
9 October 2016
A key part of the BT Transformation Agreement is the changes to attendance arrangements across Consumer. Attendances will be shared across the workforce while at the same time providing protections for those that need them. Under the Agreement the new attendances will be based on the preferences of Advisors.
Following discussions with the CWU National Team, BT is commencing the preference process for attendance patterns across all Sales and Retention sites with new attendances due to be implemented from April 2017.
The Approach in Sales and Retention
The standard attendance requirement for most areas will be the same as in Service – with 2.5 lates per week, 3 in 5 Saturdays and 1 in 5 Sundays. Some specialist areas will have different evening and weekend attendances due to operational requirements.
BT advisors will be able to express a preference for a 5 day, 4 day week, or a 9 day fortnight. In addition, part time staff can also indicate a preference for a 3 day week or a 7 day fortnight.
There will be some changes in the overall approach when compared to the Service areas. This is due to the different call patterns in Sales which are driven to a large degree by TV and sport.
Number of Weekly Lates for Full Time Staff
For full time staff the average number of lates will continue to be 2.5 per week except for those on a 4 day week – see below.
However, rather than measuring this over a 10 week cycle this will be measured seasonally over the year. This is because during the football season there greater level of demand which will result in 3 lates. However, in other parts of the year, mainly in the summer, the number of lates will fall to two.
BT will provide data detailing the number of late attendances on a quarterly basis to individual advisors and the CWU nationally.
Four Day Weeks for Full Time Staff
We have been able to develop with BT an option which will mean any full timer who wishes to choose a 4 day week will receive one.
All 4 day weeks will contain at least one attendance Monday to Thursday which will end at 8pm. Advisors can still select their preferences for two early duties (in a full time 4 day week an early would be an 8pm finish). At least one of these will be an 8pm finish but they both could be depending on demand.
Fridays will always be the full span of 8am to 9pm and Saturday 8am to 8pm, and so the alternating early Friday late Saturday will not apply to 4 day weeks. However, overall those working a 4 day weeks will see similar levels of early duties on a Friday when compared to their full time 9 day and 5 day colleagues. BT has agreed to will keep this issue under review with the CWU.
Week of Earlies / Week of Lates
The ability of BT to offer this option maybe limited as it could result in service issues during the football season. However, advisors can still request this option and BT will review the situation with the CWU once the preferences are known.
While a late attendance is normally anything past 6pm, this may vary by 15 minutes for some 4 day weeks and 9 day fortnights for full time staff, and 3 day week 25 & 30 hour day attendances.
All of these require a long working day. As a result the late for a duty which is more than 9 paid hours for those working 37.5 hours full time, or 25 & 30 hours part time may be between 6.15pm and closing time on any day of the week.
This approach means that BT will be able to maximize the numbers of 4 day weeks, 9 day fortnights and 3 day weeks.
The arrangements already agreed and set out in LTB 211/2016 continue to apply. The table contained in the BT communication is only a summary of the full Agreement.
All those entitled to paid breaks will continue to get them. All existing paid breaks are protected.
The full options on breaks will be available to advisors at the one to one sessions.
The guidance on notice periods, annual leave bookings, and those with reasonable adjustments contained in LTB 394/2016 continue to apply.
As it is nearly a year since the Agreement was reached BT is arranging for onsite briefings to take place for all Advisors to re brief the key features of the Agreement. Once that is complete the first phase is the collection of individual attendance preferences.
The process will involve all Advisors completing an attendance questionnaire in work time. This will be followed immediately by a 1-2-1 discussion with their Line Manager which will give the Advisor the ability to add any necessary additional information. At the end of the 1-2-1 process the Manager will submit the Advisor’s form which will include three preferences. Individual ECOH or Flexible Working arrangements in place, or other personal and domestic issues that affect attendance, will be documented as part of the portal process. In line with the Agreement current ECOH or Flexible Working arrangements current in place will be honoured unless an advisor wants to me make a voluntary change. Any ECOH arrangements in place will be reviewed in line with agreed timescales.
Advisors will be given 1 hour and 15 minutes to complete the portal and have the 1-2-1.
Once the preferences have been collected BT will then look to match as many first preferences as possible and will discuss the overall outcome with the CWU before a second 1-2-1 process with Advisors. This second phase will take place from January 2017.
At the second 1-2-1 it is intended that the new individual attendance pattern will be confirmed and normally the notice period for change will start from that point.
The normal notice period is 12 weeks but for those not currently working after six and/or any weekend days there will be an additional four months transition period. The additional transition details will be worked out on an individual basis but evening and weekend day attendances will increase by 20% a month so that the new attendance is worked in full from the beginning of the fifth month.
It is anticipated that most advisors will move onto the new attendances in April 2017.
CWU welcomes 1,000 BT contact centre jobs coming back to UK
An agreement with the CWU and BT has resulted in the company creating 1,000 contact centre jobs in the UK.
The CWU welcomed the news, which was publically announced today (18 January).
The company intends to create 1,000 jobs in BT Consumer between now and April 2017. The first new direct recruitment will be in Swansea, where 100 new posts will be created. The 1,000 jobs include 500 agency conversions that were announced in December.
The agreement will ensure that work comes back from overseas to BT UK contact centres and significantly increase in the proportion of the workforce that is employed by BT.
CWU assistant secretary Nigel Cotgrove said:
“This is very welcome news and is a direct result of the Transformation Agreement on job security and attendance patterns that was endorsed by CWU members last month. It marks another important milestone in the progress the union has made over the last 18 months in securing permanent and secure jobs.”
CWU deputy general secretary Andy Kerr said:
“The agreement between the CWU and BT is critical in supporting job security of our members, and the sustainability of BT as a company. Today’s confirmation of these jobs for the UK justifies our opposition to the outsourcing of BT contact centres jobs as we have always said it would not be in the best interests of its customers, and was a short-sighted move by the company.”