Members in BT Technology impacted by the business’s current transformation plans or immediate Better Workplace Programme (BWP) agenda are being urged to put themselves forward for ‘Job Swap’opportunities under a mechanism negotiated by the union in a bid to mitigate against any job losses.
First utilised last autumn, the initial manifestation of the ‘Job Swap’ process allowed individuals who’d been placed at risk of compulsory redundancy under previous phases of Technology’s ‘Project Griffin’ transformation programme to swap places with colleagues who hadn’t been placed in scope for redundancy but who, for whatever reason, were keen to leave the business anyway under voluntary paid leaver terms.
CWU national officer for Technology Sally Bridge explains: “Ultimately this is about maximising the potential for voluntarism to mitigate against any job losses in a challenging change process. The ‘Job Swap’ concept provides an innovative roadmap under which colleagues who are impacted by either BWP or Griffin Phase 3, but who wish to stay with BT, can swap places with those who are not ‘at risk’ but, for their own reasons, are interested in leaving BT.
“Such arrangements can obviously have huge benefits for both parties – providing continuity of employment for those for whom job security is all-important, and the potential of voluntary paid leaver packages for individuals who might positively welcome such an opportunity but who may never otherwise be in scope for one.”
Last year a major survey conducted by the union established that, even in Technology alone, there are more than enough employees who would be interested in leaving the business on VPLS terms to address all staff surpluses currently identified by the division. In large part this is because of the particular age demographic in Technology, where a disproportionately high number of employees are in the latter stages of their careers, with many years of service under their belts that translate into substantial VLPS packages.
Full details of the ‘Job Swap’ scheme can be viewed on the BT Technology microsite by searching Job swap (bt.com) – and those colleagues who are in scope and who wish to stay with BT can register themselves as a potential Job Swap candidate. This can be done without making any firm commitment as the register is merely intended to put in-scope colleagues who wish to stay in touch with colleagues who are not in scope who wish to leave, both colleagues must have compatible skill-sets.
Sally concludes: “Ultimately the potential of the ‘Job Swap’ process to result in win/win outcomes for both in-scope colleagues wishing to stay and colleagues not in scope wishing to leave depends totally on its visibility to all parties. We are working with management to improve this visibility, but details of the ‘Job Swap’ process and the application form is available to access via the link given above. It is also on the colleague microsite and your consulting manager will have discussed this with you at your one-to-ones.
“Currently, however, only a handful of individuals have registered their interest in utilising this ‘Job Swap’ mechanism to secure their future in BT– and, as such I’d urge all those in scope of the latest phase of Technology’s transformation to think seriously as to whether this process may be something that could benefit them. If so, they should register without delay.”