Fujitsu is shrinking, Compromise Agreements

While there’s still no major redundancy programme, “managing people out of the business” continues.
In April, the permanent UK&I headcount (including FTS) was 10662. It had dropped to 10389 by July – a fall of 273 in just three months, with a fall of over 100 in the last of those months alone. If this rate of decline continues, the company will have cut more jobs by Xmas than went under the “Project Cherry” redundancy programme in 2009-10.
In the same period, the non-permanent headcount dropped from 1716 to 1581, a fall of 135, with the last of these months showing a fall of 84.
Reps are still picking up horror-stories of staff being bamboozled into accepting Compromise Agreements (CAs) without knowing their rights.
A CA is a legally binding agreement where the company pays you some money in exchange for you giving up some legal rights. In Fujitsu, they usually involve you leaving the company and agreeing to a confidentiality clause.
A CA is sometimes the best thing for the company and an employee – resolving some problem in a way acceptable to both parties. Sometimes however, employees are tricked into accepting a very poor deal.
Key points:

  1. No matter what you are told, you ARE entitled to seek advice from your UNITE rep or officer. Do so immediately.
  2. If the “offer” is accompanied by threats or pressure, seek advice on that too.
  3. No matter what you are told, CAs are produced through a process of negotiation. You are not being offered a CA as a favour, only because it suits the company. Final agreements are often VERY different to initial offers. Get help from UNITE with the negotiation.
  4. It’s useful to see what you’d get for redundancy (see our calculator). However, the financial value of a CA cannot be directly compared to that from a redundancy payment. The wording of a CA can affect tax, entitlements to state benefits as well as debt insurance. How much would you have earned (pay, pensions, benefits) during the redundancy process, notice period, holidays etc?
  5. The agreement has to be signed off by a solicitor, which Fujitsu will pay for. UNITE can arrange a solicitor through your Regional Officer. Our solicitors have worked on many Fujitsu CAs.
  6. Anyone who could be leaving on or after their 50th birthday and is in the ICL Defined Benefit Pension Plan (including as a deferred member) should seek financial advice as to whether to arrange to draw their pension immediately the day they leave the company in order to avoid the higher Early Retirement Factors (ERF) that were announced in December 2010 and May 2011.
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Unite members across Fujitsu Services Limited in the UK have been taking industrial as part of their dispute over jobs, union recognition, pay and pensions. Action from 28 February has included 15 days of strikes and ongoing action short of strike.

INDUSTRIAL ACTION IS CURRENTLY SUSPENDED while members consider an offer from Fujitsu.

The national dispute follows the resolution of a local dispute in Manchester which included 12 strike days.

Further information is available here including events, pickets, a downloadable appeal for support leaflet and how to donate to our strike fund.

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