A few years ago, the company introduced in part of the company, without any consultation, the “IS interim guidelines” – an awful new set of arrangements and payments for overtime, shift, standby and callout. It gradually applied these to increasing numbers of staff – both new staff and to lots of people who moved around the company.
In late 2010, the company rebadged these guidelines as “UK” rather than “IS” and began to use them more widely – again without any consultation, despite having recently set up Fujitsu Voice.
The company agreed to “consult Fujitsu Voice after the event, and to some limits to the speed with which the policy would be rolled out while this was going on. However, this consultation has been very limited and hasnt yet included seeking views from employees.
Initially the company decided not to implement the guidelines in Manchester, which made it harder for UNITE to get the company to engage over them. However, early in 2012 the company told UNITE that it wanted to introduce them in Manchester too.
The company has now decided to engage in negotiations with UNITE over changes to the UK guidelines, and accepts that the following issues are included in those on the table:
- Scope under what circumstances would new and existing employees be covered by the guidelines, under what circumstances would OOH be paid or unpaid
- The legal status of the policy would it be contractual and/or included in an agreement with UNITE?
- Validation would there be an exercise to validate the OOH terms recorded on the system for existing employees? When and on what basis?
- Premium rates
- Index-linking or review of standby rates which are expressed as monetary values
Though the negotiations are in Manchester, where UNITE is recognised, the company has made clear that its preference is that any changes to the guidelines should be applied UK-wide. UNITE proposed that at least some of the discussions should therefore take place jointly with PCS and Fujitsu Voice, and the company said they would consider this.
This is therefore an issue over which employees across the country have a stake to ensure a fair deal on Out Of Hours for everyone.