Capita agrees to do its sums again as 2022 pay settlement descends into fiascoTelecoms & Financial Services, Capita February 7 2023
Urgent talks took place with Capita yesterday (Monday) amid widespread employee anger across the O2 and Tesco Mobile partnerships at multiple miscalculations of their belated pay increase.
Following members’ nine-to-one acceptance at the end of November of a significantly improved but long awaited pay offer, many had been counting the days before they received desperately needed back-payments dating back to April last year, when the cost of living crisis really took hold.
But hopes of a timely helping hand with financial hangovers from the festive season ended in nasty surprise for hundreds when they eagerly opened their pay slips to discover that either the rise was less than expected or, in some instances, that no increase had been paid at all. Whilst some errors have now been rectified many are outstanding.
The majority of those individuals can now breathe a welcome sigh of relief, with Capita yesterday signalling its willingness to recalculate hundreds of under-payments that have been made to TUPE members working fewer hours than the 37.5 hour ‘standard’ Capita contracts.
These members are on 36 hour (Full Time Equivalent) contracts, but the mistake also impacts especially badly on part-timers because their hourly increase has also been calculated on the basis of the 37.5 hour standard.
Initial CWU representations to Capita had been met with the jaw-dropping response that pay rises have ‘always been handled this way’ – but, emerging from yesterday’s meeting, CWU national officer Tracey Fussey was optimistic that sense had prevailed.
“We forcefully told the company that they simply couldn’t impose their 37.5 hour ‘standard’ to the detriment of 36 hour Telefonica TUPE members – or, indeed to the company’s predominantly female part-time workers who were especially badly impacted.” Tracey explained.
“I’m pleased to say that management have now verbally agreed to rectify this issue – though we have requested confirmation of that in writing and will be monitoring the situation closely to ensure that all those negatively impacted by the miscalculation are fully compensated. We are concerned that there have been similar errors made in previous years pay increases and, as such, we are establishing the facts and will be representing any concerns to Capita with a view that they rectify matters.”
No definitive agreement, however, has yet been reached with the company over the non-payment of the pay award to those on secondment or temporarily covering higher-paid duties – though management do appear to have softened their initial categorical position that such individuals were already getting extra money so ‘shouldn’t be paid it twice’.
Tracey explains: “What we’ve agreed to do is provide specific examples to the company. Additional payments associated with secondments or covering for higher paid duties are remuneration for that additional work and have nothing to do with the agreed annual pay award into base pay. One of our key arguments includes the unavoidable fact that Capita’s current position means that individuals who have stepped up to the plate to help the company out can actually find themselves worse off than their colleagues when that period over cover or secondment ends! We have not agreed any exclusion.
“This issue is therefore still being forcefully represented to the company, with the union taking the unequivocal line that the Collective agreement on pay applies to ALL members, without exception,” Tracey concludes.