The management team at Capita are all heart – they have asked staff being made redundant at a Glasgow call centre running O2’s phone support desk to prep newbies coming to the team.
Some 700 workers – split evenly across centres in Bury and Glasgow – last week opted for voluntary redundancy, though according to the Communication Workers Union, many voted to go because Capita refused to provide assurances that shuttering the sites was not part of its plans.
The discretionary voluntary programme launched in June will cut costs, though Capita claimed its rationale is that traditional call volumes are falling and customers are using alternative channels to receive services.
Top brass at Capita want to ensure as smooth a handover as possible as staff leave and newbies pick up the slack in the UK and on the South Africa service desk.
The company yesterday wrote to staff in Glasgow to inform them:
Whilst we work through the leaving date preferences, we do know that from a service and contingency perspective it’s important for us to acknowledge that as we are working through your requests to leave, at the same time we will have a requirement to move some Guru and CCMT work elsewhere to ensure we continue to provide a seamless service.
One insider – somewhat sarcastically – viewed the offer to help train the rookies as an “exciting opportunity”.
“The cheeky sods just sent an email with an exciting opportunity to write the training to ensure that our replacements will be set up for success!” they said.
From the start of next month until the end of November, Capita is looking for “volunteers” to come out of their existing roles to help complete reviews of existing processes and make recommendations for required changes.
The offer is only open to those north of the border, because they are not due to leave until the end of Q2 next year, though some told us last week that Capita may force them out of the door sooner so it doesn’t have to pay bonuses.
The 350 staff at the Bury call centre are due to leave at the end of October.
The volunteers will need to suggest checklists for queries or transactions not currently documented, provide input for new training material, get involved in training analysis and infrequently visit different sites.
“We are looking for individuals who are confident in their own process knowledge, with clear communication and a real interest in doing something different,” stated the Capita document.
“We’re also looking for self-managed individuals who are happy to take control of a task and work with stakeholders to keep us up to date on progress. You will play an integral part in ensuring that new people joining the Guru and CCMT team will be set up for success,” it added.
The outsourcing contract penned by O2 and Capita is 2013 is set for a decade in total and was valued at £1.2bn. Some 2,700 workers transferred from the telco at the time.
The CWU said last week it is writing to O2 parent Telefonica’s CEO, Ronan Dunne, to ask if he stands by claims from the company when it signed the outsourcing deal that his staff would be “better off with Capita”.
We have asked Capita for comment, and it resent us its statement from last week: “We are talking to employees in front and back office roles to offer redundancies through voluntary means. We will work closely with employees who decide to leave to accommodate their chosen leaving date and we will be offering a series of recruitment events, careers clinics and CV writing and interview classes.”
The Reg asked O2 for comment, but it has yet to respond.
All too predictably, O2 told us that it will not comment on Capita workers, including our question on its CEO's claims in 2013. ®