Threat to 350 TV Licensing jobs


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The Independent Online

Hundreds of TV Licensing jobs are at risk of redundancy under plans to relocate work, it was announced today.

Capita said that, following a review of its business, it was proposing to switch work from its office in Bristol to other sites in the UK, adding that 350 jobs were at risk.

The Communication Workers Union said the move was "callous", adding that it feared compulsory redundancies would hit Bristol "particularly heavily", as well as a handful in Glasgow.

The union held a series of strikes over pay at Capita's TV Licensing sites last year.

A Capita spokesman said: "As part of a comprehensive review undertaken as part of the bid procurement for the TV Licensing contract, Capita has concluded that a revised delivery model is necessary to meet the demands of the contract in the future.

"As part of that we are proposing to optimise our current structure and relocate work from the existing Capita office in Bristol to other UK locations. This means that around 350 roles in Bristol are 'at risk' of redundancy, although an office will be retained in Bristol.

"We will now commence a formal consultation period with employees and their nominated trade union representatives to ensure that all possible options are explored."

The CWU said some jobs will also be lost among field operations, adding that some work work was being transferred to India.

National officer Andy Furey said: "This is devastating news for workers in Bristol, Glasgow and elsewhere and a terrible way to start 2012. It's a callous act by Capita management who have put commercial interests ahead of jobs and people.

"It appears that Capita has sacrificed the livelihoods of people in Bristol, Glasgow and elsewhere as cost savings to win the BBC TV Licence contract, rather than finding legitimate savings elsewhere.

"Hot on the heels of the move to Salford, the BBC licence fee freeze agreed by Mark Thompson is now responsible for job losses outside of the corporation.

"Capita management seem to be punishing staff in Bristol and Glasgow who have fought hard for a decent pay rise in recent months. By cutting these jobs they lose experienced and dedicated staff which can't be good for business continuity.

"We will be working closely with our members over the coming weeks to see how jobs can be protected and what options are open to them.

"We're completely shocked by Capita's callous attitude towards long-standing employees and see this as a direct attack on union rights.

"We will work hard to ensure union representation is retained in this giant company."