Vodafone accused of making ‘back door’ redundancies

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Union claims operator is using compromise agreements to avoid having to give employees 30-day consultation period

Vodafone has been accused of using a legal loop-hole to avoid giving staff a 30-day redundancy consultation period by telecoms union Prospect.

Rather than giving a consultation period, the group claims the operator has offered staff ‘compromise agreements’ which typically mean a pay-off with instant contract termination for employees, who then sign away any right to pursue a claim against their former employer.

Prospect adds that over 80 employees at Vodafone’s technology unit, including some at its UK base in Newbury, have been ‘targeted’ for the redundancy pay-out, and it believes the firm is looking to replace them with staff on lesser terms and conditions of employment.

Prospect senior organiser Caroline Hemmington said: “Vodafone is using the fact that it does not recognise a union to try and by-pass accepted practice and make people redundant via the back door.

“By issuing compromise agreements it is seeking to bypass its legal responsibilities and the processes which exist to ensure people are treated fairly.

“We have even heard reports from members these vacant posts will be re-advertised at a lower rate which, if true, means these are cost-cutting measures dressed up to sound like redundancy, especially if there are no clear selection criteria.”

Vodafone had not responded to the claims at the time of writing.

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