O2 customer service team to be slashed under Capita plans


Capita documents found by The Telegraph newspaper confirm staff fears that jobs will be cut under a recent agreement with O2

Two O2 call centres could be shut as part of an outsourcing deal the operator made with Capita, according to secret documents obtained by The Telegraph newspaper.

Last week, O2 announced it is outsourcing call centre staff working in its centres in Bury, Glasgow, Leeds and Preston Brook to Capita.

O2 said that the agreement, which will affect 3,700 jobs, means terms and conditions of employment, including salaries, will remain the same and that staff will not have to move.

The operator said under the deal, jobs are secured for two years, “something we alone as Telefonica UK could never offer”.

But yesterday The Telegraph reported Capita plans to close O2’s customer service facilities in Bury and Glasgow once the two-year period is over and by the end of 2015.

The newspaper has seen documents on Capita’s “Project Vincent” scheme which reveal the company plans to retain 1,370 of the 3,700 staff. At least 500 of those who lose their jobs will be “redeployed” within Capita.

If Project Vincent goes ahead, a Capita call centre in Cape Town that currently handles some O2 customer service calls will be expanded from 200 staff to 660 in 2015.

Under the plan, O2 customer service staff numbers would be cut from over 5,800 worldwide to under 3,000.

The communication workers union (CWU) has called the decision a “bombshell” to staff. When the original announcement was made on May 21, the CWU said it was considering industrial action.

Responding to The Telegraph’s findings, CWU national official Sally Bridge said: “Staff are already concerned about their job security and o2 is sending very senior managers out to call centres to reassure them that they have a future and that Capita is a decent company.

“If the documents the Telegraph has seen are right then these are lies and o2 staff won’t be able to trust either company.

“This information will be a bombshell to o2 employees. Instead of building careers at a positive brand they will be thrown away while their work leaves UK shores. What a shocking secretive business plan.”

CWU is today writing to Telefonica o2 and Capita to seek clarity on this latest speculation over the future of o2 jobs in the UK.

An O2 spokesperson told The Telegraph Project Vincent was “one scenario”.