Capita opens voluntary redundancy scheme at O2 sites

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Communications Workers Union calling for more information on proposals that could see 350 roles go

Capita has opened a voluntary redundancy scheme at its O2/Telefonica sites in Bury and Glasgow, as part of plans to cut 350 jobs at the two sites.

O2 signed a £1.2 billion contract with Capita in 2013 that saw the latter take over management of its Leeds, Glasgow, Preston Brook, Bury and Dearne Valley centres. At the time it was one of the largest private sector services contract ever awarded in the UK.

Since taking over the contract, Capita has undertaken several rounds of redundancies and the Communications Workers Union says it has been told it wants to cut a further 350 jobs. The combined sites employ 700 people, split almost equally across both sites.

Capita informed the CWU of its intentions earlier this week and plans to have 350 people leaving by the end of October with further losses possible by Q1 2016.

The voluntary redundancy scheme began on 25 June and will run until 31 July and is open to front and back office employees.

Capita says that cuts are due to “changes in the market” according to a CWU document. It claims that more customers are using different channels to access customer service and are forecasting for a significant decrease in call volumes in the coming years.

Calls to O2 customer service lines have halved in the past five years as part of this trend for customers to use other channels. Almost four million O2 customers now use the MyO2 app to check their billing information, up 23 per cent in the past 12 months, with a further 700,000 using web chat, a figure that has risen by a fifth in the past year.

In-store O2 Gurus have handled two million customer queries in the past year, up 22 per cent year-on-year. 20,000 customer interactions are also dealt with on social media per month, up 25 per cent over the past year.

In 2013, The Telegraph obtained a leaked document that apparently revealed that Capita planned to close its Glasgow and Bury sites by the end of this year.

The CWU says that Capita has told them that there are no plans for site closures as part of the current cost cutting exercise.

A statement from Capita said: “A core focus of the Capita O2 partnership is to transform the service and as such we are responding to O2 customers’ increasing need to interact over digital channels, rather than traditional customer service telephone channels. We are inviting employees from front and back office roles to volunteer for redundancy and until the application window closes we are unable to confirm numbers.”

1 COMMENT

  1. I can see that if a customer uses an app to query a database for billing info that cuts the need for a operator to talk with that customer but how does that work with a web chat and any query requiring a response ?
    A world where there’s no one to talk to when you have an issue, or more to the point the ones left are so overworked that one can’t get through and if you do they have short allocated slots, is rapadiy approaching.

    And all this before three complete their purchase of O2….. Three are a big adoptor of outsourcing (off shore) more job losses? Government needs to stem the tide of exporting jobs if it wants to reduce benefit payments.

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