We have now reached an agreement with BT in relation to this review. It is an agreement we have made reluctantly. We have been able to persuade BT not to introduce detrimental changes affecting full, formal, homeworkers (who will not be affected by the review - nothing for them will change) but we have not been able to dissuade BT from abolishing 'Occasional' homeworker status. In its place, those who are not full, formal homeworkers will become either 'Agile' or 'Mobile' workers, and unfortunately will lose the ability to claim the heating allowance. The company is also insisting that such people will not be able to claim T and S from their home - they will become at least notionally headquartered at a BT building.
The company is briefing out the changes from today. On the right of this page you will find:-
- An exchange of correspondence between the company and the union, giving details of the agreement.
- A copy of the revised BT Policy on Homeworking.
- A copy of the BT 'Work Mode' definitions (containing the definitions for Homeworkers, Agile workers and Mobile workers etc).
We have made an agreement in this instance because - and frankly solely because - by doing so we have protected the position of full, formal homeworkers. Their terms and conditions are not affected and their contractual status as homeworkers is also maintained. Had we not made an agreement in this situation, it would have been far too easy for BT subsequently to make further detrimental changes. Moreover, by making an agreement, we have been able to dissuade BT from making a number of changes, to the conditions for both full, formal homeworkers, and for others, which would have been even more detrimental. We also secured a commitment from BT to a joint review of the heating allowance this Autumn.
Nevertheless, we fully recognise that the changes BT is introducing to the terms that applied to 'Occasional' homeworkers are both unhelpful and, in some cases, less than rational. We will be seeking to keep the revised terms under review. It would be particularly helpful if members could advise us of any issues the revised terms throw up.
Please also note that we have told BT we expect them to honour the terms of this agreement. So, if any member is working 60% or more at home, we would expect the terms of the agreement to be applied. If in any circumstances this is not happening, members should ask for the terms. Any refusal should be reported to the union.