BBC staff set to strike over Capita HR outsource deal

Staff impacted by the BBC’s decision to outsource a number of HR services are to go on strike this Friday in protest at Capita’s decision not to allow them to continue working on a BBC contract.

Broadcast union Bectu had asked Capita for a guarantee that HR staff will be allowed to continue working on a BBC contract, following the outsourcing of the department in April.

In every other BBC outsourcing exercise, such as staff transferring to Land Securities Trillium or Siemens, the new company had agreed that, if staff could not be provided with BBC work, then redundancy would be an option for them, Bectu said.

Capita has refused to provide this guarantee and says it will redeploy staff onto Capita contracts, which could mean working for clients such as Sainsbury’s or Homebase.

Capita also intends to move a number of HR jobs to Belfast and, while not insisting that staff relocate, it will not allow the affected staff to take redundancy.

Luke Crawley, lead BBC negotiator at Bectu, said: “Capita should understand that members want to work for the BBC, directly or indirectly. They did not ask to be outsourced and redundancy should be an option if BBC work cannot be guaranteed to them.”

A spokeswoman for Capita said:”The BBC entered an outsourcing contract with Capita under the full understanding and agreement that the core HR service was to be centralised in one location, Belfast, and that staff working on this core service would be offered redeployment to this site.

“As a responsible employer, we believe it is important to offer affected staff suitable and alternative opportunities and maintain jobs, rather than offer redundancies and potential unemployment. Where suitable alternative roles are not available, affected staff will be offered redundancies under the terms and conditions they transferred with.”

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