Consignia to outsource its OH service in a bid to cut losses

Congignia hopes to improve services and save money by using SchlumbergerSema
to provide OH services

Consignia, the troubled company behind Britain’s postal services, is poised
to outsource its occupational health service in a deal worth £70m.

The deal is part of the firm’s three-year restructuring programme designed
to stem losses of about £1.5m a day.

Once signed, the five-year contract will see Schlumberger Sema, part of
French conglomerate Sema, take over the provision of OH services to Consignia’s
220,000 staff.

This includes pre-recruitment assessments, ill-health referrals and medical
retirement assessments. The OH team also offers preventative services such as
health promotions and training.

The company’s 240 occupational health staff will transfer to
SchlumbergerSema on their existing terms and conditions, as required under TUPE
(Transfer of Undertaking Protection of Employment) regulations.

Consignia said it had decided to outsource the service because it was not a
core part of its business. Overall, the company hopes to save £60m a year for
10 years through a series of similar outsourcing agreements.

Malcolm Kitchener, managing director of business services at Consignia,
stressed the deal would not mean any downgrading of the service Consignia
employees received. In fact, it was likely to improve, he argued.

"Consignia’s OH service will be working with a major and focused player
in the OH market. There will be wider opportunities. There is quite an air of
excitement about the prospect of joining SchlumbergerSema," he said.

OH nurses would have access to better systems and technology and SchlumbergerSema
had pledged to spend £5m upgrading the OH systems. They would also be able to
work with clients other than Consignia, he added.

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