Everything Everywhere defends redundancy system

Mobile phone giant Everything Everywhere has denied reports that its workers were first told of possible redundancies during public meetings.

The company, which was created by the merger of Orange and T Mobile to become the UK’s largest communications firm, with 16,000 employees, has confirmed that around 1,200 roles are expected to go – a reduction of about 7.5%.

It has spent the past three months identifying areas of the business where there is duplication, but denies claims that “at risk” employees only discovered their redundancy plight in public group meetings.

The Daily Telegraph reports that workers were informed of their looming redundancy in public via a “traffic light” colour code system.

The paper claims that up to 1,200 middle managers and back office staff who could lose their jobs by the end of the Christmas holidays were shown a red light and told they were “at risk”.

A yellow light meant staff had to reapply for their existing jobs, a blue light indicated that their job had been mapped into the new business plan and were being kept on, while a green light showed the creation of a limited number of new roles, the report stated.

In addition, the Telegraph reports that the presentations were made in public in front of between 30 and 60 colleagues, with some employees unaware that their jobs were at risk before the meeting.

A statement by the company says: “Ahead of any team briefings, individuals whose roles have been proposed to be put at risk in the new organisational structure were seen on a one-to-one basis, where the full implications of these changes were explained to them personally by either their line manager or director.”

The company adds that all employees were invited to be taken through the proposals for their teams in group briefings, which included the proposed organisational structure and how this could affect them.

It also says that the traffic light slide system was designed to give employees “clarity about the extent of the proposed changes for their teams at a glance” and was not intended to be used in isolation of the wider announcement.

“Where possible, all individuals whose roles were proposed to be put at risk in the new organisational structure were spoken to personally prior to their group meetings as planned and there had been no suggestion of any insensitivity or lack of due process raised to us by any of the internal bodies that represent our employees,” the statement adds.

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