HR news today: American Express pensions; BT jobs; National Grid strike

This Personnel Today news round-up includes:

  • Amex stops UK staff pension contributions
  • BT moves 2,000 jobs back to Britain
  • National Grid staff to strike

American Express halts pensions contributions to UK staff

UK-based employees of American Express will not receive anymore pension contributions until January 2011 at the latest, because they have become unaffordable, reports the BBC.

Both the stakeholder scheme and final salary plan are affected by the move.

While cutting back on contributions into staff schemes has become commonplace in the current climate, this decision to put a complete stop to payments is the first high-profile case.

Staff had seen 3% of their salaries paid into the stakeholder scheme and their own contributions matched by up to 6%.

About £4.5bn a year can be saved by companies that close their final salary pension schemes, according to a recent survey by insurance company MGM Advantage.


BT to move 2,000 call-centre jobs from India to the UK

Telecoms giant BT is to bring at least 2,000 India-based call-centre jobs back to the UK in preparation to close about half its customer service operation on the sub-continent.

The Times has reported that Ian Livingston, BT’s chief executive, disclosed the move in response to a shareholder question at the group’s annual general meeting.

BT already employs 11,000 customer service staff in the UK.

However, according to the report, BT has said that the move has nothing to with the quality of service offered in India.

BT shed 15,000 staff last year and is cutting a further 15,000 posts this year.


National Grid staff on Tyneside to strike

National Grid workers on Tyneside are to take industrial action, amid fears that their jobs will be shipped abroad, according to a report on the website

Staff have voted to take a half-day of industrial action in protest at the way they say the company is treating them. Around 181 jobs are under threat at the company’s site in North Tyneside as National Grid looks to save £7m.

Union representatives have claimed that staff at the Quorum Business Park site have already found £3m in savings in just a few months, and are now desperate for management to work with them to save their jobs.

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