As you will be aware TSSA and colleagues from Prospect and ASLEF have been in discussions with management about the transition to NTS for a considerable time.
From the outset, TSSA has maintained that the NDA should have employed the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) [TUPE] regulations which would have provided a framework for terms of engagement; they would also have provided employees with statutory protections during the transition period, and beyond it in some circumstances; additionally, they would require collective consultations with the unions about the terms of the transfer.
Management have steadfastly refused to do this, claiming that there is no business transfer and that employees’ substantive employer will not change. Also, TSSA have asserted that, as some roles will disappear and their incumbents will be redeployed elsewhere in the business, a redundancy situation exists and formal collective consultation should take place based on statutory procedures. This has also been refused by management because - in their opinion - nobody is being forced to leave the business, therefore there is no redundancy situation. The legislation however, is based on the loss of roles and redeployment is part of the formal redundancy process.
Furthermore, management have set a cap of 19 staff from DRS and a similar number from INS for the voluntary exit scheme; coincidentally the trigger for formal collective consultation on redundancy is 20 members of staff so even if TSSA successfully prove a redundancy situation exists, there would still be no requirement for the employer to follow a formal collective process.
The value of the terms of the voluntary exit (VE) scheme is very much dependent on individual circumstances. However, it has come to TSSA’s attention that in some cases employees are substantially worse off by accepting the terms of the VE scheme than if management adhered to the negotiated DRS redundancy terms - we therefore urge that individuals proceed with the utmost caution when considering the package on offer to them. Remember: until you sign a settlement agreement accepting the terms of the VE scheme, you can remain employed by DRS.
Regardless of management’s position, if your role is no longer required you are at risk of redundancy and there are statutory regulations which govern the subsequent procedure, in terms of one-to-one consultation and the offer of suitable alternative employment. Here you'll find a short guide to redundancy procedures and regulations from the TUC.
TSSA is here to support you on an individual basis, with any issues you may have with the current situation – remember that as a member of our union you are entitled to assistance from our team of workplace representatives, paid officials and the legal team that operate our Helpdesk.
If you have any concerns or questions, contact the TSSA Helpdesk on 0800 328 2673 or your local representative. Please remember that your reps support their colleagues on a voluntary basis and contact them during normal working hours.