The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) has condemned the Government’s decision to privatise part of the administration of Universal Credit.
Private firm Capita will be gifted with the responsibility for booking initial work search interviews for new Universal Credit claimants.
Capita is currently facing a second inquiry into a £1.5bn Whitehall jobs contract, which small companies claim could leave them facing financial ruin.
A press release on the union’s website reads:
“Their intention is that the process for booking the appointment for a claimant’s initial work search interview will be handed to the private company Capita. No DWP staff will be transferred to Capita under this proposal.
“There is no justifiable business reason for doing this. DWP claim that Capita will be able to make these appointments at weekends for claimants who make a claim online at a weekend, but in practice the appointments could just as well be done by DWP staff the following Monday, as has happened up to now.
“Capita already have been handed the same task for claims to Jobseekers Allowance and this announcement extends that arrangement to Universal Credit claims.
“PCS has protested strongly to DWP about this decision. Seeing their work privatised is a kick in the teeth for our hard working members.
“Members will also be understandably concerned that this privatisation is a foretaste of further private sector involvement in the delivery of Universal Credit.
“PCS has also made the point to the department that Capita is consistently failing to meet its key targets in relation to JSA First Contact calls that are currently out sourced to them. This failure contrasts with the DWP staff in CCS who are consistently meeting the very same targets.
“Again the failure of the private sector to out-perform the public sector has been ignored as the tired, false dogma of ‘private sector good, public sector bad’ is wheeled out once again.
“PCS will continue to argue against all privatisation of DWP work and will continue to campaign for all privatised work to be brought back in-house where it belongs.”
> Hear, hear – claimants should be harrassed by public sector, not private company , workers.
Jobcentres are, I would guess, high on the list for selling off to private companies if the Tories win the next election. Possibly if Labour win too.
Source – Welfare Weekly, 22 Feb 2015
A company is set to axe 139 jobs after workers were told contracts were to be exported to India.
G4S Utility Services, based at Cobalt Business Park in Newcastle, this week told administration employees their work was set to be outsourced to a company in Noida, in India.
Ninety agency staff and 49 contract workers will be affected by the move.
While bosses from the organisation say all staff will be reallocated within the business, angry workers say they are sceptical and have condemned the move as a “cost-cutting” exercise.
The company is a leading provider of meter reading services, providing readings to all major energy suppliers and data collection services to a wider portfolio of UK customers.
> So is someone from India now going to come round and read there meter ? !
One worker, who asked not to be named, said: “We weren’t expecting this so it was a shock when we were told what they were planning to do.
“The announcement received a very hostile reception from both the permanent and temporary staff who are set to be affected.
“We don’t believe there are enough positions to reallocate jobs to everyone, and these plans have been greeted with a huge amount of scepticism.
“Roughly 150 people will be affected by the changes.
“We have been told that the reasoning behind the decision is “future proofing”, meaning the long term survival of the business.
“However, experience tell us that outsourcing is never greeted that well by customers which means we can see no other motive than cost-cutting.
“The North East is suffering a lot when it comes to unemployment and we can see this is doing nothing but adding to that problem.”
The changes are expected to come into force from this month, with the transition process complete by March next year.
A G4S spokesperson said: “G4S Utility and Outsourcing Services (UK) Limited confirms it is entering into a contract with EXLService to outsource back office data provision for certain contracts. Staff will be reallocated within the business.”
Source – Newcastle Evening Chronicle, 02 Oct 2014