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Stop Sodexo Cheating Probation Staff

Monday, July 27, 2015

GMB Demand That Sodexo Pay 436 Outsourced Probation Staff Facing Redundancy The Amounts They Are Contractually Entitled To

Sodexo is trying to get rid of staff in Northumbria, Cumbria and Lancashire, South Yorkshire, Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex on the cheap says GMB.

Probation unions GMB, Napo and UNISON are calling on multi-national company Sodexo to honour its own ethical charter and honour the redundancy terms which members are due as a result of the company’s drastic plans to shed 436 staff (nearly 40% of staff) in the six community rehabilitation companies it now runs.

Sodexo was awarded six contracts to run probation in Northumbria, Cumbria and Lancashire, South Yorkshire, Bedfordshire/Northamptonshire/Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire (BeNCH), Norfolk and Suffolk and Essex in February 2015. See notes to editors for the number of job losses in each area.

The company is seeking to impose a severance package that is worth less than half what members are owed.

Sharon Holder, GMB National Officer, said ‘Sodexo are trying to get rid of staff in Northumbria, Cumbria and Lancashire, South Yorkshire, Bedfordshire/Northamptonshire/Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire (BeNCH), Norfolk and Suffolk and Essex on the cheap.

Sodexo was well aware of our members’ contractual entitlement to redundancy pay when it bid for, and was awarded the contracts. Who will ever believe Sodexo’s claim to be an ethical employer when it’s pulling a fast one on redundancy pay.

GMB with Napo and UNISON met with the new Justice Secretary Michael Gove on 14 July and have asked him to review the circumstances behind Sodexo reneging on our members’ contractual redundancy entitlement. We sincerely hope that he does not find that his predecessor Chris Grayling colluded with the company to lower the contract price by agreeing to a bid that was deficient in respect of honouring contractual terms and conditions.”

Ian Lawrence, Napo General Secretary, said ‘Sodexo’s claim that it follows high ethical standards is in tatters following the company riding rough-shod over our members’ contractual entitlement to a decent redundancy package. We demand the company pays what our members are due.’

Ben Priestley, National Officer for UNISON, said ‘Controversially, Sodexo plans to use biometric reporting machines to replace probation officers and probation service officers in the monitoring and supervision of offenders in the community.

Sodexo made £39.6 million operating profit last year, so the company’s pleas, that giving staff their contractual entitlement to redundancy pay is too expensive, rings very hollow for our members.’ The company should do the decent thing and pay up now.“

End

Contact: Sharon Holder 07713 508725 or GMB press office 07921 2898880 or 07974 251 823

Notes to editors

1 Former Justice Secretary Chris Grayling awarded Sodexo the six contracts to run probation in Northumbria, Cumbria and Lancashire, South Yorkshire, Bedfordshire/Northamptonshire/Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire (BeNCH), Norfolk and Suffolk and Essex in February this year.

2 This was part of the Justice Secretary’s controversial reform of probation, which saw half the service privatised. Sodexo won 6 of the 21 contracts which were put up for sale, which makes the company the biggest provider of probation in the privatised service.

3 The job losses proposed by Sodexo are as follows:

BeNCH:

49

Essex:

72

Cumbria/Lancashire

85

Norfolk/Suffolk:

82

Northumbria:

106

South Yorkshire:

32

TOTAL:

436

 

4 Sodexo’s ethical principles state that:

‘Sodexo’s commitment to dealing honestly and fairly with all our stakeholders, including our clients, customers and employees is founded upon our core ethical principles of trust, respect for people and transparency. This means we will honor our contractual commitments and uphold both the letter and spirit of our business arrangements. This also means that we will treat our employees fairly and we will fully comply with all applicable laws prohibiting discrimination against our employees and customers.’

 

5 Sodexo’s attempt to undercut contractual redundancy pay:

 

Sodexo Offer

Contractual Entitlement

2 weeks pay for each year of service            up to a max of 30 weeks

4.5 weeks pay for each year of service up to a max of 67.5 weeks

For staff over 55, either the voluntary severance package, or retirement with an unreduced pension

For staff over 55, both the NNC voluntary redundancy package and immediate payment of an unreduced pension.

 

6 Sodexo Limited Accounts to 31 August 2014 show that the company’s sales have increased by 5.4% to £1,063 million and operating profit has increased by 12.9% to £39.6 million.

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