BT set to axe homeworking for 200 staff

BT has asked a proportion of its employees that work from home to come back to the office in a bid to improve the support and service received by its global services’ customers. 

The firm, which has called upon around 200 employees working remotely for BT UK Global Services to come to work onsite, has said the move was not reflective of wider change to its HR policies on flexible working.

A spokesman added employees with health problems or caring responsibilities that would make it difficult for them to work away from home will be allowed to continue to do so. 

He also that more than 10,000 BT employees work from home and 64,000 are equipped to work flexibly. 

A statement issued by BT said: “In order to further improve service and support for our UK BT Global Services customers, we are making changes to the division’s service operations. As a part of these efforts, a small number of BT’s employees involved in frontline customer service roles for BT Global Services’ customers are being asked – where appropriate – to work in the office, rather than from home. There are still many roles where people will continue to have the opportunity to work away from the office.

“BT remains the UK’s most progressive employer when it comes to flexible working. These efforts to offer the best customer service to Global Services clients in no way represent a change in our policies or approach.”

A spokesperson from the Communication Workers Union, said: “We support the right for flexible working. There is a need to make some changes within Global Services which includes re-skilling some staff, including homeworkers, and this will involve changing their workplaces for the purposes of retraining.

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“We believe these changes should not have to be permanent and have secured a six-month review and an agreement which specifically considers people with caring responsibilities or health issues. BT has a good record on flexible working and we hope the company will build on its award-winning record in this area.”

This month, BT reported a pre-tax loss of £134 million for the year to March 31, compared to a £1.9billion profit for the previous year. This was largely because of losses at its global services division.