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Capita: O2 call centre staff exodus is premature evacuation

Hold on, can you stay on for six weeks? We forgot about this extra work

A large hand flicks an icon of a little red man. Image via shutterstock (Lasse Kristensen)

Capita has “invited” O2 call centre staff with one eye on the exit to stick around for a little longer, and the resulting excitement at such a prospect is palpable.

Some 700 workers opted for voluntary redundancy last month, helping the outsourcing monster wring more profits from the £1.2bn, ten-year contract signed with O2 in 2013.

Under the plans, 350 people from each of the support teams based in Bury and Glasgow were due to exit – by the end of October and next June respectively.

But it seems Capita has realised this evacuation may be a little premature and confirmed it has asked an unspecified number of the staff in Bury to put their plans for a new life on hold.

“There is a small amount of outstanding work that needs to be carried out on the O2 contract at the Bury site and a number of staff have been invited to volunteer to remain in post for an extra six weeks,” a company mouthpiece told us.

Capita said the numbers of staff staying on for a little longer haven’t been finalised, "so we’re not in a position to give a figure".

Following the additional six weeks of fun and frolics, the staff will leave on the same redundancy terms, the company added.

Capita is making the redundancies because it noted a change in the habits of O2 customers seeking support, with traditional call volumes dropping in favour of other channels.

The staff in Glasgow are expected to depart at the end of June, according to the Communications Workers Union, but have yet to be given a concrete leaving date.

The Bury O2 call centre is to shutter, with work shifting to other locations in Capita’s network, but the office will not close entirely because the wider staff base “service other contracts”, the PR man said. ®

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