Capita was always going to axe staff under Project Vincent – sources

Last batch of O2 call centre workers split today... will never pay for canteen cutlery again

Chain expressing freedom (Stepph / Wikimedia)

Capita was always going to axe staff working in the outsourced O2 call centre under an initiative code-named Project Vincent once the two-year TUPE agreement period was over.

Or so claimed employees that headed into Capita’s office in Glasgow, Scotland, today knowing it will be their last – still at least they won’t have to pay to use cutlery in the canteen again, at least not at Capita.

“Capita always denied [to us] the existence of something called Project Vincent when the deal to sell staff was announced. Take a look at the employee subgroup name on the attachment,” one told us.

UK mobile network O2 inked a £1.2bn 10-year outsourcing contract with Capita in summer 2013 and the redundancy programme was launched last summer, two years after the agreement was penned.

Some 700 staff at the call centres in Glasgow and Bury volunteered to take redundancy in September - the O2 desk in the Bury office closed first in late 2015 and one in Glasgow today. This filled the quota required by Capita and compulsory redundancies were avoided.

According to an old report in The Telegraph, the plan of Project Vincent was shift work to a Capita call centre in South Africa, as has now happened.

The overhaul was expected to save Capita £1bn over the term of the contract. Capita told us it was making redundancies because O2 customers were using multiple channels to receive support, and traditional call volumes were shrinking.

We asked Capita about the specific intention to chop headcount under Project Vincent and it sent us a response to the question it wanted to answer.

“We are required to respond to changes in customer demand and as a result have considered a range of proposed options and solutions to deliver the most effective and efficient service for our client.

“Both Bury and Glasgow remain open as multi-client Capita Customer Management sites. We have openly consulted staff about all the proposed changes,” the PR rep added. ®

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