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BT Group: Retirement Policy Change

21 December 2009

BT has changed the procedure relating to the "Retirement in the Interests of Efficiency" policy to put in place some governance.

The company states that this change, which has not been the subject of consultation, “has no impact on the terms and conditions/financial arrangements that actually apply.”

The amendment to the procedure is as follows:

In attendance cases where

1. A decision to terminate employment on the grounds of ill health has been confirmed under BT's attendance procedure and 2. the person involved is a member of the BT Pension Scheme and 3. the person is over the age of 50 at the point at which the decision is made

Accenture HR Services will refer the case along with the relevant HR concurrence document to the HR Director Reward and Employee relations for consideration for retirement in the interests of efficiency (RITE) under the terms of the BT Pension Scheme.

The HR Director Reward and Employee Relations will be responsible for communicating the decision back to Accenture HR Services who will process successful cases as per the existing procedures.

The responsibility for approving RITE will be with the HR Director Reward and Employee Relations.

It has been made clear to BT that the CWU does not accept that this change does not impact on the policy. It is certainly introducing new and unacceptable delays to the decision making process and flies in the face of long established custom and practice. In addition, we have concerns about the treatment of people in this age group already when it comes to performance management and it may be that this will exacerbate that position.

The decision to change the procedure is still being robustly challenged and of course we are seeking a meeting. In the meantime, branches need to be aware that this procedure has been implemented, when dealing with these cases.