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The GMB has seen correspondence sent to staff by Alan Thresher, the G4S accounts manager, threatening dismissal of staff coming to work with Covid symptoms. The communication is deeply inflammatory, and we condemn it in the strongest possible terms.

The GMB has campaigned, since the start of the pandemic, for G4S to implement adequate Covid absence arrangements.  We succeeded in pushing G4S to negotiate an agreement with the DWP that full pay would apply when someone is contacted via test, track, trace or has a positive Covid test, but we were very clear that this agreement did not go far enough; full pay for self-isolation must apply when someone has symptoms or has been in contact with someone that has symptoms / has tested positive. Applying full pay only in circumstances where someone has a positive test or contacted via test, track, trace is too little too late.

It is completely unacceptable to threaten staff with dismissal when G4S is not putting adequate policies in place to allow staff to self-isolate, i.e to pay them to do so.  We will be raising this with the Minister for Work and Pensions and will continue to campaign for an improved Covid Absence Policy.

In yet another kick in the teeth for DWP guards, G4S is now intent on imposing Saturday working. The GMB have been clear; Saturday working should be voluntary and incentivised with enhanced unsocial hours payments and there should be a guarantee of consecutive days off in the week. None of these demands have been met by G4S and we will now consider our next steps, all options are on the table and the first step is now referring the issue through the Disputes Resolution Procedure (we have made a formal request for this process to start). LNC reps will be talking to our members on the DWP contract over the coming weeks. We have also raised this issue with the Secretary of State.

If you are opposed to working Saturdays and Evenings because of family / caring commitments, because of health / disability concerns or for any other reason please make sure you put this in writing to G4S.  You are entitled to raise a grievance on this and your LNC rep or officer can assist you in writing and submitting this.  Please copy your rep or officer into any grievances submitted so that we can understand how many are being submitted.

We will keep you updated on all of the above, however, we expect some changes to current working arrangements in light of the ever-changing lockdown rules.

Nadine Houghton 

GMB National Officer 

Posted: 9th November 2020

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