Michelle Hughes, Helpdesk Operator

HR | TUPE – South Warwickshire General Hospital

G4S is experienced at managing the transfer of staff through the TUPE process.

We place a high priority on communication and try to make the process as easy and as smooth as possible.

South Warwickshire General Hospitals NHS Trust

In February 2009 G4S mobilised a contract to provide facilities management services to two hospitals in Warwickshire. 207 members of staff transferred their employment to G4S as part of the contract.

Employees transferred from a private service provider with a period of just nine weeks between contract award and service commencement.

Michelle Hughes, Helpdesk Operator

Michelle transferred to G4S when they won the contract in Warwickshire. Michelle agreed to share some of her experiences of the TUPE process.

Consultation and communication

The mobilisation team holds group presentations and small team briefings with all transferring staff. One-to-one meetings are available when requested.

“We got to ask lots of questions and it covered everything. We got involved in the hand over and we were consulted.”

G4S provides information about the company, its culture and values during the presentations. There are a number of communication tools available to share information about the company once the contract is operational, including internal newsletters IS In Touch and The Link.

“We got a quick overview of the company but we didn’t realise how big it was. The Link helps – it contains some interesting stories.”

The transfer process

The G4S mobilisation team are on site throughout the transfer period to prepare for the start of the contract.

“During the transfer there were a lot of people on site – all friendly, approachable and happy to answer questions. The mobilisation team was great.”

G4S conducts a thorough inventory of equipment when it takes over a new contract, and identifies areas for improvement.

“The old equipment was taken away – we have much better equipment now.”

The mobilisation of a new contract is a very complex operation, particularly when it involved the transfer of hundreds of staff to new terms and conditions, a new payroll system, new uniforms and new working practices.

G4S’ experience at mobilising projects allows it to minimise the disruption and upset, and we strive to resolve any problems that do occur as quickly as possible.

“Any problems we had got ironed out in the first few months – quicker than I expected. Lots of the porters have been through several TUPE transfers – they said this was the cleanest.”

Changes

G4S introduced a number of new procedures and working practices to improve efficiency. We don’t change things for the sake of change, and listen to the feedback and suggestions of existing employees.

“The changes that were made were explained clearly in the meetings and interviews.”

G4S introduced a new payroll and time check system, and changed the way in which people were paid.

“Getting paid is better. We get a payslip on the day we are paid which we didn’t get before. It is more efficient.”

“It’s not as scary as it seemed at first. The main worry is that jobs and hours will be cut, and it didn’t happen. People were concerned for a few weeks.”

Recognition

Michelle operates the helpdesk which logs service requests and allocates reactive tasks to the porters on site. In her one to one interview she asked for recognition for the role she performs

“Before I was banded as a porter but now I am recognised for what I do. I am recognised as a helpdesk operator. I got job recognition almost straight away.”

“It is a lot better – the old company was stuck in its ways. G4S has brought in lots of procedures and it is a lot easier to get things done – if we want something sorted there is a process and it gets done.”

TUPE – South Warwickshire General Hospitals