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1) Am I a Homeworker?
Under the homeworking agreement Home Based Workers are (taken from the agreement):
Individuals who work at home, with the agreement of their Line Manager, for on average 40% of their contracted hours. If you are a homeworker your contractual location is your home address.
Employees who spend most of their working time typically on customer premises or at different BT locations but who carry out their supporting work activities at home may also be considered as homeworkers. Your contract should have been varied or altered at some point to recognise your contractual status as a homebased if you have met the criteria set out above. BT is on record as committed to honouring the terms of this agreement, until it is changed either by agreement or any other way.
If you do not meet either of these criteria you are not a contractual homeworker.
2) Is homebased worker status a formal contractual situation?
Yes. Your contract should have been varied to reflect your status as a homebased worker. If you met either of the criteria stated in Q1 do not agree to any proposed change in this status.
3) I believe that I should be a contractual homebased worker but don't know if my contract was varied to reflect this?
You need to check your status with your LM and if necessary your HR Business Partner. If you believe your contractual status should be homebased worker and you are not recorded as such you need to assert your right to this status in writing with the company. You may need to be able to evidence why this should be the case with reference to the criteria in the answer to question 1.
4) I am being told by my HRBP that a review has identified me as an occasional Homeworker or as an agile or mobile worker.
If you enjoy contractual status as a homeworker and you are being informed that the above applies, you need to respond in writing to your Line Manager/HRBP and assert your contractual status if you met the criteria set out in the answer to question 1. State clearly that you do not agree with their view and that you do not agree to any proposed change to your contractual status.
5) I have been told by HR that a change of status to an Occasional Homeworker will have no effect and it is nothing to worry about.
We strongly advise all members who are currently contractual homeworkers and who meet the criteria set out under question 1 not to agree any change of status to that of an Occasional Homeworker as this may in the near future have an impact on your contractual terms and conditions. It may remove your right to claim elements of T&S and the heating and lighting allowance. It may also have an impact upon your future terms and conditions.
6) I am classified as an Occasional Homeworker and have been asked to nominate a building to be classed as my office location.
We would advise members currently classified as Occasional Homeworkers to ensure that your nominal office is located as close to your home as under Occasional homeworker status travel costs to this location are met by the individual. Do not agree to Occasional home worker status if you met the home based worker criteria set out under question 1.
We advise members who are occasional homeworkers to ensure that appropriate facilities are provided for them at their designated office location. This is BT's responsibility and it should be adhered to. We would also recommend that occasional homeworkers make use of these facilities.
7) What is the position with regard to the law and a change in my contractual status?
BT is obliged to give individuals three months notice of a proposed change to their contractual status as a homeworker. If you met the Homebased worker criteria and you receive any such notification you should respond in writing asserting that you do not agree to the change.
If you believe that you should be classified as a homeworker and your contract was not varied when you were under the impression it had been, or the BT system does not have you recorded as such, you should assert your status in writing.
8) What next?
The union will continue to discuss with BT their proposals to review the current homeworking arrangements. We have made it clear to BT that we believe the current arrangements provide flexibility for the company, and employees, are beneficial for both groups and should remain. We have it made it clear that we will challenge any attempts to remove legitimate status as contractual homeworkers and furthermore that a large number of changes on this basis is actually likely to be counter productive for BT. It will certainly result in increased accommodation and facilities costs for the company and will substantially increase BT's carbon footprint. We will update members on the progress of these discussions. In the meantime any member with a query should contact the Prospect helpdesk.