Please note this important advice which you should follow in order to protect your contractual rights.
We wrote to you on 18 March to advise you that BT was proposing to reduce the value of Sales Transition Allowance and Step-Down Payments.
In that email we reported that BT was proposing to halve the value of STA payments and to reduce the value of Step-Down Payments very greatly. This would only affect those moving to a role with a lower On Target Bonus - and this does not happen very often - but it is nevertheless true that the existence of the STA and Step-Down arrangements provide a valuable parachute for those facing a potentially very serious and immediate loss of income.
Whilst these STA and Step-Down arrangements are primarily designed to protect the interests of those on a sales-type bonus, STA payments are a contractual protection for anyone in the Reward Framework who moves to a lower OTB, sales or not. As such, the advice in this email applies to ALL in the RF.
The company is determined to press ahead and make the changes unilaterally and without our agreement. We have not been able to convince BT that making the proposed changes to these long-standing arrangements is wrong and unfair.
BT has confirmed its final position on this issue and you can read the company's letter and the union's reply on the right hand side of this page. You will see from this exchange that BT is proposing to introduce the changes in stages:
• The current arrangements will continue until 31 August 2011. Anyone moving to a role with a lower OTB, or moving into the BTTC from a sales role, until then will be covered by the existing terms.
• From 1 September and until 31 March 2012, BT proposes that there will be interim but still reduced STA and Step-Down Payments. Anyone moving to a role with lower OTB, or into the BTTC from a sales role between these dates would be covered by these interim arrangements.
• From 1 April 2012 the full reduction would apply. These would have the effect of halving the value of the STA payments, and reducing the Step-Down payments from 3 months at full bonus and three months at half bonus, to just one month at full bonus.
The current arrangements are contractual; they form part of your contract of employment. BT cannot lawfully make unilateral changes to your contract of employment. However, in order to protect yourself against these changes, there is an important step that you MUST TAKE IMMEDIATELY.
You should write to BT (an email to your line manager would be sufficient, but make sure that you keep a copy) as follows:
Dear (line manager's name)
Changes to BT's STA and Step-Down Payments
I understand that BT is proposing to make changes to the existing Sales Transition Allowance and Step Down Payments. The existing arrangements are part of my contract of employment. I note that BT has not agreed the proposed changes with my Union, Prospect. I am writing formally to tell you that I do not agree to these changes to my contract of employment. I am confirming that I am continuing to work for BT on the basis that the current terms will continue to apply.
By writing in this way to the company, should BT at any time in the future seek to move you to a role with a lower On Target Bonus, or otherwise reduce the OTB for your role, this would assist your position in relation to any subsequent claim for an unlawful deduction of wages to an Employment Tribunal.
If you do not place your disagreement on record in this way, you may be legally deemed to have accepted the change to your contract of employment and any subsequent claim that you seek to make would be highly likely to fail. The union would not support your claim. It is therefore essential that you write to BT in these terms immediately in order to protect your rights.