Protecting pensions crucial to BT Openreach deal

Protecting pensions and rights of staff are crucial to success of BT Openreach deal

The proposed settlement between BT and Ofcom on the future of Openreach can only proceed if legislation is passed extending the Crown Guarantee to protect the pensions of Openreach staff, says Prospect.

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Following a lengthy consultation period, Ofcom announced this morning that Openreach would become a legally separate entity within the BT Group.

Prospect is the only union recognised to represent BT’s 23,000 managers and professionals, including those working at Openreach, which maintains the UK’s phone and broadband network on behalf of all providers.

The union will ensure that the voice of its members is heard during Ofcom’s consultation on this settlement and will seek assurances over pensions, job security and career opportunities.

Philippa Childs, Prospect national secretary, said: “We believe that members will be relieved that an agreement has been reached and that the long period of uncertainty is at an end but I am sure there will be many questions about what the future will hold.

“There will also be a lengthy TUPE consultation during which Prospect will ensure that members’ terms and conditions of service will be fully protected.

Importantly, no TUPE transfer of staff will take place until legislation is in place extending the Crown Guarantee to cover Openreach as a separate legal entity. This will ensure that staff who have access to the BT Pension Scheme will continue to do so.”