National secretary John Ferrett has written to all members in BT as follows:
"The news about the coronavirus becomes more alarming by the day and the advice now being given by the Prime Minister and Public Health England is that the public should seek to distance themselves from others as much as possible. The union notes that Alison Wilcox has issued a message overnight on social distancing and we await more detailed advice from the company today.
"Clearly, things are fast moving in respect of the advice being given by government and the restrictions being advised to the public, workers and businesses. These are grave times for the country and the union is conscious that we should all be pulling together to ensure that the company is able to continue operations and provide a vital public service. Members have shown a great deal of flexibility in responding to business need in the past. Prospect are sure they will show the same high level of commitment in helping BT to confront this national crisis.
"In view of the unprecedented nature of the public health crisis the union believes it is only right that the company should pause the programme of reorganisation and redundancies that is currently taking place. This would address the real concerns being expressed, that people are being forced to leave the business at a time when the capacity of BT to deliver services is likely to be impinged by staff illness and absence. Furthermore, it would allay the fears of those subjected to reorganisation, in terms of the difficulties in finding alternative employment both inside and outside BT at a time of severe economic dislocation.
"Finally, the union reiterates its commitment to work in partnership with the business to work through this crisis and to ensure that BT is able to continue to deliver a high level of service during these unprecedented times."