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Layoff-happy Capita charges staff to use cutlery in canteens

It's almost as if they WANT people to leave

Times are tough for Capita, or so it seems. The outsourcing giant is squeezing extra margin from its employees by charging them to use cutlery, cups and trays in the canteen.

Our insiders tell us that call centre workers in Bury and Glasgow who decide to eat their own food in the canteen are forced to pay to consume their produce with dignity.

The charges include five pence per piece of plastic cutlery and ten pence for a plastic cup or a napkin. One worker said Capita advertised the charges on a screen in the staff eatery.

“If you bring food into canteen then they SELL you plastic cutlery, napkins and cups,” said an outraged worker. “You cannot pick up your own cutlery.”

This is only applicable to the two offices, sources claim. Anyone would think that Capita was trying to ruin morale there.

Another worker said the move was related to health & safety, but couldn’t quite see the logic.

As we revealed yesterday, Capita is up to its old tricks again, putting 700 workers at the Bury and Glasgow call centres at risk of redundancy, with a view to bundling 350 out of the door by October. Others are expected to leave before the end of the year and some early next.

Capita wants staff to put their hands up for redundancy but hasn’t commented on its next plan of action, should it not get the number of volunteers it is hoping for.

The staff provide support services to O2 customers and previously worked for the telco, until it outsourced the function to Capita in 2013 under a ten-year contract worth £1.2bn.

Capita insists it does not plan to close the two centres, as was rumoured when the deal was struck with O2 two years ago, but staff aren’t so sure.

“Regardless of how many people take VR, Capita will decide there is no longer a sufficient number of staff to keep the offices open. They will then pretend to try and find an alternative role. For those not successful in securing a role they will be given redundancy at a lesser rate,” one of our contacts added.

Capita has already outsourced some of the O2 outsourced contract (anyone else think this is getting silly?) to call centres in South Africa and India – and local Brits on the payroll are braced for more upheavals.

We asked Capita for comment and they initially responded by telling us it was not charging staff for value-added solutions in the Leeds canteen – not that we asked about Leeds.

The PR team has spent the last 18 hours trying to ascertain the pricing policy in Bury and Glasgow. We’ll let you know if they give us a statement or provide the CEO for interview. ®

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