6 PCS members who work on the DWP Accessibility Team in Sheffield for DXC are facing an ‘employment nightmare’ as their jobs could disappear whilst two different companies deny that they employ them.
The employees who work for IT firm DXC, are based at DXC’s client, the Department of Work and Pensions in Sheffield. But from 11th August, the contract between DXC and DWP is coming to an end and responsibility for employing the staff is being denied by both their employer DXC and the firm who the work will be with DWP.
The employees have been told by DXC that after 11 August 2020 they will no longer be DXC employees, due to the firm’s belief that these staff should move to the DWP under TUPE legislation.
The DWP have written back to local MP Toby Perkins saying that they have reviewed whether this should be a TUPE transfer and concluded that TUPE does not apply. No evidence was provided as to how they came to this conclusion and the MP has asked for this as well as sight of the legal advice the DWP received but this has not been forthcoming.
Unless either the DWP or DXC accept responsibility for these staff then they will be in “employment limbo” from next week with no income and no redundancy payments as no one will accept responsibility for them after 11 August.
PCS Industrial Officer, Jim Knotts, said “The union has been pushing for a resolution to the impasse between the DWP and private company DXC for months and now we are less than a week away from our members being thrown on the scrapheap. The DWP should be leading by example on employment issues but instead has decided to end our members’ careers without supplying a scrap of evidence. What is crystal clear to us and our members is that the DWP and DXC can’t both be right – either a TUPE transfer should take place or it should not. Unless this impasse is resolved in the next few days it will be up to an Employment Tribunal judge to decide who is correct and this could take many years to resolve leaving my members in employment hell without a penny for their years of loyal service helping disabled DWP staff.”
Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins said: “This is an employment nightmare. Some of these workers were at DWP when the work ‘TUPE’d’ out but when the work transfers back in house, the DWP refuse to take responsibility for them. It is totally unconscionable that these employees could be left in limbo with both companies denying them employment rights, and forced to go to tribunal which could take years and leaving them without money right now. I am seeking an urgent discussion with the DWP. There have been many issues with jobs being transferred into the private sector, now we have work being transferred back into the public sector and the staff still get shafted, something must be done.”