Functional Leadership – Digital & Technology

10 Dec 2018

MoJ is a complicated department made up of many different bodies which duplicate business functions such as finance. Functional leadership is a model designed to take one function and bring diverse teams together into one structure, organised around work roles, to support business areas across the MoJ.

While this bringing together initially causes disruption for staff, the streamlined, slightly smaller structure brings together staff in similar roles, allowing for greater career development across the whole function. Where Digital & Technology differs from some other areas is that it already exists as a single entity and the current restructure is an internal matter which refers to functional leadership principles in its design.

PCS has had input into how the practicalities of the current re-structure should be handled and many of our concerns have been addressed. It was therefore with some concern that PCS and FDA (the other recognised union covering DigiTech) recently began to receive complaints from members about how they were being treated. Staff reported fears of losing their jobs as a result of cuts to staffing numbers and view the future with uncertainty.

Leidos staff

An added complication is the issue of Leidos staff moving into the London team and it is important to understand why these staff are now working in MoJ.

In 2013 MoJ transferred the Siam Tower IT Function to Lockheed Martin. Under TUPE legislation MoJ staff were transferred with the work.  TUPE transfers protect agreed contractual terms and conditions at the point of transfer, including Trade Union recognition rights.  Staff have remained on their protected terms and conditions since their transfer

This year as the Leidos contract was drawing to an end MoJ decided to bring this work back in-house, transferring 24 staff to MoJ in 2018 and five more in January 2019. PCS was not part of TUPE negotiations on the transfer because LEIDOS maintained it did not recognise PCS for these staff.   It was too late to address the recognition issue for staff who transferred  earlier in 2018, but we are raising it with LEIDOS for staff transferring in January 2019. 

We have made MoJ aware that under the TUPE transfer terms, LEIDOS staff were transferred as a functional unit and should not have been subject to a restructuring process, particularly one which changed terms and conditions protected under TUPE legislation. PCS has sought legal advice on this and a range of other transfer issues.

MoJ claims that two staff events explaining the restructure were held with LEIDOS staff prior their transfer but feedback from our members indicates they were not made aware of, or were confused about the restructuring exercise in MoJ and the potential l impacts it would have on them. The LEIDOS TUPE transfer has complicated an already complex situation and has led to friction between two groups of staff who both find themselves in situations they didn’t seek to be in.

Moving forward

Following issues being raised by our members, a meeting was held with MoJ in late November at which senior management expressed surprise that staff (including ex-Leidos staff) were unhappy with how the restructure was handled. MoJ explained that, while the new structure would lead to a small reduction in roles, the cuts were aimed at reducing contractors and would lead to an increase in the number of permanent roles for civil servants.

MoJ reported that 78% of staff have either been “mapped and matched” or “lifted and shifted” into similar roles. The remaining 22% have not yet received a role in the new structure but this should not be taken as an indication that they will not have a role. MoJ is concerned that staff have not been applying for available roles, with 44 campaigns still open for 138 roles. We understand there are 103 staff who are yet to secure a role and are being supported by local management to find one. A quarter of these report waiting for an opportunity to apply for promotion.

A restructure which has generated new permanent roles and is supporting staff into new jobs is a very different proposition from the one described by members frightened for their futures. The employer interprets this fear in one of two ways: either that staff are unclear about what is happening and communications to staff need to be improved, or things are happening at some locations which are not in line with the approach taken by senior management. MoJ is keen to identify the specific issues and work with the two unions to address them. A second meeting has been set up with the employer on Thursday 13 December to discuss any concerns in detail. For this meeting to be productive we need information from our affected members.

If you are concerned about how you are being treated please contact your local branch rep for support.  The trade union negotiating team is keen to find out what is happening at each site and I urge you (either as members or as reps) to report back how the restructure is taking place in your area. We need to know where there are issues of concern, and where staff are able to report that the restructure has been handled well. This will provide the negotiating team with an accurate picture of what is taking place at the different sites.  The contacts are as follows:

Please ensure that you respond by close of Tuesday 11 December, so that your concerns can be raised at the Thursday 13 December meeting.  

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