News for Home-based IT and Comms Workers

30 11 2007


Have you Connected yet?

Connect is the union representing managers and professionals in the it and coms industry – we negotiate all terms and conditions of employment and provide our members with individual advice and representation when they need it. Connect members make up the majority of BT’s managers and professionals and in many other companies – they use the union as a valuable network for contact and support, and as a channel for expressing their views to Employers on important issues. The more members we have, the more effective we can be – so this edition of Connect’s newsletter for home-based workers is being sent you to give you the opportunity to be part of Connect. To join the union on-line,  just go to and get Connected from today!

Home-based workers can stop shivering – for now!

Well, thank goodness Spring has sprung at last, after a winter when both Employers and the Government refused to respond to Connect’s representations on increasing heating and lighting payments for home-based workers. Despite the evidence Connect put forward, and despite double-figure increases in domestic energy prices, the HMRC fuel allowance remains stuck at £26 per quarter. And BT and other employers won’t go beyond it, although they could. Perhaps the corporate crystal ball predicted that oil prices would be dropping in the near future? Or perhaps they think global warming just means we can all turn down our central heating? If the heating allowance doesn’t go up, I can foresee a Connect claim for cardigan allowances …


We’re light on our carbon feet

We don’t generate travel-to-work emissions, we don’t aggravate congestion, our workplaces don’t demand ‘cosmetic’ heating and lighting for big, flash public spaces – we home-based workers are doing our bit to save the planet. Economic development agencies reckon that if everyone worked like us – or even a bit like us – there would be huge benefits for the environment, as well as increased productivity and less stress. Surveys indicate that the main factor holding back the spread of home-based working is a good old-fashioned lack of trust and people management know-how from employers – they’ve seen all the evidence, but they’re too afraid to make the change. What price the polar ice caps?

Home-based working under threat?

Why is it that every now and then someone in a company gets it in their head that the only way to work is to have people in the same team under the safe roof? Or that home-based workers are exercising some undeserved privilege, rather than working under an agreed arrangement that suits both us and our employer? BT and other good Employers actively promotes home-based working to other companies, on the basis of its own successful record, but it seems not everyone in the company is convinced. Connect has had to reiterate the case for home-based working in a few companies recently – fortunately, the union has been successful in reminding senior managers of how much the company benefits and how foolish it would be to try and turn the clock back. If you need help or advice, e-mail with your employer and a brief description of your concern.