Connect responds to BT Job Cuts

13 11 2008

Connect is in discussions with BT about specific proposals to reduce staff in the light of their second quarter financial results. 

Any announcement on potential job cuts will, of course, be of concern to our members.  All communications and ICT companies are operating in very difficult economic circumstances.  BT is a global business and is therefore at the sharp end of the global economic slowdown.  We are committed to working closely with BT to ensure that the interests of our members are protected in these challenging times.

From today’s announcement, it is clear that most of the jobs to be cut will be amongst contractor and agency staff.   Moreover the process of meeting this target of 10,000 job cuts is already underway. It is not a new plan. BT has provided assurances that every effort will be made to ensure that there are no compulsory redundancies. 

The company has reiterated its commitment to a voluntary approach and has indicated that there will be a proactive approach to redeployment and retraining across the business.   We will be discussing with BT how this process will be managed on a regular basis and as further details on these changes become clear, we will be communicating further.Connect members should contact our Helpdesk with any specific queries or concerns on 020 8971 6060.

CWA supports BT Industrial Action

1 07 2008

The Communications Workers of America (CWA) has shown its support for Connect members in the UK by protesting at BT’s conference last week. More in the fair pay in BT site.

Industrial Action In BT

17 06 2008

Hot news from BT Sectional conference:

Following a debate  at Connect’s Conference, with elected delegates from all parts of BT, delegates have voted overwhelmingly to end the suspension of industrial action and to start industrial action short of a strike in BT. This decision builds on a strong vote in favor of industrial action which you delivered
in the postal ballot. We have now served BT with formal notice of industrial action.

Full details of the action will now be sent to you by post but remember to keep checking your private (non work) email address as this is the way that we will communicate with you. Talk to your colleagues and make sure they know what is going on. If any of
your colleagues have not yet supplied their private email address then it is essential that they do so now at

Keep in touch with us during this campaign – send in news from your branch and we’ll put it on this website so your colleagues can see what you’re doing.

Get involved If you want to take on a more active role in the campaigning, email Give us a phone number or non-work email so that we can contact you.

Send in news, ask us questions Send an email to

Taxation of Newstart payments for those who left BT and went straight into retirement

10 03 2008

Taxation of Newstart payments for those who left BT and went straight into retirement

If you left BT under the Newstart scheme in the period March 2001 to December 2007 and were taxed in full on your Newstart leaver payment, then you should find the following information to your benefit.

HMRC (HM Revenue & Customs) has reviewed its approach to the taxation of leaver payments in respect of those who took Newstart and then went straight into retirement. The approach that has been applied since 2001 is that the Newstart leaver payments of those leaving BT and going straight into retirement have been taxed in full (whereas those who do not go into retirement straight away have the first £30,000 of their leaver payment paid tax-free). If this situation applies to you, this review therefore means that you may be able to reclaim the tax paid on the first £30,000 of your Newstart leaver payment.

BT has been informed of HMRC’s decision to review its approach and BT has identified from its own records all those BT Pensioners who have been taxed in full on their Newstart leaver payments. It has passed these details on to HMRC. BT is writing to all those affected, advising them of the change of approach and informing them that HMRC will be contacting them directly by the end of April 2008. In the meantime, individuals in this situation need take no further action until the receipt of the letter from HMRC.

We understand that HMRC may pay a ‘repayment supplement’ to individuals in respect of interest on the sums refunded. We are also aware that individuals seeking a reclaim of tax from HMRC usually must do so within five years of the end of the tax year relating to the sums being reclaimed; as far as we are concerned, HMRC’s new approach affects all those leaving on Newstart terms and going straight into retirement since 2001 and that no-one therefore should be refused a rebate on the grounds that they are out of time. Refunds of tax in this situation would appear also to encompass those who have died in retirement and whose estate should thus benefit from any refund which is available.

Connect notes from BT’s letter that BT is not able to provide any further information. Connect is in the same position and cannot supply any further details. Furthermore, we regard that taxation is between the individual and HMRC, and is not something on which Connect can provide advice or representation. The taxation of BT pensions is handled by:

HMRC North Wales Area Compliance
Plas Gororau
Ellice Way
Wrexham Technology Park
LL13 7YY

Individuals should therefore deal directly with the HMRC tax office in Wrexham in this respect. If you are in this situation and have not heard from HMRC by the beginning of May, you should contact HMRC directly.

We should reiterate that the only people affected by this change of approach are those who have left BT on Newstart and who went straight into retirement (i.e. those who drew their BTPS pension immediately on leaving BT). The vast majority of Newstart leavers will not have drawn their pensions immediately; they will thus have received the first £30,000 of their Newstart leaver payment tax-free and will not be entitled to any further refund.

Finally, Connect would like to pay tribute to the work of the group of BT Pensioners who, by their dogged pursuit of this issue over the past 6 years, have brought about this review of HMRC’s approach to the taxation of Newstart leaver payments.

Connect Rejects BT’s miserly pay offer

4 05 2007

Connect Rejects BT Final pay Offer

The company has now put its final offer on 2007 pay to the union. Connect is recommending that this offer be rejected in a members’ e-ballot to take place between 11-22 May.

More info on the  main site here