RIVUS FLEET SOLUTIONS – GARAGE REVIEW
Fleet Solutions separated from BT on the 30th September 2019, when it was part of the BT Group, having been acquired by Aurelius Group. It was subsequently rebranded as Rivus Fleet Solutions. They have since conducted a business review, analysing how the business operates in the new ‘standalone position’ including the actual costs and profitability of every garage. The review included current overhead costs, volume of hours sold, capacity, location, design and layout of each garage and the current pipeline of new business they anticipate.
As a result of the review and having looked at the forward financial trajectory of the business they have advised the CWU that they believe 11 of these garages will continue to run at a financial loss, which is not sustainable now they are a standalone business. The 11 impacted garages make up 17% of the garage portfolio, but only 10% of total revenue. Rivus Fleet Solutions have confirmed that they are now closing them, further stating that they are confident that the restructure is right for the business and is what they need to build a sustainable business for the future.
The impacted garages identified for closure are:
Aberdeen, Boston, Blackburn, Chessington, Colchester, Dagenham, Ealing, Haverfordwest, Hereford, Motherwell (Newhouse) and Walsall.
The proposed overall loss of posts upon closing the 11 garages will be 63. There are 55 Team Members and 8 Managers.
They have further confirmed that they will also be seeking a headcount reduction in Manchester and Cardiff, with the proposed overall loss of posts due to the headcount reduction being 10.
Closing garages: –
Garages with headcount reduction:
Rivus Fleet Solutions will now be entering into a period of consultation to discuss proposals that may result in some roles, which are contractually based in the above 13 garages, being made redundant.
The consultation process will commence from Monday 13th January, where initial briefings regarding the decision will be communicated across the impacted garages and wider Rivus Fleet Solutions garage network.
Rivus have confirmed that as the affected garages do not individually have 20 or more proposed dismissals they do not have a duty to collectively consult (the duty to consult applying where 20 or more dismissals are proposed “at one establishment” (section 188(1),TULRCA). They have however confirmed their willingness to work with and share all relevant information in relation to the consultation process with the CWU.
The following will form the basis and detail for the consultation meetings for the closure garages.
- the reason for the proposal
- the number and description of employees proposed to dismiss
- the total number of employees of that description employed at the establishment
- proposed method of selecting employees who may be dismissed
- proposed method of carrying out the dismissals, including the period over which the dismissals are to take effect
- proposed method of calculating the amount of any redundancy payments
- the number of agency workers working temporarily, the parts of the business in which they work and the type of work that they perform
Rivus have confirmed that they will fully consult with impacted employees about ways in which they can avoid redundancies, reduce the potential numbers affected and mitigate the consequences of any redundancy.
This will include: –
- They will only recruit into business critical roles with all recruitment to be approved by the HR Director.
- All vacancies will be shared with impacted employees on a weekly basis and those individuals will be guaranteed an interview or mapped into a role if they have the skill set and are the only impacted employee being considered for the position.
- They have engaged with BT to see if there are any opportunities for significant reductions in any of the property lease arrangements.
- Have instructed all managers to only approve variable spend if it is business critical.
Where whole establishments (individual garages) are being closed there will be no selection pools. However selection pools will take place in Cardiff where there are 4 employees affected and 2 potential redundancies and in Manchester where there are 22 employees affected and 6 potential redundancies.
There will be 1 selection pool in Cardiff consisting of Technicians in Charge and 2 selection pools in Manchester, 1 made up of Technicians and 1 made up of Technicians in Charge. A voluntary redundancy programme will run initially and if insufficient volunteers gained then it has been proposed to run a compulsory redundancy programme.
The consultation process will last for at least 30 days.
In addition to the Rivus employees affected by the above there are also a number of Agency workers who will be put at risk. The garages in which they work and the type of work that they perform are as follows: –
Team Member Redundancy Payments:-
A payment equivalent to your contractual notice period
3 weeks’ pay for each full year of the first 15 years of service plus
4 weeks’ pay for each full year of service after 15 years of service, subject to an overall cap of 2 years’ eligible salary and a minimum payment of 12 weeks
The definition of weekly pay will be annual eligible salary divided by 52.18. for these purposes ‘eligible salary’ means basic annual salary (capped at an earnings cap – £160,800 per annum for 2018/19) plus any pensionable allowances as defined in the pensions review agreement.
These payments include any statutory redundancy entitlements
For employees with any part time service the calculation will be based on pro rata service and full time equivalent pensionable salary.
The CWU will be working with Rivus Fleet Solutions during the consultation process to explore ways of reducing, avoiding or mitigating any redundancies.
We are extremely angry that our Fleet members have faced and continue to face such uncertainty, particularly as upon sale from BT Group it was determined as a profitable company. Aurelius shared their optimism that they could transform the company into something substantial in the marketplace. Circa 950 loyal employees moved across to Rivus Fleet Solutions and with this swift and blunt decision, so very few months after the sale from BT will cause considerable stress and anguish to all our members and undoubtedly those placed at risk.
The CWU have stated to Rivus Fleet Solutions that we are vehemently opposed to any compulsory redundancies and that every effort should be made in order to avoid this situation. We will be seeking regular meeting with Rivas throughout this process and exploring every opportunity to remove the threat of compulsory redundancy.
The Rivus Fleet Solutions National Team will be seeking to attend affected Garages over the next couple of weeks and would ask that branches make contact with their members to offer support and guidance.
It will be our intention to consult with the branches via conference call during this process.
In order to fully update branches and report on progress made we are holding a Rivus Fleet Solutions Branch Forum commencing at 11am at CWU Head Office on 29th January. Given the seriousness of the situation we would urge all branches to send a representative, especially those with members in affected garages.
We will continue to update branches and affected members accordingly.
Any queries should be addressed to Tracey Fussey firstname.lastname@example.org
NEC & TFSE Member
On behalf: Allan Eldred, National Officer