Employers � Do the right thing for our members

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2021 Virtual Special Water, Enviroment & Transport Conference
31 March 2021

Since March 2020 there have been 3 lockdowns. During these many of our members have been working from home. Sitting at kitchen and dining room tables, if they are lucky in converted boxrooms, doing their jobs. In some households two, three or more people were and are working from home.

The computers have to be powered. Lights have to be on and, in the long, cold winter, heating on. At the same time the employers� offices were shut down. Utility bills dropped considerably. The Canal & River Trust (CRT) has even declared it will be closing virtually all its offices and working from home will become the norm. This is likely to be the case in the future for many of our members. The CRT, like many employers, is refusing to contribute towards its employees� steeply rising utility bills and instead advises staff to change their tax codes, which amounts to a tax break of around a miserly �6 per week.

Many of our members working from home are poorly paid call centre or admin staff, yet they are being forced to subsidise large public and private companies.

This conference asks the Service Group Executive to develop a package to encourage branches to fight for contributions from employers to help staff pay for utility bills, insurance and equipment by:

1. Researching the extent of this problem across all branches.

2. Developing a negotiating manual for branches.

3. Starting a national campaign to shame the worst employers in this respect to do the right thing for our hardworking members.