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GMB Members Update - G4S Secure Solutions 2012 Restrictive Leave Policy

Dear Members

As you will be aware G4S have introduced a restrictive leave policy covering the period around the Olympics and the Paralympics games. Many members have contacted the union with concerns and questions as to what the restrictions mean in practise and have asked if the company can implement these restrictions.

Have GMB agreed the policy, Whilst G4S have consulted GMB on this we have not reached agreement and did not have sight of the letters before they were sent out to you. However, it is important to be aware that G4S can introduce such a policy under the operational requirements covered in your G4S Handbook. We would have preferred for an agreement to have been reached on this issue and for a joint communiqué to have gone to workers, but unfortunately that position was not shared by G4S.

GMB have asked for a more flexible approach, Whilst we appreciate that G4S will need to ensure they have as many employees available on the run up and during games time and that many customers will be looking to step up security requirements, we are also mindful that this is the peak holiday period, and so we want to ensure everyone is being treated fairly and that holidays are not automatically turned down without due consideration being given to your individual circumstances.

GMB have requested a volunteers first approach, We believe that the company should look to set up a voluntary base from employees who would not be looking to take holidays during this period. So workers could volunteer to be available to cover additional requirements/hours on their own or other local contracts. This would give more flexibility to the company and the workers affected who did wish to take holidays and would help with flexibility around the increased 95% capacity arrangements. We are waiting for G4S to come back to us on this.

GMB have also requested Contingency Plans – to be in place for after the games to ensure that workers will be able to take all of their 2012 holiday allocation within the holiday year and have some flexibility about when it is taken.

What do the restrictions mean to you – as operational employees

  • If you work in London and the South East then G4S will not grant your holidays between Sunday, 1 July and Sunday, 22 July 2012, and again from Monday 23 July to Sunday 12 August 2012 (6 weeks in total) unless exceptional circumstances apply.
  • For the period 1 July to 22 July 2012 (3 weeks) for all operational employees outside of London and the South East G4S will be increasing the normal 90% capacity requirement to 95%. This means that whilst you will be able to book holidays the normal availability will be reduced.
  • From Monday 23 July to Sunday 12 August 2012 (3 weeks) all areas of the UK will be affected and G4S will not grant your holidays unless exceptional circumstances apply.
  • From Monday 13 August to Sunday 9 September, the Paralympics, normal leave will apply for all operational workers across the UK, and the G4S capacity rule will revert back to 90%.

What does exceptional circumstance mean?

G4S has issued guidelines for managers to follow to ensure fairness is being applied and so that individual circumstances can be taken into account when decisions are being made as to whether leave can be granted, the examples covered include the following:

  • Special occasions, important family celebration, getting married etc.
  • child care commitments
  • traditional holiday, i.e., you always take the same weeks, due to personal commitments, childcare, time share arrangements

If you are applying for exceptional leave you need to do this through the normal process and include as much information and evidence of your holidays possible.

If you have already pre-booked your holidays during any of the restrictive periods through ESS and have already received approval, then those holidays should be honoured.

Submitting a grievance and appealing against decisions

If you feel your leave has been unfairly turned down you must submit a grievance, for your case to be heard.

GMB are in discussions with G4S for grievances around holidays to be fast tracked, so you get quick decisions that will enable you to either get on with your holiday plans or make alternative arrangements.

G4S has given us strong reassurances that all requests will be looked at and treated as sensitively and fairly as possible.

Jude Brimble
National Officer

Dave Gigg, Chair Person, NNC, G4S Secure Solutions

Tel no 07786255571

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