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Unite welcomes mediation outcome

Workers involved in transfers between contractors are to be better consulted in the handover process as part of a resolution set to be put before government agencies to avoid negatively impacting staff in the future.

This follows the outcome of mediation in two cases that came before the employment tribunal both involving Grand Home Care.

The cases stem from the company’s “failure” to consult staff when the government contract it held to provide care at the John Mackintosh Elderly Residential Home was switched to MedDoc Healthcare last year.

At the time concerned Grand Home Care employees demonstrated outside Unite the Union headquarters and cited the lack of assurances they had received over the transfer to a new care provider as a key concern.

Later that year Unite the Union brought the cases against Grand Home Care to the employment tribunal. Grand Home Care then joined Meddoc to the action.

But as a result of a mediation process, the parties came to a resolution and drew up a number of recommendations that can be proposed to the relevant government agencies to ensure that a situation which negatively impacts staff wellbeing, patient care and continuity of service does not arise in the future.

The recommendations state that in the event of a change of contractor at least three months’ notice is provided to the parties to enable the incoming and outgoing contractors to exchange information and work with any relevant union representatives.

This, according to Unite, will ensure employee rights are considered and will provide for a smooth handover.

Additionally, the recommendations state that on the date of notification of a change of contract the outgoing and incoming contractor should immediately be provided with details of the incoming/outgoing contractor in order to share and exchange relevant information and determine the correct consultation process that they are required to follow depending on the specific circumstances of the change of contract and its impact on staff.

Gillian Birkett Regional Officer of Unite the Union said: “We are extremely pleased with the mediation outcome which benefits all parties but in particular the affected members of Unite.”

“Taking into account the above, we welcome governments’ response to our Election Wish List item on ‘Transfers of Undertakings’ that is, to ensure protection in Gibraltar for workers involved in Transfers, by adopting a similar provision to that included in the UK Transfer of Undertaking PE 2006 which cover provision changes”.

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