Our Ref: BR3/5/9

9th March 2018

Dear Colleague


I write to inform you that the RMT has recently received a revised MFA proposal from Freightliner which makes changes to the trigger points in the MFA policy. The policy covers Freightliner Ltd, Freightliner Heavy Haul and Freightliner Railports. Your Business Council Representatives have recently met with the Assistant General Secretary to discuss the document in full and it is the view of your Representatives that there are a number of issues with the proposals which are not acceptable to our members and should be rejected.

The main issues of concern are as follows:

• Rolling 52 week sickness and trigger monitoring.
• Informal stage with ‘counselling’ by a manager but no representation rights even though effectively a warning can be issued.
• Trigger levels set out are too draconian, unfair and unacceptable. For example, one day’s absence can trigger a warning and further single days can trigger dismissal.
• No discretion available to managers in dealing with cases.
• No exemptions to types of conditions such as accidents at work, occupational illness, disability, gender specific.
• No exemptions granted for attendance at hospital, specialists, treatment or therapy.
• No mention of suitable alternative work, disability discrimination act, equalities issues underlying conditions.
• Proposals seek to combine non sickness absences with sickness absence.
• No referrals to occupational health.
• No consideration of PTR&R and other collective agreements, conditions of service.

The matter has been subject to recent consideration by the union’s National Executive Committee and I have been instructed to inform Freightliner that the revised MFA policy is not acceptable to the union and that we reject the document in its entirety. Additionally, I have advised Freightliner that any further discussions on the MFA policy should be with our Union Representatives from all three Business Councils, together with the Assistant General Secretary and the Regional Organiser for each separate Division of Freightliner.

I trust this keeps you fully advised on the matter and I will, of course, keep you informed on any further developments.

Best wishes.

Mick Cash
General Secretary