Network Rail Civils Examination Framework Activity - Amey

Our Ref BR4/15/10

28th August 2020


Dear Colleagues


Network Rail has recently indicated that it will be commencing a re-tendering process for its Civils Examination Framework contract, which is currently held solely by Amey. This will likely affect staff who currently engaged in CEFA work as at least some of it will no longer be undertaken by Amey. Network Rail has stated the contract will be split into three lots and that neither Amey nor any other bidder will be able to be awarded all three contracts.

Where Amey does not retain the work, Network Rail has committed to ensuring that TUPE protections will apply to the new suppliers, guaranteeing continuity of employment and for the terms and conditions for any staff affected.

Amey is ultimately responsible for aligning staff to the work that is being tendered as separate lots and this would be expected to take place by agreement. However, Network Rail has also given a commitment that where this is not possible it is willing to discuss alternatives to protect employment – but this is by no means a cast iron assurance that employment will be protected.

Your Lead Officer for Amey has expressed concerns that this type of activity, where a single allocation of work is broken into smaller lots and tendered with the proviso that no single company can take on the work in its entirety, could lead to redundancies as the form the work takes is adapted to the new lots. If TUPE were not to apply, Amey staff could be made redundant and forced to seek reemployment at the new contractor with inferior pay and conditions. It is feared that contractors may decide that staff cannot identify enough of their previous workload to meet the conditions for transferring under TUPE regulations.

As it is not Network Rail that will ultimately determine where TUPE regulations apply, we could be in a situation where a number of staff aren’t properly aligned with their previous workload and subsequently will not have the TUPE regulations applied to them. Your Lead Officer has raised this issue as a significant risk which could be motivated by contractors seeking to reduce the cost basis for CEFA work by undermining our members’ existing terms and conditions.

Your National Executive Committee has considered the company’s correspondence and the report from the Lead Officer on the matter and noted the concerns that have been raised. To try and stop the undermining of long established railway terms and conditions I have written to Network Rail to seek an assurance that TUPE will be made applicable as part of the tender document for all workers and requesting that a meeting is arranged between Network Rail, Amey and RMT to discuss the tender process. Publicity materials such as recruitment leaflets and posters will also be produced to assist Branches and Reps in our campaigning activity around this matter.

I trust this keeps you fully advised and I will inform you of any further developments on this matter as they arise.

Yours sincerely

Mick Cash
General Secretary