Our Ref: BR1/5/6
22nd April 2020
PAYMENT OF WAGES & SICK PAY ARRANGEMENTS - AXIS CLEANING & SUPPORT SERVICES (ALSTOM CONTRACTS)
I am writing in relation to the above matter and following discussions the union has had with AXIS Cleaning & Support Services (AXIS CSS). As you may be aware, the rail industry has a set of principles that were agreed by the Rail Industry Coronavirus Forum (RICF), which protect sub contractors rates of pay should they need to self isolate. The principles also protect those who need to participate in shielding and for members who fall into the vulnerable and extremely vulnerable worker status, as well as protection for any member who, in the unfortunate event, is diagnosed with Covid 19.
Alstom - along with other companies in the rail industry - received the RICF agreed principles and were made aware, by your union, of the implications it has on you and your colleagues. However, our Lead Officer raised issues that AXIS CSS had failed to apply the agreement, with AXIS citing commercial contractual arrangements for its failure to do so.
The union contacted both Alstom and AXIS as it is simply unacceptable that you and your colleagues should face the choice of coming into work ill to support your family and for financial reasons or risk losing your job. We also raised concerns over the health and safety of other key workers and how not applying the RICF principles increases the risk to all other key workers.
However, I am pleased to announce that after strong representation from your union, AXIS CSS has confirmed that on the Alstom, Northern Trains LtD, TransPennine Express and Transport for Wales contacts, AXIS will implement the RICF principles. The company has confirmed that should your or your colleague on any of these contracts present symptoms of Covid-19 you are not to attend work and/or/ if you are self-isolating in compliance with Government guidance, you will be paid, as a minimum, the equivalent you would receive under the Government’s Furlough scheme, being 80% of your basic pay.
The National Executive Committee has considered this matter and welcomed the efforts of our Lead Officer in ensuring AXIS implement the Rail Industry Coronavirus Forum principles. The union will continue to closely monitor this situation and I will continue to keep you fully advised on this situation.
I would like to extend my thoughts to you and your colleagues during this unprecedented time and hope that you, your families and your loved ones are keeping safe.