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News : Vodafone Gives Staff More Time to Sign Contracts with Tech Mahindra

#contactcenterworld, @vodafonegroup

Christchurch, New Zealand, May, 2019 -- Vodafone has extended a Monday deadline for call centre staff to sign contracts with Indian outsourcing company Tech Mahindra, amid a claim from the Unite Union that contracts it had seen were unlawful.

Vodafone spokesman Richard Llewellyn said contracts offered to staff were not unlawful and questioned whether the union had access to up-to-date information, also accusing it of acting in "bad faith".

According to a former Vodafone team leader who took voluntary redundancy last month, Vodafone is preparing to make more than 200 call centre staff redundant in Auckland and Christchurch as part of a wider restructure of the business that will see its workforce drop by more than 400.

But some Christchurch staff, chosen by Vodafone, have been asked to instead take up jobs in the city with Indian company Tech Mahindra which will provide services to Vodafone both from India and within New Zealand.

Unite Union organiser Shirley Wang said those staff had originally been asked to sign contracts with Tech Mahindra.

Vodafone had argued the Tech Mahindra roles were substantially similar to employees' existing roles at Vodafone, which would mean staff who were offered them would not be entitled to redundancy if they refused them, the union said.

But the union said that was not its view.

"Our view is that if you turned down the offer of employment with Tech Mahindra, you would be able to receive redundancy compensation from Vodafone and we would support members in taking this matter further if Vodafone were to claim that the roles are substantially similar," the Unite Union has advised.

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Unite said contracts it had seen breached the Employment Relations Act by stipulating employees could be required to work additional hours and different shifts without agreement, and the Holidays Act, and had "vastly reduced" redundancy entitlements.

One contract stipulated a base pay rate of $35,000 a year or $17.10 an hour which was "way below the minimum wage", Wang said.

A contract template dated April 29, obtained by Stuff, stated Tech Mahindra could seek damages, including for "lost profits", and legal fees, against staff who breached the employment agreement "by leaving a project in violation of this agreement".

The contract template does not set out pay rates.

That template also prevented staff from working for a rival or client for three months after their employment with Tech Mahindra ceased.

But Llewellyn said, as far as Vodafone was aware, Unite did not have any members who were involved in the transfer to Tech Mahindra.

"The contract Unite may believe they are talking about may not be what has actually been provided to people by Tech Mahindra," he said.

Llewellyn said Vodafone had worked hard alongside Tech Mahindra to ensure contract terms and conditions were "like for like or better" than the terms and conditions with Vodafone.

But he confirmed a delay to the Monday deadline, saying he believed staff would now have until next Friday to sign.

"Some of the people involved had feedback and we are extending the deadline to allow more time for them to consider."

He would not comment on specific claims the union had made about the contracts the union had seen, saying it was "not appropriate for Vodafone to comment on a contract provided by another company".

"My understanding is Tech Mahindra has been working very closely with one of the big consultancy firms to make sure the contract is a good one," he said.

The Unite Union had been consulted throughout and had expressed minimal concerns and had cancelled mediation "at the last minute", he said.

"There is been a pattern of disappointing and to be frank bad faith behaviour on behalf of Unite," he said.

Tech Mahindra has also been approached for comment.

Vodafone is restructuring its New Zealand business with the goal of making it more attractive for investors ahead of a proposed partial float of the business on the NZX next year.

#contactcenterworld, @vodafonegroup

Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent

About Vodafone:
Company LogoEstablished in 1994 to operate in the Turkish mobile telecommunications sector, Vodafone Group became a mobile operator under the name Vodafone Telekomünikasyon A.Ş. on May 24, 2006. Now the second largest mobile operator in Turkey, Vodafone has 18,000,000 subscribers. As England's first GSM carrier, Vodafone made the first mobile phone call on Jan. 1 1985. Vodafone Group Plc is the world's leading mobile telecommunications company, with a significant presence in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and the United States through the Company's subsidiary undertakings.
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Today's Tip of the Day - Allow Enough Space For Data

Read today's tip or listen to it on podcast.

Published: Tuesday, May 7, 2019

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2021 Buyers Guide IVR

Call Center Studio

Call Center Studio
Call Center Studio is the world’s first call center built on Google and is one of the most secure and stable systems with some of the industry’s best reporting. It is one of the most full-featured enterprise grade systems (with the most calling features, one of the best call distribution, outbound dialing features and integrations—including IVR, AI Speech Recognition, blended inbound/outbound calling and includes Google’s new Dialogflow and Speech API. Call Center Studio is the absolute easiest to use (with a 10 minute setup), and is the price performance leader with lower equipment cost and less setup time.

Computer Data Services, LLC

Get the benefits of an expensive, on-premise telephone system without the high price tag and annoying maintenance.

- Never miss another phone call
- No more busy signals
- Feature rich
- Answer your calls from anywhere

eGain Corporation

eGain SmartIVR
eGain SmartIVR is an over-the-top solution to modernize IVR systems. Businesses can offer smartphone callers an easy choice to resolve queries via digital messaging and intelligent self-service. And they can optimize the IVR experience with end-to-end analytics.


Virtual Switchboard
Megacall provides a fully customised Virtual Switchboard software for all companies (including IVR service). No matter the size of your business, our services adapt to the needs of each client.

Are you looking for a more effective way to communicate with your customers? Discover the advantages of using the IVR and how it can help in your communications.


MightyCall's IVR that will increase your business’s efficiency at a fraction of the cost of a secretary. Your auto-attendant is designed to:
- Greet callers
- Deliver necessary information
- Forward calls to the appropriate extension
- Take human error out of the system

Nuxiba Technologies

Provide your customers with an effortless self-service experience. Easily create menus using predefined or custom prompts and data dips and route customers to live agents when needed.

Enable your customers to make payments and access information 24/7 at their convenience. Request a quote or live demo today.

OpsTel Services

The SPEED solution solves for service level issues while cost optimizing the environment with automation.

Provides an enhanced way to speed up & optimize invoking temporary agent skills configuration changes into the contact center environment.

Speed allows you to schedule both future changes & temporary changes that auto-revert back to the original state when scheduled time expires.

Speed features:

*Automated / Scheduled Temporary Agent Skills Configuration Management
*Immediate Temporary or Reoccurring Schedule Skills Configuration Changes
*Easy to Use/Operations Administration Focused
*Descriptive Monitoring Activity Dashboard
*Detailed “End to End’ Audit Trail and Performance Monitoring

Teckinfo Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

IVR Edge
IVR Edge is a high performance, robust and scalable ivr system that works on various leading hardware such as Dialogic, Keygoe and Synway etc. It can handle the simplest of simple to the most complex of requirements to when it come to creating an IVR. Integration with any 3rd party database, be it for banking, telecom, insurance, travel, payment gateway etc can be handled with ease. Ideally suited to create Hosted IVR and virtual patching solutions with scalabilities that can range from 4 to 128 E1’s per setup with voice recording and CDR functionality. Integration with leading text to speech (TTS) and speech recognition ASR engines add to the flexibility and functionality.

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