Concern has been expressed as to the future job security and employment conditions of about 500 employees at the Liverpool-based RSA Motability (RSAM) who are being transferred to the Direct Line Group (DLG) which does not recognise trade unions, however the union has given a guarded welcome that Direct Line has agreed to recognise Unite for transferees of Motability.

Transfer of workers 

The moves comes after Motability Operations (MO), which provides vehicles for thousands of people with mobility issues, decided to transfer its insurance business from RSAM, part of RSA Insurance, to DLG – the transfer will take place around March 2023. It is understood that DLG won the business as it had more streamlined technology and processes.

Unite the union, which represents RSAM staff, said it wanted urgent talks with Direct Line bosses to ensure that TUPE transfer conditions would be honoured and jobs safeguarded, as well as continuing with union recognition.

Direct Line concerns

Unite national officer for finance Caren Evans said: “We have a number of concerns about this transfer of hardworking and dedicated staff from RSAM, where there is trade union recognition, to DLG, an organisation that has adopted a tough anti-union stance and does not currently recognise trade unions in its workplaces.

“We are also worried that DLG’s advanced technology may lead to greater automation and therefore possible job losses. Such a process would need to be carefully managed over a period of time with the proviso of no compulsory redundancies.

“The RSA Motability employees in Liverpool have a great reputation for customer service helping the thousands of people with mobility issues with their insurance policies – and it goes without saying that people are the lifeblood of a successful business and customers appreciate such human interaction.

“In Unite’s experience, the transferring of workers to companies and organisations where unions are not a feature often does not end well, with a salami slicing of pay and employment conditions in the long-run.

“That’s why we are calling for early engagement with Direct Line so we can engage in a constructive dialogue for the benefit of all right from the start.”


Notes to editors:

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Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.