58.1. The Board considered a report providing an update on matters relating to Pensions Administration activities.
58.2. The Chair asked whether a target to pick up 75% of calls within 20 seconds was quite short compared to the industry standard, especially given how low the performance against the Key Performance Indicator (KPIs) was in September.
58.3. PP said that the point of that KPI was to make a challenging, aspirational target for the Helpdesk that would not be easy to achieve and he accepted it would be difficult to achieve. PP said that the Helpdesk was disappointed with the Quarter 3 performance so far, however, August and September were the team’s busiest period and some slippage in performance was expected. There is currently no capacity in the PAT to assist the Helpdesk due to the team’s own capacity issues. He said performance in August and September did not represent a downwards spiral in performance and that the call performance for September was being reviewed manually as the data provided by BT is believed to be inaccurate and performance is believed to have improved compared to August.
58.4. The Chair asked whether a decision had been made on how inactive casual workers would be dealt with on the system.
58.5. PP said that the number of inactive casual workers was still being calculated from the list of undecided leavers on the system. Once the exact number is known, the PAT intends to write to those employers for whom the casual workers are employed by to let them know they have been inactive for more than two years and ask whether they should continue as employees, and that the ESPF is minded to class them as leavers. PP said this was difficult if they have an open-ended contract to remove them.
58.6. TD asked whether it was the responsibility of employers to do something about inactive casual workers and what if any influence the ESPF could have in this area.
58.7. PP agreed that the employment status of an ESPF member is the result of their contract with their employer and they have the final say whether an employee should remain employed or not. The Fund could not legally force them to change an employee’s status but will challenge employers where they have an employee who has not worked for two or more years and question whether it is really the case they are employed and could be called upon to work if they were required, due to the length of inactivity. The PAT will also remind employers about the purpose of the Fund and how it is meant for permanent workers and that there are potentially better options for casual workers available. PP added that they will be marked on the system as leavers, but if they were to begin working again, they can re-join the scheme easily.
58.8. The Chair added that employers may not realise the issues keeping these workers on their books causes the Fund, particularly with regard to producing an ABS, which is why there is clearly a need for the Fund to make these employers think about these employee’s status. PP reminded the Board that current inactive casuals are marked with a nominal income of £1 as an ABS cannot be issued without a salary.
58.9. The Board RESOLVED to:
36. 1) note the report; and
37. 2) congratulate the PAT for their excellent performance.