Following last week’s unsuccessful attempt by Napo to convince the employer to take a positive and pragmatic approach to settling the issues around ViSOR vetting we have received detailed legal advice on a number of aspects that have been highlighted by members and which the employers have not been able to satisfactorily answer.
While undergoing this vetting for the purpose of accessing ViSOR can be seen to be a reasonable expectation by the employer, it is hugely problematic for many members and may give rise to issues of discrimination and potential employment related claims if not managed properly.
We are now entering into a trade dispute with the employer on the basis of their failure to properly support members who are experiencing difficulties related to vetting and to demand that where vetting is not successful members are allowed to remain in their role with reasonable adjustments made to allow them to continue to do the job they are skilled and experienced in.
Submitting a trade dispute is the first step in taking action against the employer, it is not a decision taken lightly but the there was agreement at the Napo Leaders meeting this week that this is the only option left to us in protecting members.
Our legal advice confirms that we have no basis at the moment to advise members to refuse to comply with any employers instructions relating to ViSOR. We would only be able to issue this advice if it formed part of lawful industrial action. In order to take such action we first have to register a dispute and then, if not resolved, we would ballot members on taking such action. We have of course indicated to the employer that we are prepared to seek a negotiated outcome.
We will of course provide updates as soon as we have more information.
Ian Lawrence General Secretary and the Napo Officer Group