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A4E Case Study

Pioneering Pensions Auto Enrolment

A4e (now trading as PeoplePlus) is a major provider in the Welfare-to-Work industry, providing government tendered contracts on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions.  In 2011, the new coalition government terminated a number of legacy welfare contracts and replaced them with a single new UK Work Programme contract.  Adam Davey led the People Workstream for the implementation of this new contract, which required the closure of 5 nationwide legacy contracts & set-up of 5 Prime and 5 Sub-Prime new contracts affecting approximately 1,500 employees and with a Total Contract Value of c£700m. As the strategic lead for the People Workstream, reporting directly to the company’s Management and Programme Boards, responsibilities included the bidding, transitioning and implementation of the Work Programme contracts, leading a team of 20 HR and associated professionals.  Adam’s responsibility was to determine the approach that would ultimately achieve A4e’s objectives of timely operational go-live, with minimal risk and an engaged workforce, all with the employer brand in tact.  In addition to this, A4e had contractual performance obligations to meet from day 1 of the new contract meaning that the all offices had to be fully operational with employees in place, equipped to deliver a brand new service provision. Some of the challenges faced during this complex transition were:
  • The management of internal and external stakeholders.
  • A highly complex large scale TUPE transfers across 65 different providers, with some legacy contracts ending after the new contracts had commenced.
  • Large scale collective redundancies and individually negotiated exits.
  • Internal and external assessment centres, both bulk and individual, leadership and frontline.
  • The creation of brand new roles and organisation structure.
  • The creation of a new frontline incentive scheme.
  • Compliance with the Fair Deal for Pensions provisions.
Detailed Facts & Figures:
  • TUPE-in to A4e of c.400
  • TUPE-out of A4e of c.350
  • Started with an overall TUPE List (in the areas where A4e had won Work Programme contracts) of 2000+
  • TUPE’d in and out between 65 different providers
  • Facilitated the TUPE transfer of over 300 employees into A4e’s supply chain partners
Ran 2 separate collective redundancy consultation processes, with over 350 employees exiting the business
  • We took over 250 people through assessment for A4e Leadership roles
  • We took over 2,000 people through assessment for A4e frontline roles
  • We managed c.100 ER cases (grievances, appeals etc.)
  • At the same time, we had to close down ESF funded contracts where the contracts came to a natural end with no continued service provision, which resulted in additional redundancies.  We also had to manage a similar exercise with the CTF (Community Task Force) contracts which it had been determined would not ‘TUPE over’ to the new MWA (Mandatory Work Activity) contracts.
All of the above was delivered in the period 1st April – 31st October 2011. Results: Not only was the go-live achieved on time (tender results announced on 1st April; contract go-live between 1st May and 1st September) but also all contractual obligations were met.  The transition was delivered under budget and risks were mitigated effectively.  This was recognised externally as one of the most complex contract set-up scenarios encountered and the successful completion of the project was recognised by the company as a huge success.  

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