Report: TfL Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Forum, 29 January 2020

The TfL Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Trade Union Engagement Forum met on 29 January. RMT was represented by Janine Booth, Paul Greany, Jamie Parry and Daniel Randall (a last-minute stand-in for Glen Hart).


RMT tabled five issues for discussion. The other unions did not table any items, but ASLEF, TSSA and Unite did attend, and supported RMT’s demands.


1. Recognition of new name/gender

TfL/LUL's systems are not allowing staff who transition to easily change their name, title or gender on the companies' systems, so they continue to be addressed by the title and/or name that they are trying to leave in the past. RMT insisted that this needs to be resolved as a matter of urgency.

Management replied that they were aware of the problem, that it was because of the lack of integration of their IT systems, and that they would address this. We asked for there to be a named person responsible for making the necessary changes as soon as possible, but management stated that the Diversity and Inclusion team will take responsibility.


2. Cross-business pay gap reporting

The current practice of publishing pay gap data within each company obscures real pay gaps. If Company A had quite good, and equal, pay rates, and employed mostly men; and Company B had low, and equal, pay rates, and employed mostly women; then both would show no gender pay gap. But in the workplace in which both companies operated, the true pay gap would be significant. We asked for an annual report on pay gaps taking into account everyone who works under the TfL umbrella.

Management agreed to seek information from contractors in order to put together such a report.


3. Bullying, harassment and grievance procedures

We asked to discuss shortcomings in the way these procedures are working, pointing out that our reps have no confidence in management to deal with harassment and bullying, and that some grievances are taking over a year to resolve. Other unions added their concerns; for example, Unite reps described the appalling situation their members face in Surface Transport.

We asked for a statistical report on grievances, in order to identify ‘hot spots’ and issues. Management agreed to do this.


4. Situational judgement tests

RMT explained that the use of online, multiple-choice Situational Judgement Tests is discriminatory, and made the case for TfL and LUL to stop using them. The other unions backed RMT’s stance, with TSSA emphasising that the use of these tests – and of hypothetical scenario-based tests – during Transformation has been unfair and has discriminated against certain groups. We suggested giving applicants the choice between reporting on previous experience or considering hypothetical scenarios.

Management said that they are reviewing how they ‘assess and select’ and will consider our points as part of this. They will report back to the meeting after next.


5. Withdrawal of job offers to disabled applicants

Following a case in which an applicant was offered a CSA2 post then had the offer withdrawn, we asked management to clarify the circumstances in which they consider it acceptable to withdraw a job offer on discovering that the applicant is disabled.

Management were rather vague about this, but we reminded them that there are legal requirements as well as the need to not discriminate. They promised to get back to us.


Other issues discussed at the meeting:


Sexual harassment and workplace violence.

RMT reminded management that we have raised the issue of harassment and assault against Night Tube staff previously, but have not seen any progress. This had also been discussed at a Stations and Revenue Council working group, but management had rejected the unions’ key demand for an increase in staffing. ASLEF pointed out that Night Tube drivers are vulnerable because of the under-staffing of stations. Unite described the regular harassment of surface workers travelling to and from work, and complained that unapproachable line managers are not giving support with health and safety.

Management’s response focused on encouraging greater reporting. We asked for a clear commitment that staff could leave their duty (eg. gateline, train, etc) to complete their report form. Management said that they would look into this.


Steps Into Work

TfL is now paying for travel for people on Steps Into Work, following RMT raising this at a previous meeting. Management will report to our next-but-one meeting on other issues regarding Steps Into Work and similar schemes, including RMT’s proposal that people on SiW be paid.


Reasonable Adjustments Passports

At the last meeting, the relevant manager had agreed with the union’s proposal that the company adopt a ‘reasonable adjustments passport’, so that staff keep their reasonable adjustments when they change job, location or manager. We had also had some useful contact with that manager since the last meeting.

However, he is now leaving the company, and management informed us that rather than the ‘reasonable adjustments passport’ we had asked for, they are developing a ‘reasonable adjustments service’.



One of the Yammer! admins attended in order to answer questions, and all the unions made clear our opposition to Yammer!’s policy of banning links to trade union material. We pointed out that staff are missing out on very useful material, that Yammer! allows links to all other sites (including anti-union sites and material that we may consider discriminatory), and that the company recognises trade unions.

Management agreed that they would “revisit” Yammer!’s rules.


Reporting on future meetings

We agreed that at future meetings of the Forum, we would note decisions as the meeting progressed (either on a flipchart or a screen) and issue a summary for staff immediately afterwards. We hope this will overcome the problem of decisions not being recorded and therefore the unions feeling that we raise issues but nothing is done.