So called commitment of Capita towards interpreters
I attended a 2 day Crown Court trial on Capita assignments. During the last hours of the final day, when the verdict of guilty was given, the defendant reacted in a very violent way - pulled up his top and started slashing himself with a sharp instrument. He took everyone by surprise as he behaved in a very docile way all the time. There was blood everywhere. Finally the guards subdued him and he was taken to a hospital. I contacted Capita the next day and spoke to a young, arrogant male from the so-called linguist relation team. My concerns about possible blood- transferred infection were ridiculed, possible traumatic side effects were met with an offer of approaching NHS mental health. As for the costs of damaged clothing, the same arrogant individual advised me to seek a tax rebate. Basically, it looks to me that this agency does not offer any support for their interpreters in such circumstances. Their target is to earn as much as possible, taking into account only financial gain.
On many an occasion I raised a point that their assignment messages contain a long section - your commitment to us - there is not a single word about this agency’s commitment towards people earning monies for them and paying salaries of various company officers and workers.
The new so called JSA contains a section about the interpreter's duty to indemnify this company against any damages, etc. When approached, a senior company officer was unable to offer any explanation concerning a blanket insurance policy, statutory limitations for any claims, or to offer information about insurance being provided by Capita. It is strange, taking into account that their professional background was in the insurance sector.
Generally speaking, IMHO, this agency operates at the same level of commitment as before so called FWA, i.e. a small, third rate provincial agency, without any proper training in the sector of court interpreting. My experience in dealing with the staff thereof is that generally these people are employed without any professional background or training in this particular industry, are quite rude, biased and show a superior and rather biased attitude towards interpreters on their register.
About four weeks ago I approached the company with regard to discrepancies and inconsistencies in their new T&C. After several weeks I received an unclear and ambiguous answer that my specific questions do not warrant any answer as in their corporate team this botched document is OK. My complaint was disregarded.
I believe that after fifteen months after this contract was implemented, Capita finally decided to get rid of a small number of decent, trained and experienced interpreters. They managed to create several favourite groups consisting of young people, recently minted who were lured by special contracts, allowing them a rather decent income, whilst other assignments are covered on an ad hoc basis by their Tier 2 and Tier 3 so called interpreters, with tangible financial results. Financial targets are of the utmost importance, nothing else.
Their favourites are docile, do not protest and everyone is happy. Interpreters, who complain or try to provide any feedback are being disregarded or banned, especially when they do not belong to a particular group. The agency followed the worst examples of the previous system, for example, as far as I know, Westminster Magistrates Court had previously a group of several favourite Polish interpreters. As of last May, these were taken off the scene and another group arrived - with little or no experience, basically given a free rein of this particular court, with a provision for a steady income, jealous of their position. On the top of this, there are sometimes 8 to 10 Polish interpreters booked there daily for a single assignment. Where is a shred of savings? The previous system provided a much better use of interpreters and their language skills. I approached Capita many times with regards to proper use of interpreters - when one is skilled in more than one language or rotating interpreters in different courts. None of these were taken on board. There is no existing Interpreters Manual, no trace of CPD seminars, etc. All of these are in breach of the many times amended FWA. Let us hope that common sense prevails in MOJO or whoever supports this contract.