The timing of yesterday’s announcement from Lloyds is quite simply cruel. And we don’t say that lightly. To announce 1,000 job cuts on the eve of the second national lockdown beggars belief. The fact the timing was agreed with the bank financed, in-house staff unions is also unbelievable.
Why did the GEC – who will have known about these job losses for months – simply not delay the announcement until the New Year? Mr Sinnott, Group People & Property Director said: “These decisions are always discussed at length and are never taken lightly by myself or Group Executive Committee”. The GEC weren’t interested in the individuals involved; they were only interested in the fact that these staff needed to be off the books by the end of the year. A few weeks is not going to make any real difference to Lloyds, but it will make a world of difference to those staff who are being thrown on the scrap heap. And there is no preferencing exercise, staff were told yesterday that their jobs are going. The likelihood is that most of the staff being made redundant will spend most of their notice period in lockdown, not easily able to find alternative employment. And who is going to be recruiting staff in the middle of a national lockdown that could last into next year? Mr Sinnott said: “The majority of those of you that are affected by today’s announcement will not leave the business until January at the earliest”. So, what are they supposed to do between now and then? Mr Sinnott does offer some words of comfort saying that staff “will be attractive candidates…….even in a fiercer job market”. Is that not the most patronising piece of drivel ever written by a Lloyds executive?
All Lloyds plans, existing or otherwise, should be put on pause until this pandemic is over. That’s the very least the bank should do. To throw hardworking staff on the scrap heap now and against the backdrop of the worst financial crisis in a generation is nothing short of scandalous.
We have said this before, but the Group should publish how many staff it is going to need over the next few years and should open up voluntary severance registers for each division. The Bank can then identify the jobs that are going with the staff that want to leave. Staff that want to stay should be offered retraining and guaranteed new jobs on their existing terms and conditions.
The first stage of calculating entitlement involves working out an individual’s weekly earnings upon which Redundancy Payments would be based. The total pay figure is then divided by 52 to arrive at a weekly figure.
The formula for calculating Pre 2012 Severance Pay is 2 weeks’ pay for every year of service under age 22, 4 weeks’ pay for ever year of service aged 22 to 40, 6 weeks’ pay for every year of service aged 41 and over. Only the last 20 years service is used in the calculation and payment is capped at a maximum of 104 weeks’ pay.
The first £30,000 of any Redundancy Payment is paid tax-free. Severance payments apply to all staff. Payment is based on each individual’s length of service in the Bank, up to the date of termination rounded up to whole years based on age at last birthday. For example, service of 12 years 1 month at date of leaving would be rounded up to 13 years.
For those staff who joined the Bank after 1st January 2012 the severance terms are calculated differently. For each year of service under the age of 22 staff get 1.375 weeks’ pay per year of service. Between the ages of 22-40 staff get 2.75 weeks’ pay per year of service and 4.125 weeks’ pay per year of service over the age of 41. Service is rounded down to the nearest whole number of years and takes account of age as at the last birthday.
The total value of any payment under these terms is capped at £165,000.
Members with any questions on the latest round of job losses should contact the Union’s Advice Team on 01234 262868 (Option 1).