All branch managers have recently completed an agility awareness training course and we expect that many will use that training to reorganise their branch staff – both in terms of working hours and working days.

As always the vast majority of branch managers will deal with this issue sensitively. However, we are aware of a number of branch managers who are already telling staff who work on days when the branch is less busy that if they don’t change their working days (many worked fixed hours on certain days), to suit the branch they will be given 4 weeks notice and their working days will be changed automatically. We understand that this new approach on working hours and working days has been discussed with and agreed by Accord, the Bank’s staff Union.

We’ve been saying this since the Bank sought to impose harmonised contracts, non-signers have significantly greater legal protection, specifically in relation to their working hours and patterns of work, than staff on new contracts and we will have no hesitation in seeking to enforce those rights, including taking legal action on behalf of members should that be necessary. It’s not been necessary so far. If you don’t want change your contracted working hours or days you can’t be forced to do so regardless of what branch managers might think or might have been told at their recent training course.

Q&A On Working Hours and Working Days

Q I’m a non-signer do I have to change my working hours or working days?

A No, you don’t. Non-signers have more legal rights when it comes to working hours and working days than those members of staff who signed the harmonised contract of employment.

Q Can the Bank force me to work in another branch if my branch can’t accommodate my working hours or working days?

A The journey time and length of journey that staff can be expected to make is clear but each case needs to be judged on its own merits.

Equally, the Bank must also take into account the “personal and domestic circumstances” of staff before making them move to another branch. Members should contact the Union immediately if they anticipate a problem.

Q What should I do if I feel that I am being pressurised to change my working hours or working days in the one-to-one meeting?

A Make sure that you keep a detailed record of what’s being said and take notes throughout the meeting. Tell your Line Manager that you feel uncomfortable continuing the conversation and you want to speak to a Union Representative before continuing the meeting. Contact the Union’s Bedford Office on 01234 262868

Q Do I have to make a decision at the initial one-to-one meeting?

A No, you don’t. In fact, we would advise members to reflect carefully on what’s being said at that meeting and speak to their families and the union before making any decisions on working hours.

Advice From BTU

If you would like to discuss your options with the Union or have any other questions please contact the Union’s Advice Team on 01234 262868. Choose Option 1.

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