For some, the Bank’s invitation to move to a Customer Services role will, on the face of it, be a welcome one. The opportunity to work from home will be desirable to many, but as the saying goes, ‘you don’t get something for nothing’ and members must pay careful attention to what the move will entail.

Lessons From The Past

We’ve seen the Bank present numerous similar ‘opportunities’ to staff in different areas of the business over the years. All too often staff have signed up enthusiastically, sometimes having been talked into it by managers keen to impress the people above them, only to be bitterly disappointed by the reality of what they’ve agreed to. Some have tried to claim that they didn’t fully understand what they were entering in to: others claimed to have been deliberately misled. None of the reasoning mattered: the fact was that staff had agreed to the changes and were stuck with them.

The same will apply here. Once a role in Customer Services has been agreed, you almost certainly won’t be able to change your mind at a later stage if you don’t like it.

Read The Detail Carefully

Look at the ‘Retail Opportunities’ presentation and you will see things like:

“All of our shifts are flexible to ensure we are able to respond to customer demand, this may include flexing the time you work or flexing your days”

Our advice: Shift patterns will be issued 8 weeks in advance, but start and end times can be moved one hour and non-working days moved at the Bank’s discretion (provided 4 weeks’ notice is given). In reality, the Bank will have extensive control over working hours, leaving staff with very little say over the hours worked. You must think carefully whether that will suit your lifestyle.

“Customer Services work bank holidays and there may be a requirement to support at times”

Our advice: If you don’t work Bank Holidays at the moment, are you prepared to work them in future?

“All shift patterns operate Monday-Sunday, however, the amount of weekend days you will support will differ depending on the shift you choose”

Our advice: Some of the work patterns could require you to work both days at the weekend – will that work for you in practice?

“Colleagues who move to Customer Services will be asked to select their preferred working pattern from the options available, this could mean changing your working hours, but there are a wide range of options”

Our advice: That’s by no means a guarantee that you’re going to get the shift pattern you want and no guarantee that if you get your option at the outset it won’t be changed later!

Harmonised Terms

Members opting for a Customer Services role will automatically move to a harmonised contract. For those who joined the Bank from December 2010 onwards, this won’t make any difference because a harmonised contract will already be in place.

But for the members who refused to sign the harmonised terms, a move to a Customer Services role will mean a loss of the more favourable terms that we’ve fought to protect; the harmonised terms give the Bank far greater control over working arrangements. Once the old terms are given up, you won’t be able to get them back, even if you return to the branch environment.

Talk To Us If You’re Uncertain

The Advice Team are available 24 hours a day on 01234 262868 (choose Option 1) – if you want to talk to us about whether a Customer Services role is right for you then please do give us a call.

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