The Bank has introduced a new three step process for dealing with Group Performance Share Award disputes. It’s clear that the whole process has been designed to:
- Prevent staff having any real say in their pay by making it hard for staff to dispute awards.
- Centralise decision making over grievances so Lloyds retains tight control over the award purse strings.
- Remove the need for Accord, the bank’s chosen lap-dog union, to attend meetings that it lacks the resources to attend and represent cases that it is ill-equipped to deal with.
- Give the impression, quite wrongly and contrary to the law, that staff with grievances cannot be represented by an independent union.
This attempt to silence what is often termed ‘employee voice’ shows Lloyds for what it is.
Despite this, members should not be put off challenging the Bank if there’s a clear rationale for doing so. This newsletter gives you further advice on how to raise a grievance and when to speak to the Union’s Advice Team for more detailed advice on your specific circumstances.
My colleague Mark Brown will no doubt deal at greater length with the Bank’s political objectives and its conspiracy with Accord, whist this newsletter deals with the nuts and bolts of contesting unfair awards.
“Step 1 – Look back on the year”
In other words, are you sure you disagree with the award that’s been made to you? The majority of members will know almost immediately whether or not they should contest their awards. If you’re not sure, you can always contact us to discuss it further. We’ll give you honest advice on whether or not we believe you should launch a grievance. There’s no point objecting unless you have a clearly thought out basis for an appeal; appealing because you are dissatisfied or ‘having a punt’ will not work. On the other hand, outstanding unfairness should be obvious and will indicate that an appeal is worth considering.
Your manager will have produced a rationale to support his or her award decision. It’s important that you request a copy of that at an early stage so you and we can get a better understanding of why a particular award has been made to you. Make sure your request is made in writing so that there’s clear evidence that you’ve asked for your manager’s rationale. If your manager refuses to provide the rationale, please contact the Advice Team straightaway on 01234 262868.
“Step 2 – Discuss your concerns”
If you’re still clear in your mind that you disagree with the award that’s been made to you, the Bank is inviting you to raise the issue with your line manager. In the vast majority of cases, the reality is that it’s highly unlikely that your manager will change your award, since he/she made the decision in the first place. Even if your manager agrees with your argument, the Bank want managers to refer changes to their line managers for approval.
In reality, overturning an award decision at step 2 is going to be virtually impossible. When discussing your arguments with your line manager or manager’s line manager, it’s very important that you make notes in the meeting of the points you have raised and what was said to you in response; this could be critical evidence at a later stage in the process.
Don’t be put off raising a concern with your manager and your line manager’s manager if you have a legitimate reason for doing so. If you’re worried, or there’s a reason that you can’t raise the issue with your manager, contact us straight away for further advice.
“Step 3 – Request an independent review”
The last stage in the process is to complete an Independent Review form, setting out the reasons why you believe the GPS award is unfair. The review form needs to be completed by midnight on 3rd April 2020.
The bank says the form will be reviewed by a panel “made up of Reward, Performance, People Partner and People Adviser subject matter experts”. In other words, the decision will be made by HR.
The Lloyds Bank HR team know very well what the Bank’s legal obligations are to staff when it comes to grievances over bonuses and we will ensure that members get a fair opportunity to state their case that meets the requirements of the law. In other words you are entitled to independent representation during the grievance process and BTU will provide it.
Working With Us
Professional representation takes expertise, time and to be blunt money.
The difficult factor is time and if you contact us a day or two before a deadline we are unlikely to be able to do the thorough job we want to do and you need.
If you’re sure you have a case for a grievance please make sure you contact us at the very beginning of Stage 1, by phoning the Union’s Advice Team on 01234 262868 (Choose Option 1).