The bank’s position following the Prime Minister’s announcement that it was business as usual for Lloyds was akin to the kind of bravado we’ve seen from Sports Direct. It seems that overnight the bank has reflected on its position and the announcement today will be welcome news for staff but a lot more needs to be done. It’s a pity that the bosses in Gresham Street have had to be dragged kicking and screaming, mainly by this union, to change their positions.
- Given that all interviews are now being cancelled and branch opening times scaled back, something we’ve been calling for since last week, the bank should look at what roles are going to be required in branches over the next few months. If certain roles are not required, then the bank should look at releasing staff to work from home on a rotation basis, even if that means them just accessing training and development materials. The aim should be to release as many staff as possible to work from home in all areas of the bank.
- Important and worth repeating over and over again is the importance of social distancing in all areas of the bank. If some of the supermarkets can implement it successfully then so can the bank. Lloyds needs to make sure that social distancing measures are applied universally across the bank and that includes contact centres and operational centres. Line management have a responsibility to ensure that the social distancing rules are applied without exception. If it’s not possible for customers to stand 6.5ft apart, then the branch should operate a one in, one out policy. If that’s not possible, then branches should close.
- In respect of contact and operational centres the bank should be looking at what jobs are essential and what jobs can be done from home. Having spoken to lots of members, it seems to us that some jobs are not essential and could quite easily be left for a few weeks and the bank needs to be more creative about those jobs that are left.
- Social distancing of desks in contact and operational centres is a step in the right direction but offices need to be cleaned properly at the end of every day. Money should not be a barrier to protecting the health and safety of Lloyds staff wherever they work.
- In respect of disposable gloves, any form of protection is better than none. If that means staff have to dispose of gloves after every customer interaction, then so be it. Equally, all front-line staff should be issued with face masks immediately. And where is the sanitising gel the bank said would be delivered to branches a few weeks ago. Some branches still haven’t got any. Lloyds is asking branch staff to be in the front-line but not giving them the protection they need or deserve. We don’t want to hear any more excuses from the bank, the time for action is now. You could bet your mortgage on the fact that if Antonio Horta-Osorio and his senior management team were serving customers they would be in full hazmat suits with oxygen tanks.
Members with any questions on this should contact the Union’s Advice Team on 01234 262868.