According to leaked reports in the newspapers at the weekend, Lloyds will announce that it’s ‘reviewing’ 2,500 middle management roles. The implication of such a ‘review’ is that Lloyds is going to want to change the focus of certain roles. Lloyds has been briefing certain sections of the media to position the announcement in as favourable light as possible. Members will recall that Lloyds did something similar a few years ago when it scrapped thousands of ‘traditional’ roles and created thousands of digital roles instead.
However, what members need to remember is that this time round Lloyds has a new redundancy policy – with less favourable terms for those staff who refuse what the Bank considers to be a ‘reasonable’ alternative role – courtesy of an agreement of the two staff unions, Accord and Unite.
In a Newsletter on the new policy in February we said:
“What is Lloyds planning to do in the future that makes it want to reduce redundancy payments for heritage Lloyds and HBOS staff? History tells us that Lloyds is up to no good. Is the Bank planning large scale redundancies in non-branch areas and wants the flexibility to force fit staff into different roles with the threat of significant reductions in redundancy payments if they refuse to accept alternative roles? Lloyds will say that it wants to keep good staff and find them alternative roles. But that’s always been the case. Nobody’s forced the Bank to make staff redundant in the past. It’s done so willingly. And why does it need to threaten staff with reduced redundancy payments?
What staff are also asking is why would any union agree to its members being forced into roles they don’t want or can’t do with the threat that if they don’t accept those roles, they’ll be forced out with significantly reduced redundancy payments? And Unite and Accord have both agreed that it should be HR who decide whether an alternative role or reskilling opportunity is ‘reasonable’”.
We’ll await to see the details of the announcement but it’s clear that the issue of what constitutes ‘suitable alternative employment’ – as opposed to the Bank’s new ‘reasonable’ alternative role test – is going to be a big issue over the next few months. This is a legal test, not something that Lloyds can decide arbitrarily.
Amazingly, we are the only union that opposed the new redundancy policy. And we’re the only union that will fight unsuitable alternative jobs.
Members with any questions on this Newsletter should contact the Union’s Advice Team on 01234 262868 (choose Option 1).
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