In a note to staff in Old Broad Street, the bank says it’s running a Fire Safety pilot between 21 June and 16 July. In that announcement the bank says: “As our ways of working start to change so must some of our processes, and how we manage evacuations due to fires is no exception”.

It’s currently the case that staff are told to get out of a building immediately and not stop to collect bags, laptops or any personal possessions. Staff then have to meet at agreed assembly points to wait to be told when it’s safe to return to the building.

In the new pilot, staff have been told: “You will not [Bank bold] need to get to an assembly point, just ensure you exit the building immediately and disperse away from the building, in any direction. You will receive an email update when you can return to the building within 45 minutes”.

Under this new evacuation process, in the event of a fire alarm, staff need to scramble back to their desks (which could be on a different floor when the alarm goes off) to rescue their laptops and/or phones because how else are they going to receive an email from the bank telling them it’s safe to return to the building. That is just plain stupid and very, very dangerous.

We know it’s a pilot, but the bank needs to change the policy quickly.

In the meantime, members with any questions should contact the Union’s Advice Team on 01234 262868 (choose Option 1).

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