Lloyds has introduced a new policy which allows it to reduce redundancy payments by 50% if members of staff refuse to accept a ‘reasonable alternative role or reskilling opportunity’. The so called ‘reasonable role alternative’ test is going to be key for the vast majority of staff, especially those who work in branches.
Who decides whether an alternative role is ‘reasonable’? Under the new policy, the bank gets to make that decision.
Who agreed to a policy which is designed to shoehorn staff into jobs they don’t want or can’t do? The two-in-house staff unions, Accord and Unite. I’m bound to say this but one could be forgiven for thinking that Accord and Unite are actually being paid by the bank to agree to this rubbish. Both of them seem incapable, literally, of objecting to anything the bank proposes. No wonder Sharon Doherty, Chief People and Places Officer, says she’s “really personally excited” by the new policy. It must be so easy to deal with unions that say “yes” to every crazy idea that enters your head. Accord says “it’s great news on job security”. Agreeing that the bank can reduce anyone’s redundancy terms by 50% is treacherous. That’s not what unions are supposed to do, regardless of whatever inducements the employer gives them in return for throwing their members under the bus.
The bank has already started threatening Lloyds and Halifax branch staff with the new policy.
If a member of staff subject to redundancy is offered a ‘suitable alternative role’ and they refuse it unreasonably, then they could leave the bank with no redundancy payment. What constitutes a ‘suitable alternative employment’ role is a legal test governed by the law not Lloyds. Introducing this new ‘reasonable alternative role’ test, which is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, is aimed at giving the bank the power to bypass the law and force members of staff into whatever roles it likes. If staff refuse those roles, then it will reduce their redundancy payments by 50%. That’s just wrong.
The Union is consulting its lawyers. In the meantime, members with any questions on this Newsletter should contact the Union’s Advice Team on 01234 262868 (choose Option 1).
MEMBERS SHOULD FORWARD THIS NEWSLETTER ON TO THEIR COLLEAGUES SO THEY TOO CAN BENEFIT FROM THE ONLY INDEPENDENT TRADE UNION IN LLOYDS & HALIFAX