The bank has said that all staff in grades C to G in branch management and area officer teams can either opt to remain with the business or opt to be considered for leaving the bank on the agreed redundancy terms. The bank has said this is a “slightly different approach” to dealing with a reorganisation amongst a management population. It isn’t. We’ve seen it before in Lloyds.
The bank says: “There will be no compulsory redundancies as part of this process”. Let’s be clear, if the bank doesn’t get the right number of volunteers, in the right areas then that’s not the end of the process. The guarantee of no compulsory redundancies only applies if it gets the right number of volunteers. If it doesn’t then, regardless of what Jo Harris, Managing Director Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland says now, the bank will move to compulsory redundancies. It may well have a different project name, but the outcome will be the same. This exercise is about saving money by reducing the size of the management population across all three brands.
One of the in-house staff unions, Accord, is telling staff that “We must also emphasise that this is a “one off” offer – it won’t be available again in the foreseeable future. So, it really is time to have a good think about what you want to do”. [BTU bolded text] I know we are living in unprecedented times, but I’ve never come across a trade union encouraging its members to take the redundancy money now, in the middle of an economic crisis, by pretending there aren’t going to be redundancies in Lloyds Banking Group in future. Even the bank hasn’t gone that far in trying to “sell” its reorganisation. Some staff could also be confused into thinking that if they don’t accept this “one-off” offer, the severance terms might be different in future. It’s simply not right. Some managerial members in scope for this reorganisation have been through three or four preference exercises before, and it’s not going to be the last one in retail banking. We wish it was, but it’s not. Equally, for Lloyds heritage members the severance terms are guaranteed for all those who are made redundant – whether you go voluntarily or are made compulsorily redundant.
Members shouldn’t rush into making any decisions now. We would advise them to think long and hard before completing the survey form. BTU will be providing further guidance early next week. Members have until 17th February to complete the survey.
In the meantime, members with any questions should contact the Union’s Advice Team on 01234 262868 (choose Option 1).