That’s what Matt Sinnott, Group People & Property Director, said recently. The clear implication of his statement was that after the summer holidays, return to offices – in some form – will become compulsory for Lloyds Banking Group staff.

In his latest announcement, Matt Sinnott starts by saying the right thing. He says: “Please remember that not everyone in your team will feel ready and comfortable travelling to or being in an office”. However, he then goes on to say, and members have picked up on the implied threat: “some of you will be hesitant to work from an office and I’d like to reiterate there’s no rush and any return is voluntary over the summer. [BTU bold and underline] Many of you have also told us you miss the energy that comes from in-person connections and collaboration, as I have, and I’m pleased that this too will gradually become a reality for some of us over the summer”.

The clear implication of Mr. Sinnott’s statement is that after the summer holidays staff working from home will be forced back to offices for part of the week at least.

The bank should set out its ‘hybrid’ working proposals now rather than waiting until the last minute. Moreover, it’s important that those proposals apply to all staff equally across the Lloyds Banking Group and give staff the same rights regardless of where they work.

The bank’s hybrid working model must include the following:

  • Staff should have the option to spend up to 3 days a week working from home if they want.
  • Staff should have the option to work from local offices or hubs rather than being required to work from their pre-pandemic place of employment on those days they are not working from home.
  • A commitment to maintain current salary levels and not use the fact that staff are working from home – for up to 3 days a week – as an opportunity to reduce salary levels over time. In most cases their salaries are driven by costs where they live as much as where they work.
  • A commitment not to use surveillance tools to monitor Lloyds staff whilst working from home. In our most recent survey, 89% of staff said that their line managers trusted them to work remotely from home. After the summer holidays, when voluntarism ends, line management behaviours may change and trust levels may begin to decline.
  • Where jobs are not location-dependent e.g. some network jobs, the bank should remove locations from internal job adverts with immediate effect. Given that geography is no longer a factor regarding where many staff can work, such a move would open up career opportunities to those staff who can’t apply for roles currently because they don’t live within commutable distance of the bank’s main locations.

Members with any questions on this newsletter should contact the Union’s Advice Team on 01234 262868 (choose Option 1).

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