Those Lloyds Banking Group staff who receive Universal Credit never got the full amount of the last cost of living payment in October because of the way the benefit works. If nothing changes, those same staff won’t get the full benefit of the cost of living payment in December. It’s beyond parody that the very members of staff who need the cost of living payment the most to help them and their families during the worst economic crisis in living memory will not get it all. That’s a ludicrous state of affairs. There are thousands of Lloyds and Halifax staff who receive Universal Credit. According to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 2.2 million people in work receive Universal Credit.
The bank is proposing to make a further cost of living payment of £500 to grades A + B staff in December. We think that’s a derisory amount of money given the bank’s latest profits but that’s for another Newsletter. Universal Credit is paid monthly and is based on individual circumstances each month. For every £1 a member of staff in receipt of Universal Credit earns more in December their benefit payment will be reduced by 55p. So, if we exclude tax and national insurance, then grades A + B members of staff on Universal Credit won’t get the full £500, they’ll get £225 instead. That doesn’t seem fair when those staff need the £500 the most.
Now Lloyds can’t do anything about the way Universal Credit is calculated but it can pay the cost of living payment in such a way that it avoids staff losing almost half of it.
We understand that some employers are giving their staff cost of living payments in the form of vouchers that they can use at the major supermarkets. Why can’t Lloyds do that? Equally, why can’t Lloyds use WOW points to make the payments?
The bank should “strain every last sinew” to get this problem sorted before cost of living payment is made next month. £225 will make Christmas a little bit easier for those Lloyds and Halifax staff on Universal Credit. That should be all the motivation the bank needs.
Members with any questions on this should contact the Union’s Advice Team on 01234 262868 (choose Option 1).
MEMBERS SHOULD PASS THIS NEWSLETTER ON TO THEIR COLLEAGUES SO THEY TOO CAN BENEFIT FROM THE ONLY INDEPENDENT TRADE UNION IN LLOYDS.