Last week’s announcement of more job losses across the group and the creation of bigger area director groups in the Lloyds, Bank of Scotland and Halifax Community banks should be seen in the context of the Group Chief Executive’s recent comments to a group of analysts about his determination to cut middle management roles across the organisation.

This is what he said (bank transcript of what he said) a few weeks ago:

“…..we told you repeatedly about less layers, bigger spans of control. So we are taking that further, not only at bank level but area by area level. Each area is different, but the more we can within the specificities of each area, compress the business area with more spans of control and less layers not only [do] we save costs because we save middle management roles but we get more responsible, more responsive, simple and agile organisation”.

The very idea that by simply removing thousands of middle managers is going to make the bank more responsive and agile, which is the latest piece of management twaddle produced by consultants in desperate need of a next revenue fix, is naïve. Simply using the terms ‘scrum’, ‘scrum master’ and ‘daily scrum’ doesn’t make you an agile organisation. What this war on middle management really means is that those who are left are going to have to do more with fewer resources. It’s all been tried and tested before and it never works. How many times have we had Area Directors in Lloyds?

The war on middle managers, at whatever grades, is set to continue for the next few years. We have said previously that whilst the bank will maintain separate brands in the community banks, the management of those brands at Area Director level will be merged over time. Equally, you can see that grade E managers in the branch network will be next to come under the spotlight, with grade F senior managers taking on bigger and bigger pools of branches. But it’s not going to stop. Even our old foes in Group Employee Relations are not immune, with many of them recently discarded like old trash after many years of loyal service. Those that are left have been scattered to the wind and left to fester in nothing roles before they too are thrown out. Despite our differences nobody wants to see individuals treated with such disdain.

The Group is already boasting that it expects to deliver operating costs of less than £8bn by the end of 2019, one year earlier than expected. What that means is that over the next few months we can expect to see more reorganisation, with more middle management jobs going and job insecurity hard wired into Lloyds Banking Group for those that remain. And that at a time when insecurity and uncertainty are hard wired into our political economy.

We have said it before but the Group should publish how many staff it is going to need over the next few years and should open up voluntary severance registers for each division. The Bank can then identify the jobs that are going with the staff that want to leave. Staff that want to stay should be offered retraining and guaranteed new jobs on their existing terms and conditions.

Redundancy Terms

The first stage of calculating entitlement involves working out an individual’s weekly earnings upon which Redundancy Payments would be based. The total pay figure is then divided by 52 to arrive at a weekly figure.

The formula for calculating Pre 2012 Severance Pay is 2 weeks’ pay for every year of service under age 22, 4 weeks’ pay for ever year of service aged 22 to 40, 6 weeks’ pay for every year of service aged 41 and over. Only the last 20 years service is used in the calculation and payment is capped at a maximum of 104 weeks’ pay.

The first £30,000 of any Redundancy Payment is paid tax-free. Severance payments apply to all staff. Payment is based on each individual’s length of service in the Bank, up to the date of termination rounded up to whole years based on age at last birthday. For example, service of 12 years 1 month at date of leaving would be rounded up to – 13 years.

For those staff who joined the Bank after 1st January 2012 the severance terms are calculated differently. For each year of service under the age of 22 staff get 1.375 weeks’ pay per year of service. Between the ages of 22-40 staff get 2.75 weeks’ pay per year of service and 4.125 weeks’ pay per year of service over the age of 41. Service is rounded down to the nearest whole number of years and takes account of age as at the last birthday.

The total value of any payment under these terms is capped at £165,000.

Members with any questions on the latest round of job losses should contact the Union’s Advice Team on 01234 262868 (Option 1).

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