Well, not quite.
One of the things we have missed most during the pandemic and various lockdowns across the UK, other than family and friends of course, has been our annual holidays. Many members will have already been on their 2-weeks holiday or may be reading this Newsletter sitting by the pool.
However, it seems that there are some in the bank intent on spoiling that. We are aware that in a number of branches across the country line managers are telling staff that in 2022 they will only be allowed to take one week for their main holiday instead of the usual two. Numerous reasons have been put forward for this change but the main one seems to be that branch pools are running with minimum staffing levels and allowing staff to take two weeks during July and August has caused major resourcing difficulties this year which can’t be repeated next year. If that’s true – and we don’t blame the line managers involved because they are having to juggle impossible staffing difficulties everyday – that’s a problem Lloyds must solve. If more cover is needed during the main holiday period, then it’s the bank’s responsibility to make more staff are available. It’s totally wrong to be moving towards a hybrid model of working for office-based staff whilst at the same time telling branch staff, they can’t have two-weeks holiday in the summer if they want.
We know that in the past the bank has flown these kites to see how staff react and then adapted its policies accordingly. Any sign of weakness will be pounced on by the bank. Staff are entitled to annual leave and that includes two weeks during the summer, if they want to take it then.
It will be interesting to see what response if any is forthcoming from Accord and Unite the bank’s in-house staff unions, recognised by Lloyds because they never, ever, object to anything. Any trade union worthy of the name would be resolute in its response – we’ll see what if anything they say.
We won’t hold our breath and whilst Accord and Unite ponder what excuses they can come up with this time, we will be taking the lead to put a stop to this attempt to screw even more out of staff who are already hard-pressed.
Members who are told they can only have one week at a time next year should contact the Union’s Bedford Office on 01234 262868 (choose option 1) immediately.
GMP – The Next Steps
The next phase of the Union’s GMP campaign will begin to roll out in the week beginning 13th September.
Just to recap, last November the High Court ruled that Lloyds are legally responsible for equalising the guaranteed minimum pensions (GMPs) for those men and women who transferred out of one of the defined benefit pension schemes.
We estimate that of the 30,000 staff who transferred out of one of the Lloyds schemes, more than half will require top-up payments. The average top-up payment will £3,900, with some members getting up to £25,000. We expect that the Trustee will have to pay out about £40 million in compensation to Lloyds Banking Group staff.
From 13th September every member who we believe may be affected by the judgement will receive a letter asking them to complete pro-forma covering the details of their transfer out of the pension scheme. It is important that members complete that pro-forma as quickly as possible.
As we’ve said in all our Newsletters on GMP, the processes required to determine top-up payments for thousands of members going back to 1990 are not going to be straightforward. Getting compensation, for those entitled to it, is going to be a marathon and not a sprint and members need to be patient.
Members with any questions should contact the Union’s Advice Team on 01234 262868 (choose option 1).
If you know of any member of staff who is not a member of BTU, please forward them a copy of this Newsletter and urge them to join the only independent trade union in Lloyds. They won’t regret it.