It’s the question that the bank’s senior management team has failed to address: why are MaPAs still working in branches when most, if not all of them, could quite easily be working from home?

Why has the bank’s senior management team not put plans in place to enable MaPAs to work from home? The bank has purchased 20,000 new laptops, surely some of those could be used to enable MaPAs to speak to customers from home. This obsession with branch presenteeism, when those making the decisions are working at home, is putting lives at risk.

We know from our recent survey and speaking to members that a large number of MaPAs have got absolutely nothing productive to do, despite their best efforts, that can justify their attendance. Leaving MaPAs sitting there with their diaries open waiting for customers to appear, when the bank knows full well that should not be happening, is a clear breach of the Government’s guidelines – people who can work at home should.

We understand that most of their conversations with customers are now on the telephone anyway and that could be done at home rather than travelling into work. If MaPAs need to speak to vulnerable customers, the bank has the capacity to allow them to do that remotely. More importantly, the bank should make it easier for customers to access its services whilst isolating at home. The bank shouldn’t be forcing customers to access those services in branches.

Typical messages from mortgage advisers are:

“We are being told as MAPAs that we should be in as normal. 

Considering that only vulnerable customers and customers in financial difficulties should be interviewed I do not see why. Essentially, we’d be giving a telephone number for PAL or a telephone / web link for a payment holiday. 

I certainly do not see this as “travelling to work if only essential to do so”.

And another said:

“What about MaPA’s??? I’ve now been in every day for three weeks with NOTHING to do. 

Surely something must be forthcoming?”

And another:

“As a MaPA I am extremely frustrated that we are not going to receive laptops to enable us to work from home. We are going to be trained to support telephony and have to attend the branch every day. Having held a laptop in this role before, I know it is possible to log onto MSP to be able to perform my role in a safe environment at home…”.

And finally:

“Not sure what I can do. I am a Mortgage & Protection Adviser and I have been asked to come into work to do general admin via telephone and emails. I am also going to start helping customers with product transfers over the phone. This is something that could be easily done at home but due to lack of laptops I am not able to do so. Jo Harris mentioned they are trying to provide laptops but they are not including Mortgage Advisers as we have been considered key workers instead even though I can’t do anything in the branch”.

Message after message has made the same points. If senior management don’t get a grip of this issue now then we will write to Public Heath England (and its counterparts in Scotland & Wales) to let them know that their guidelines are being abused and Lloyds is forcing MaPAs to work in branches because it can; not because it needs them.

Wales Introduces Coronavirus Law To Protect Workers

Employers in Wales will be breaking the law from today if they do not make sure that staff are able to maintain the 2-metre social distancing rule. The law requires employers to take “all reasonable actions” to comply with the 2-metre rule and that could include closing down offices. The union and its lawyers are currently reviewing the new law. If we feel Lloyds is breaking the law in offices and branches then we will not hesitate in using it to protect our members.

The First Minister for Wales, Mark Drayford, said: “It is simply saying to employers they must put the needs of their workforce first. Their health and wellbeing must be top of the agenda”.

Members with any issues they would like us to deal with on this should contact the Union’s Advice Team on 01234 262868 (choose Option 1).

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