The announcement today on the new JV terms and conditions is long on jam tomorrow but short on detail. What have HR been doing since October to produce this set of terms and conditions? The terms announced today could have been put together in one week and could have easily been published last year. Instead staff have had months of anxiety for nothing. In fact, that anxiety is set to continue because the Bank is promising a lot in the future but without any details now. Staff are entitled to know what the new ‘exciting’ package is going to look like now, not when they move across. They will realise that when staff have moved, senior management can do whatever it wants.
What we find astonishing is that the Bank has said absolutely nothing about what’s going to happen for those staff in one of the final salary pension schemes? Are they going to get any compensation? What have the staff unions been discussing since October?
Setting up the JV and outsourcing 500+ permanent staff may be cost neutral for the Bank but it certainly isn’t cost neutral for those staff who are being forced to move to the new JV. And you can bet that those senior managers who have been at the forefront of pushing for this wealth model will be justly rewarded when bonuses are being distributed at the end of the year.
Severance Terms & The JV
Given that 500+ staff are being shunted off to a separate business without their consent, the legal status of the Lloyds Bank enhanced severance terms and job security policy is extremely important.
The issue is a simple one but the Bank refuses to answer it. Instead it answers a different question or raises points to distract staff from the original question. The question was a simple one: are the heritage Lloyds Bank’s enhanced severance terms contractual? If the Bank continues to refuse to answer that simple question then staff have every right to conclude that it’s got something to hide.
The Bank and the staff unions keep saying that both the HBOS and Lloyds severance terms are protected until the end of 2020 but that’s not the same as saying the terms are contractual. And under TUPE your contractual terms are protected indefinitely.
A number of staff being transferred to the JV sent a letter to Ms. Sara Deaves, UK Wealth Director, asking her to confirm the legal position of the heritage Lloyds severance terms. She has so far refused to respond to those letters.
27.5% For TSB Staff
When LBG staff transferred to TSB all DB Pension Scheme members received a compensation payment worth 27.5% of basic salary for the loss of the final salary pension scheme benefit. That compensation payment was made without deductions for tax and national insurance. What is the JV offering?
In the past the union has negotiated compensation payments of up to 61% for Clearings staff and 30% for Facilities staff being forced to TUPE Transfer.
Staff were transferred by Group Property with compensation payments of 22% for those in the Direct Benefits schemes and 13% for those in the Direct Contribution scheme (irrespective of level of staff contribution), whilst continuing to pay on an ongoing basis the full value of the 4% Flex Allowance, providing better DC pension scheme arrangements, offering their own staff Share Schemes and a more robust annual bonus scheme.
In the next Newsletter, we will deal with the proposals in more detail In the meantime, members with any questions or comments should contact the union’s Bedford office on 01234 262868 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.