When it comes to wearing of face coverings, the bank has said: “All colleagues must wear a face covering in our branches. The safety of our colleagues and customers is paramount and our guidance reflects this. You may find our guidance exceeds the requirements in your country however our approach across the whole of Community Bank ensures that the minimum requirements of all UK governments are met whilst protecting our colleagues equally. A similar approach is being taken across all our Group buildings”. We support the bank’s approach.
However, when it comes to customers, the bank’s approach is one of self-regulation, which puts staff and other customers at risk. The bank has introduced signs saying that it is mandatory for customers to wear masks but we are getting reports from across the country that many don’t. The government’s guidelines say: “Premises where face coverings are required should take reasonable steps to promote compliance with the law”. Whilst it’s not required by law, we think it’s reasonable for the bank to ask customers to prove they are exempt from wearing face coverings.
Many customers are exempt from wearing face coverings under the government’s guidelines and carry exemption cards or valid NHS certificates. However, the vast majority refusing to wear face coverings show no such exemptions and simply say: ‘I’m exempt’ or ‘I’ve got asthma’. We know that there are a lot of people out there who think that Covid-19 doesn’t affect them and that they can carry on regardless of the consequences. At a time when infections are rising, with many parts of the country subject to local lockdowns, front-line staff are feeling more anxious and exposed than ever before. The bank needs to issue more guidance about what branches should do when a customer refuses to wear a face covering or doesn’t have the required exemption certificate. At the very least, the bank should issue signage making it clear that only customers with face coverings or the required exemptions certificates will be able to use the bank’s services. That’s reasonable. The bank should also send texts to those customers that use branches regularly telling them that they will be denied entry if they fail to adhere to the face covering guidelines. The bank should also consider closing the accounts of those who ignore the rules. There are a number of branches, particularly those in city centre locations, who may need security staff to help enforce the rules. If that’s what local management need to keep staff and customers safe then so be it. If Tesco can do it, so can Lloyds.
Members who experience any problems should contact the Union’s Advice Team on 01234 262969 (choose option 1).
Put Redundancies On Hold
We know Lloyds is readying itself to announce more redundancies over the next few months. It should immediately reconsider its plans.
The number of infections is rising and that will unfortunately mean more hospital admissions and deaths, according to the government’s scientists. It seems that we are all going to be under tighter lockdown measures for the next 6 months. Now is not the time for Lloyds Banking Grouping to be announcing redundancies. The bank should put on hold all announcements regarding jobs until next year at the least.
Members with any questions on this should contact the Union’s Advice Team.