A few days ago the Bank wrote to MPs providing them with details of how its “Helping Britain Prosper” plan was helping customers and staff in their constituencies. Fast forward a few days and the Bank announced a further round of branch closures and job cuts (see below for details of the redundancy terms) on top off the 350 announced the previous week. Thousands of jobs have been cut since the beginning of the year and we expect more announcements will be made in the coming months. If we carry on at this rate, we could see 8,000+ jobs and 400+ branches disappear before Group Strategic Review 3 is completed in 2021.
The Bank needs to come clean about its plans on jobs rather subjecting staff to this endless game of wait and see. On a recent visit to Bristol, the Duke of Cambridge launched a new Mental Health at Work website. Antonio Horta-Osorio, Group Chief Executive, Lloyds Banking Group also attended the event. But what about the mental health of those staff in Lloyds Banking Group who are constantly worrying about whether they are going to have a job in 6 months’ time or not. Mr. Horta-Osorio should focus his attention on those staff because he can do something about that or does his interest in mental health issues extend only to the possibility of a knighthood!
We have said it before but the Bank should publish how many staff it is going to need over the next 3 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 and everyone else can get on with working.
Mortgages & Same-Sex Couples
Lloyds Banking Group says: “If we are to become the best bank for customers then we must ensure that this vision is inclusive of the LGBT community”. In its Code of Business Responsibility, the Bank also says: “We recognise that by understanding and valuing difference, we can build trusted relationships with our customers, colleagues and communities. Leaders throughout the business are encouraged to set an example by behaving in line with the Group’s Values and demonstrating their commitment to diversity and inclusion”. Quite rightly, the Group takes great pride in the recognition of its work in the LGBT arena and that culminated in it being named number 1 in the 2017 Stonewall Top 100 employers list.
However, a few weeks ago the Union was contacted by a senior member of staff who told us that Offshore Banking operated a policy of discriminating against same-sex couples when it came to mortgages and loans. We wrote to the Bank saying the issue was too important to be investigated internally and called for an independent investigation. The Bank went ahead with its own investigation, which we believe was deeply flawed, and it concluded, not surprisingly, that: “there is no evidence to support your allegation.” It’s not the Union’s allegation but that’s just one point that seems to have been overlooked by the Bank’s ‘comprehensive’ investigation.
Our correspondence with the Bank can be read at:
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 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 aged between 16 and 65. Payment is based on each individual’s length of service in the Bank, up to the date of termination and are 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 next whole year – 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 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).