Here’s our latest advice on the questions we’re being asked most often. If you have any specific questions which are not covered, please contact the Advice Team on 01234 716029 (Choose Option 1).
School Closures – Massive Uncertainty
A further newsletter on the Government’s announcement on school closures will be issued shortly but it’s fair to say that at the moment this issue and its implications are cloaked in uncertainty.
It is however becoming obvious that if (sensibly it has to be said) you remove high-risk members of staff from branches, have further absences because of Covid-19 infection/self-isolation and then find even more staff have to take time-off to look after young children it is likely to become hard to offer full services across the entire network.
How TSB approaches this and how Government try to safeguard the rights of workers remain to be seen but there is likely to be significant disruption before and perhaps after the Easter break. Whilst employers are entitled to expect staff to try to find alternative childcare solutions these are obviously going to be thin on the ground and with many grandparents being high risk themselves, and nurseries prohibitively expensive, staff will find they have to take some form of emergency leave. TSB will need to recognise this reality.
Equally, asking people to travel massive distances to cover other branches, with additional travel costs and travelling time will not work. TSB needs to be realistic in its expectations.
Why is the Bank not cancelling customer interviews?
The Bank has indicated that customers should still come into the branch for interviews ‘if that’s what’s needed’. In light of the Government’s recommendations, the Bank needs to urgently review its procedures in the interests of both staff and customers. Common sense needs to be applied here – you should not be expected to sit in a room with a customer who is coughing for two hours. If you’re asked to see a customer who is displaying obvious symptoms of COVID-19, you should not proceed with the interview and should speak to your manager in the first instance. If your manager insists that you continue a customer interview where the customer is displaying coronavirus symptoms, call the Union’s Advice Team on 01234 716029 (Choose Option 1) straight away.
You should confirm any action you have taken in writing with your manager at the earliest opportunity. We will provide help if you need it on 01234 716029 (Choose Option 1).
For interviews that do proceed, we advise that you follow the Government’s advice on frequent hand washing and avoid touching your face.
I’m not being given time to wash my hands at work, what do I do?
Everyone should be given the opportunity to wash their hands frequently at work. In the first instance, speak to your manager to ensure that there is a plan in place so that everyone has the opportunity to wash their hands. If you’re not being given the opportunity to wash your hands frequently, contact us on 01234 716029 (Choose Option 1) straight away for further advice.
I have an underlying health condition which makes my circumstances higher risk, but my manager has told me I must still come to work and I’m worried. What do I do?
The Bank has said “All Partners who are pregnant have now been asked to self-isolate for 12 weeks. All Partners with underlying conditions as per the UK Gov guideline will be asked to self-isolate for 14 days and we will then review again”
The Bank needs to be especially careful when it comes to dealing with people who have long-term health conditions which place them at higher risk when it comes to coronavirus. Such conditions might include asthma, diabetes or heart disease, or a weakened immune system as the result of disease or medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy. It’s essential that you contact us straight away if you’re in a high risk group and your manager is still expecting you to come to work.
I live with someone who is considered to be high risk, do I still have to come to work?
This is a matter that needs to be discussed with your line manager, but obviously much will depend on the medical status of the person with whom you live. Please contact the Advice Team for further advice on 01234 716029 (Choose Option 1).
I am off work looking after my child. Will my formal Performance Review meeting be postponed?
The Bank will have to postpone the meeting because you cannot attend if you are caring for your child. If you’re told that a meeting will not be postponed, ask your manager to confirm that in writing and then contact the Union’s Advice Team on 01234 716029 (Choose Option 1) straight away.
I am currently subject to a formal performance improvement plan. I am now working from home, as instructed by the Bank. However, certain aspects of the plan require me to be at work in order to achieve the objectives set. Where do I stand?
All of those issues will need to be taken into account when it comes to reviewing the outcome of the plan in question. You should raise the issues with your line manager in writing now and ask him or her to confirm what additional action you should take, if any. We will provide help if you need it on 01234 716029 (Choose Option 1).