TSB is piloting new ways of working in a number of branch locations across the network. Staff in the pilot branches will be able to choose the hours they want to work and the days they want to work them. However, it’s not going to be a free for all because branches will still need to open and close at the agreed times including on Saturdays, if that’s what they do now.

So, staff who currently work a 35-hour week excluding Saturdays could, in theory at least, say they want to do the same number of hours but spread over 3 or 4 days. Now that could mean staff starting earlier or finishing later and will depend on TSB being able provide them with meaningful work to do. It could also be that if you’re working later in the evening you might be, for example, covering inbound telephone calls. In theory there is nothing stopping branch staff doing that work at home after they have finished working at the branch. Now it all sounds fine in theory, especially for those who want to change their hours of work, and it could make branches more viable going forward. However, the reality is that branches are stretched to the limit with staffing level problems now and it’s difficult to see how any new way of working is going to operate in those branches. Equally, our main concern that it’s just another attempt by the bank to get more staff to work on Saturdays. We are aware that staff in some pilot branches have already said they want to keep with their current hours of work. Moreover, what’s starts off with the best of intentions quickly descends into chaos and recriminations and that’s what we’d expect to happen with this pilot. That said, it’s an interesting experiment but one that we suspect is bound to fail.

Members in the pilot branches who are thinking of changing their hours of work or working patterns for the duration of the pilot should contact the Union’s Bedford Office on 01234 716029 for advice and guidance before they agree to do anything. We have lost count of the number of members who have taken assurances on trust without getting anything in writing only to find that the conversations they relied on either ‘hadn’t taken place’ or they had misunderstood what was being done. The golden rule with working hours is; don’t trust any assurance unless it’s in writing and we have confirmed that it is safe to go ahead.

Interestingly, at the same time TSB launched its pilot, more than 3,000 employees in 60 companies announced that they were taking part in a trial of the 4-day week in what is thought to be the world’s biggest pilot scheme. The pilot is being managed by academics at Oxford and Cambridge universities in partnership with the 4 Day Week Global Campaign Group. The aim of the pilot is to allow employees to work full-time for 4-days rather 5 with no loss of pay. That’s the kind of pilot TSB should be running for all staff.

TBU will be reviewing TSB’s pilot with members and feeding our findings back to the bank through regular Newsletters. In the meantime, members with any questions can contact the union’s Bedford Office on 01234 716029.

Every Little Helps!

We have written to the Trustee of the Lloyds Banking Group Pension Trustee Limited (most members are in the Lloyds scheme) asking it to divest itself of any Russian assets or bonds.

In that letter we say:

“Lloyds Banking Group has said that: “It is important that we do what we can to help the people of Ukraine”.

A number of pension funds have said that they have told their fund managers to sell all existing Russian shares and government backed bonds as soon as possible with pledges that they will not to buy any in future. Mark Fawcett, Chief Investment Officer of Nest – the state-supported National Employment Savings Trust – said recently: “We want to be responsible investors. We also wanted to maintain the trust of our members. We think they could reasonably expect us to divest”.

Lloyds Banking Group Pension Trustee Limited manages some of the largest pension funds in the UK. Whilst I appreciate that the Trustee will have only a modest exposure to Russian shares and bonds, it should, in support of the people of Ukraine, divest itself of those assets it holds with immediate effect.”.

We will publish the Trustee’s response on the union’s website. In the meantime, members with any questions can contact the Union’s Bedford Office on 01234 716029 (Choose Option 1).

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