Following our Newsletter a few weeks ago TSB has confirmed that it’s closing a number of branches and reducing the opening times for many more over the next few months.
Peter Navin, the current Distribution Director, has said: “I am determined to use strategies such as this (closing branches and reducing opening times) to reduce our costs”. This is just the beginning and staff in those branches that will see their opening hours reduced, can expect to see them closed at some future stage. That’s what happened in Lloyds when they did the same thing.
We understand that the Sabadell Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer had meetings with TSB in London last week to discuss its plans for the future and that will include what more it’s doing to reduce costs. The conclusions of the first part of the Slaughter and May review into the IT Meltdown will have also formed part of those discussions. We understand that report will be published early next month, some 3 months later than expected, and that much of the blame will be laid at the door of Sabis, Sabadell’s IT consultancy, according to newspaper reports. But that could be fake news, designed to distract attention away from Richard Meddings and the TSB Board.
In the past TSB gave a clear commitment that changes to working hours or patterns of work would be on a voluntary basis. We would expect TSB to honour that commitment this time. We are aware that some line managers have already initiated conversations with staff about reduced opening times and are telling branch staff that if they don’t change their working hours and/or working days to suit TSB, they will be given 4-weeks notice and their working hours/days will be changed automatically.
As we’ve always said, non-signers have significantly greater legal protection, specifically in relation to their working hours and patterns of work, than staff on new contracts and we will have no compunction in seeking to enforce those rights, including taking legal action on behalf of members, should that be necessary. For non-signers, the 4-weeks notice period is irrelevant. If you don’t want to change your contracted working hours you can’t be forced to do so regardless of what your line manager might think or might have been told by HR. If TSB wants to test that bit of legal nonsense in the Courts, they can be our guest. Our lawyers are waiting.
Q&A On Working Hours
Q I’m a non-signer, I have been told that TUPE protection is coming to an end in April and I’ll be on the same contract as everyone else. Is that right?
A No, that’s a load of rubbish peddled by some line managers who don’t understand the law. Your non-signer contract of employment is not time limited in anyway. Non-signers have more legal rights when it comes to working hours and working days than those members of staff who signed the harmonised contract of employment.
Q If I don’t want to change my hours of work or working patterns and I signed a harmonised contract what should I do?
A Listen to what your line manager has got to say at your one-to-one meeting. Make your views clear in the meeting and contact the TBU Advice Team for advice. If you want, you can follow that up with an email afterwards just confirming that you are happy with your existing hours and patterns of work. If necessary, we will help you draft that email.
Q What should I do if I feel that I am being pressurised to change my working hours in the one-to-one meeting?
A Make sure that you keep a detailed record of what’s being said and take notes throughout the meeting. Tell your line manager that you feel uncomfortable continuing the conversation and you want to speak to a TBU representative before continuing the meeting. Contact the Union’s Advice Team Office on 01234 716029.
Q Do I have to make a decision at the initial one-to-one meeting?
A No, you don’t. In fact, we would advise members to reflect carefully on what’s being said at that meeting and speak to their families and TBU before making any decisions on working hours or working days. If you would like to discuss your options with the Union then contact us on 01234 716029.
Members with any questions can contact the Union’s Advice Team on 01234 716029 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.