As part of its review into branch opening hours, which will see the closure of 9 branches, TSB has said that a number of branches will reduce their opening hours from 9,00am to 5.00pm to 9.30am to 4.30pm. The branches will be closed over lunchtime.
Let’s be clear, we have seen this in Lloyds, it’s the thin end of the wedge with opening hours being reduced even further before branches are eventually closed. Equally, we are aware that some Area Directors are using the reduction in opening hours in some branches as an opportunity to revisit the issue of working hours for all their staff.
The vast majority of Line Managers will deal with this issue sensitively. However, we are aware of a number of Line Managers who are telling staff who work in the branches that are reducing their opening hours that if they don’t change their working hours (many worked fixed hours on certain days), to suit the Bank they will be given 4 weeks notice and their working hours will be changed automatically. We understand that Accord has agreed to the new opening hours and the Bank’s approach to dealing with staff.
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 hesitation in seeking to enforce those rights, including taking legal action on behalf of members should that be necessary. If you don’t want 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.
Q&A On Working Hours
Q I’m a non-signer do I have to change my working hours?
A No, you don’t. Non-signers have more legal rights when it comes to working hours than those members of staff who signed the harmonised contract of employment. In any event, the Bank said that in respect of branches any changes to working hours had to be achieved by mutual agreement, something we wholeheartedly support.
Q Can the Bank force me to work in another branch if my branch can’t accommodate my working hours?
A The journey time and length of journey that staff can be expected to make is clear but each case needs to be judged on its own merits.
Equally, the Bank must also take into account the “personal and domestic circumstances” of staff before making them move to another branch. Members should contact the Union immediately if they anticipate a problem.
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 Union Representative before continuing the meeting. Contact the Union’s Bedford 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 the Union before making any decisions on working hours. 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 Choose Option 1.