Virgin Money is the latest company to offer its staff a cost of living bonus. Staff who earn £50,000 a year or less will get a one-off payment of £1000 next month to: “cushion the impact of the cost of living crisis”. 78% of Virgin Money staff will get the bonus in August. In a letter to staff David Duffy, Chief Executive Officer, said: “The increase in the cost of living is on everyone’s minds, whether in political circles, in the media, or in the local supermarket. It’s also been part of many conversations among the leadership team because we know that many colleagues are experiencing additional pressure on their finances”. Members will recall that after we had campaigned for several months against the Lloyds/Accord pay deal, Lloyds finally gave in and announced a similar one-off bonus for its staff. Many other organisations have done the same.

In response to our claim, TSB said that Lloyds staff got smaller bonuses. That may be true for some grades, but Lloyds salaries have increased faster than TSB salaries since the breakup. However, regardless of Lloyds, TSB should want to help its staff out during this unprecedented crisis because it’s the right he thing to do. Some staff have been told that they could take out loans or get help from TSB Health and Wellbeing. Telling staff who are in financial difficulties to take out loans is unbelievably crass.

Inflation is rising at its fastest rate for more than 40 years and you don’t need to be an economist to know that it’s going to get significantly worse before it gets better. Research firm Kantar, a leading consulting firm, has predicted supermarket bills are set to rise by an average of £454 this year. This comes as energy bills, which rose by an unprecedented £700 a year in April for a typical household, are forecast to double again in October.

Next week TSB will announce its Q2 results and we expect those to show increased profitability. Robin Bulloch, the newly appointed Chief Executive Officer, should take that opportunity to announce a cost of living bonus for TSB staff.

If TSB does announce a bonus, it shouldn’t ‘pro-rata’ the payment for reduced hours staff. Unprecedented times call for unprecedented action. TSB should treat all staff the same. We believe that would be supported by the vast majority of TSB staff and let’s be clear: energy, fuel and food costs are not pro-rated.

Members with any questions should contact the Union’s Advice Team on 01234 716029 (Choose Option 1).

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