You simply could not make this up if you tried.
TSB has set out its new opening hours, which we discuss in more detail below, and told staff that branches will close between 12.30pm and 1.30pm for lunch breaks. It then says that during their lunch breaks it expects staff to carry out ‘wipe downs’ of branch equipment. With what? And for that to be effective, it needs to be done regularly throughout the course of the day. It’s like the bosses in Gresham Street can’t stand the fact that staff might be actually sitting down having a well-earned lunch break. And those self-same bosses will be sat in the comfort of their own homes making this stuff up in-between ordering their Ocado deliveries. You can rest assured that if Debbie Crosbie or Robin Bulloch were serving customers they would be in full hazmat suits with oxygen tanks.
It’s a pity that the bosses in Gresham Street have had to be dragged kicking and screaming, mainly by this union, to change some of their original positions but it’s not nearly enough and more needs to be done to protect staff and customersIf TSB is only offering essential banking services for customers why is it opening 10am to 4pm? We appreciate that banking is a key service identified by the Government but TSB should be limiting its opening time to reduce social contacts especially amongst the old and vulnerable. Lloyds is leading the way on this with branches only open between 10am to 2pm.
And in the face of this crisis, with branches trying to cope with the large volume of customers withdrawing money, TSB bosses have decided to put branch telephone numbers on the website which is going to drive massive demand. What idiot came up with that idea? Managers are now expected to manage that extra demand using their existing staff numbers. It’s a joke, or would be if it wasn’t the reality, and is going to cause more problems for TSB.
- Interviews should now be done by phone wherever possible according to TSB. That doesn’t go far enough and allows for a great deal of ambiguity. All interviews should be stopped except in the most extreme cases and, only then, if they can be conducted within the social distancing guidelines.
- TSB should look at what roles are going to be required in branches over the next few months. If certain roles are not required, then the bank should look at releasing staff to work from home on a rotation basis, even if that means them just accessing training and development materials. The aim should be to release as many staff as possible to work from home in all areas of the bank.
- Important and worth repeating over and over again is the importance of social distancing in all areas of the bank. If some of the supermarkets can implement it successfully then so can the bank. TSB needs to make sure that social distancing measures are applied universally across the bank and that includes contact centres and operational centres. Line management have a responsibility to ensure that the social distancing rules are applied without exception. If it’s not possible for customers to stand 6.5ft apart, then the branch should operate a one in, one out policy. If that’s not possible, then branches should close.
- In respect of contact and operational centres the bank should be looking at what jobs are essential and what jobs can be done from home. Having spoken to lots of members, it seems to us that some jobs are not essential and could quite easily be left for a few weeks and the bank needs to be more creative about those jobs that are left.
- In respect of disposable gloves, any form of protection is better than none. If that means staff have to dispose of gloves after every customer interaction, then so be it. Equally, all front-line staff should be issued with face masks immediately. And where is the sanitising gel TSB said would be delivered to branches a few weeks ago. Some branches still haven’t got any. TSB is asking branch staff to be in the front-line but not giving them the protection, they need or deserve. We don’t want to hear any more excuses from TSB, the time for action is now.
Members with any questions on this should contact the Union’s Advice Team on 01234 716029.