Members will recall that in one of our previous Newsletters in early April – ‘Bonuses For Front-Line Staff’- we said that front-line staff should get a one-off bonus to reflect the fact that by going to work every day they are putting themselves and their families at increased risk.
Today, TSB has responded to our claim and is offering all front-line staff working in branches, call centres and operational centres a one off payment of £500. The money will be paid in next month’s pay. Debbie Crosbie and the TSB Executive Committee should be congratulated for responding to our claim so quickly. However, it’s only a start and there should be further payments throughout the course of 2020 to reflect the work being done by front-line staff.
Tonight, once again people across the UK will take part part in a “Clap for Key Workers” tribute, saluting NHS staff, care workers and other key workers dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. Bank staff, delivery drivers, supermarket staff and bin collectors were among those honoured by the nation. TSB front-line staff should be proud of the work they are doing.
In an open letter to all financial services staff working on the front-line, John Glen MP, Economic Secretary said:
“The Government has always been clear that the financial sector has a vital role to play at a time when many face financial difficulty.
That is why the Government asked schools and childcare providers to continue to provide care for children whose parents are critical to the COVID-19 response, including those of you needed for essential financial services provision. The essential services that you provide – such as requests for payment holidays, powers of attorney, and notifications of death – will be a lifeline to many during this period. The Government has advised that wherever possible people should work from home.
I am encouraged by the way the sector has responded and am confident that you will continue to meet these challenges.
Finally, I have also been very encouraged to hear about specific examples of the support being provided by many of you to the most vulnerable customers.
This includes herculean efforts to help customers who are facing acute financial difficulty, as well ensure that those that are self-isolating can access cash, complete their everyday banking online, and even access food and medication. It is these actions that will be remembered for getting the nation through this crisis.
There is still a lot for us to do in the face of these challenges, and I welcome your ongoing support as we work to ensure we minimise the impact on consumers, businesses and the wider UK economy.
I commend you all for making a hugely valuable and critical contribution to the resilience of our nation at this most challenging time.”
Mr Glen makes the point about home working wherever possible, something which we don’t think TSB has got right, but that’s for another Newsletter.
We will also be writing to the Chancellor in the next few days asking him to guarantee that bonuses paid to key front-line staff in essential businesses are free from tax and national insurance.
Members with any comments or issues they would like us to deal should contact the Union’s Advice Team on 01234 716029 (choose Option 1).