HSBC bank branch managers face having their sickness absence pay reduced to a maximum of 26 weeks.
The announcement was made to staff on Tuesday as part of a plan to increase the number of bank branches open on a Saturday from 330 to 500.
This change will affect 1,500 branch managers who could see their sickness absence pay reduced from 52 to 26 weeks. These staff members, who all joined HSBC prior to 1999, have been compensated with a one-off payment of £2,000.
Mark Hemingway, head of media relations for HSBC, said that the intention is to harmonise the contracts of all HSBC branch managers. He added: “The response of the staff impacted has been very positive. They understand the need for us to open branches at times which suit our customers.”
Unite the union has written to the bank seeking talks on a voluntary union recognition agreement for the middle managers of HSBC, many of whom earn as little as £19,000 per year.
Cath Speight, national officer at Unite, said: “Unite is appalled that HSBC has decided to unilaterally impose changes to the contracts of its staff that do an outstanding job for the bank.
“Unite the union wants this international bank to give these workers the right to an independent trade union, they need it now more then ever. Any attempt to force through changes to managers’ contracted hours of work, reduce paid sick leave to a maximum of 26 weeks and halve the contracted levels of benefit will be fiercely resisted by Unite.”
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