Bank's redundancy plan attacked

Click to follow
The Independent Online
BARCLAYS Bank has come under fire over a plan to target largely female staff for compulsory redundancy if they have a high rate of sickness, writes Barrie Clement.

Absence rates will form a critical part of a points system under which the bank's management hopes to get rid of 'low-quality' employees at branch offices.

Barclays has already shed 13,500 staff out of a planned reduction of 18,000 by the end of 1995, but its management is now demanding 500 compulsory redundancies, mainly at branch offices in London, Kent and Sussex.

A spokeswoman for Barclays said there had been insufficient applications for voluntary severance.

The bank says that pregnancy-related illnesses will not be taken into account, and says it is consulting employee representatives about the proposals. However, the Banking Insurance and Finance Union argues that decisions over the cause of absence would be left largely to line managers, and describes the talks as a 'sham'.