UK: HSBC managers face sick leave cuts and contract changes

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HSBC has announced changes to the terms and conditions of branch managers’ contracts to allow more of its retail banks to open on Saturdays. In addition, some of the same group will have sickness benefit cut by half to a maximum of 26 weeks, the same as that available to most of the workforce.
The Unite union has registered its disapproval with the bank and also requested that it be allowed to formally represent middle managers since at present, it is only responsible for clerical staff through collective bargaining. HSBC has responded by saying that with Unite having six seats on the bank’s ‘National Council of Managers’, there already was a forum for unions and other representatives to voice their opinions; that people could join Unite if they wished; and as a result, they had no plans for formal union recognition.
HSBC stressed that managers would not be asked to work longer hours or six consecutive days, but instead provide more flexibility meaning that branches could be open ‘not just when our customers are working, but when they have free time, too.’ HSBC posted pre-tax profits of $11.1bn (£7bn) for the first half of 2010, last week.