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FAQs Banks COVID19

ABSA

It is unfair for some employees to stay at home without having to take annual leave whilst others have to work.

The Union realises that there is a degree of unfairness towards those members that have to go to work whilst others can stay at home as a result of the lock down. The Union is of the view that all employees should enjoy equal treatment and has consequently engaged the bank in order to ensure that those employees that are going to work during the lock down period get rewarded. The form of the reward has not been determined as yet. The principles of fairness would, however, support a form of reward that is equal to what people enjoyed whom were not required to go to work.

Members that have taken annual leave are asking why their leave can’t be cancelled because others can be at home without having to take annual leave

Annual leave requires an employer’s approval upon application by the employee. The approval, once granted, constitutes an agreement which cannot unilaterally be cancelled by the employee. The employee will have to convince the bank that cancellation of the annual leave is “the right thing to do“.

The Union requested the bank to consider cancelling the regular scheduled annual leave of people since they do not have the freedom of movement that is incidental to annual leave. Annual leave is not just about not being at work, it is about being able to do whatever you want and not having to be at work.

In summary, the agreement of the employer still needs to be obtained irrespective of the restrictions of movement that the lock down regulations have placed on people and that prevents a person from using his/her annual leave to its full extend.

This question is dealt with comprehensively under the Legal FAQs section explaining the legal principle, implications and the impact of current legislation.

Can a person be recalled to come to work after having been able to work from home or after having been released to go home but remain on stand-by

Yes, but only if the employee is categorised as an essential worker and if it is indeed necessary for the employee to be at work.

See also the explanation of what an ‘essential worker’ is in the Legal FAQs section.

The Union is constantly engaging the employer on an individual basis in regards to the necessity to have specific employees at work. Please contact your Union Representative if you believe that you should not be an essential worker or if you believe that you should work remotely.

NEDBANK

Will Nedbank assist with transport during this lockdown period?

Employees are encouraged to engage management in instances where they may require transport. The bank has committed to assisting employees where possible. According to the Bank, public transport requests can be arranged for essential services staff members that are required to report to a Nedbank place of work. The staff member should engage with their line manager and provide details to facilitate transport between their place of work and home including home address and schedules of daily pick up and drop off times. Where it is possible, arrangements to assist staff members will be made. For staff members in these circumstances, social distancing will be adhered to during the transportation trip. Booking for the public transport should be done via the Travel Desk and approval should be provided by the line manager.

Will Nedbank ensure my safety while working during this period?

Yes, Nedbank takes your safety seriously hence they deep cleaned branches and departments and gloves and sanitizers have been delivered to branches. Social distancing must be observed. Should it be that your place of work has not been provided with the requisite items to ensure the safety of employees or your branch or campus has not been deep cleaned, then please raise this with management. In the event that management are unable to assist you then please feel free to communicate this to the Union. Sasbo will bring to the Bank’s attention instances where some branches have not been attended to, i.e., Meyersdal and Hazyview.

Will I be granted leave if I have chronic illness or pregnant?

If you suffer from a chronic illness the bank will grant employees special leave. The employees must provide sufficient medical information to support any request who believe that they require special leave. If you are pregnant and you have not commenced with maternity leave as yet then you should also be considered a vulnerable employee; based on the statutory requirements of the provisions of section 26(1) of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, 75 of 1997 which prohibits employers from requiring or permitting pregnant- or breast-feeding employees to perform work that is hazardous to the health of the employee or that of her child.

STANDARD BANK

Why is the bank not providing gloves and masks?

Despite the medical and health professions announcement that gloves and masks are not so efficient, the bank has on a large-scale commenced with the distribution of gloves and masks to staff members who are directly in contact with the public and who handle cash. We still want to emphasis that it is imperative that you continue with the golden rules of washing your hands, using sanitisers and keeping a safe distance as they are the most effective risk health precautionary measures.

I have no transport available what must I do?

Contact your HR or manager in this regard. The bank will provide transport but only at certain pick-up points. Staff are also encouraged to make use of lift clubs or use pool vehicles, if available.

I cannot even get to the pick-up points, how am I going to get to work?

Speak to your manager to seek solutions in order to arrange for alternative transport. The use of Uber services might be a practical solution.

I think I am a vulnerable person and should not be working?

In this regard you can contact Employee Wellbeing on 011 380 6862 or email them at employeewellbeing@standardbank.co.za.

I do not believe that my job should be classified as an “essential finance service”. What can I do?

First speak to your manager or HCBP (HR) and if you are not satisfied, you can approach either Funeka Montjane or Kabelo Makeke who both indicated that they are comfortable if staff contact them directly. You can send an email to either of them directly and explain why you believe that your position does not qualify as an essential finance service.

FNB

We have not received any protection equipment, i.e., hand sanitisers, gloves and/or masks what must we do as our health and safety are at risk?

FNB has responded to our email and assured us that although the Bank has struggled to obtain stock, it has reassured the Union that it has now sufficient stock and all branches will be provided with masks. We have been advised that the bank intends to roll out “permanent” type face visors to all client-facing employees.

What should I do if my branch closes at 11h00 and there is no public transport?

You must approach your manager to assist you in arranging transport. No employee should be left without transport. The Regulation Gazette No 11062 dated 25 March 2020 at S 11C makes it clear that the employer MUST make the necessary arrangements for transport if you have been declared an essential finance service employee

Must we be concerned about our job security as a result of the lock down?

The Bank have assured the Union that it is not their intention to retrench employees as a result of the lock down. In any event, before the Bank can embark on any operational requirement exercise with the intention to dismiss, the Bank is compelled to comply with the provisions of the Labour Relations Act, 66 of 1995 and that includes consultations and engagements with the Union.

My manager said I must stay at home and that my annual leave will be used, can my manager do that?

If you have been identified as an employee who does not need to come to the workplace, your leave will be logged as leave no action. Please see the Bank Policy related to Leave. An addition was made to the Policy that deals specifically with leave under these circumstances.

I have been told to come to work but I do not feel my job is an essential service job, what can I do?

The Bank has identified certain roles as essential and others that are not. There are certain roles, e.g. outbound sales that will continue only for employees who are able to work from home. Employees in the office will thus only deal with sales that come off the back of a customer calling in.

I was on annual leave when the lock down started. I feel it is unfair that I should be using my annual leave when others are staying at home as well.

This question is dealt with comprehensively under the Legal FAQs section explaining the legal principle, implications and the impact of current legislation; however, the Union has, requested the bank to consider cancelling the regular scheduled annual leave of people since they do not have the freedom of movement that is incidental to annual leave.

09 Apr 2020 < Back