Topics in this issue
Quick links to some of the important topics covered in this issue:
Covid-19 & Flu
Accidents at work
COVID - Free tests
Free testing is still available. The bank has a stock of tests that can be ordered using the code description: ‘LBG Lateral Flow Test Kits Pkt = 5’ from [email protected] (this link is only accessible via an LBG device).
The TUC has previously surveyed workers with Long Covid on their experiences and got useful information that has informed its work.
As a result, we now know much more about the illness, including how many people have it and the duration of symptoms.
A new survey has been launched in order to update data and produce fresh reports to policymakers and guidance for union reps.
You can help shape this work by participating in the new survey here.
Free flu jabs
LBG will pay for your flu jab. You can claim back the cost using the Group expenses process via your local cost centre. This is available now - have the vaccination at a local pharmacy and get a receipt for the payment.
On-site jabs are being prioritised for operational on-site colleagues and should be booked in advance through LBG’s Health & Wellbeing Hub.
Please note that if you have been contacted by your GP about getting a flu jab then you should continue to use that service.
Did you know that up to 70% of women and people with periods have been caught short by their period at work? At Accord HQ, some months ago we joined a period dignity workplace scheme to become a period positive employer. So, we were delighted to share our thoughts and experience with LBG as they began planning their own.
LBG is partnering with Grace & Green to provide 100% organic period products in all bathrooms, initially across 16 trial locations – a mix of both branches and offices.
The trial will take place in the following ops sites:
- Newport Tredegar Park
- Edinburgh Port Hamilton
- London 25 Gresham Street
- Belfast Gasworks
- Villiers House
And in these branches:
- Lloyds - Jersey Broad Street
- Lloyds - Telford Town Centre 113 The Border#
- Lloyds - Rochdale 58 Yorkshire Street
- Lloyds - Camden Town Camden High Street
- Lloyds - Smith St, Guernsey
- Halifax - Acomb 73 York Road
- Halifax - Basildon 28/32 East Walk
- Halifax - Belfast Castlecourt
- BoS - Dundee Murraygate
- BoS - Edinburgh Wester Hailes Centre
- BoS - Dumfries High Street
The pilot will be launched in November and reviewed in Q1 2023.
It’s time to put an end to period stigma and support menstruation in the workplace. By providing free period care, LBG is taking an important step towards becoming a period positive employer that can make a genuine difference to colleagues’ comfort, productivity, and wellbeing.
We’ll continue to work with the business on:
- Respect – removing the sigma and shame around periods.
- Education – helping people understand that periods are normal and healthy.
- Equality – making sure everyone has what they need to manage their period, and no-one faces period poverty.
It was World Menopause Day on Tuesday 18th October.
We’re proud to have worked with LBG to obtain its independently accredited status as a menopause friendly employer. The revolution has begun!
If you follow Accord on social media you’ll have seen that we shared lots of useful information throughout the day. And we plan to continue the conversation and our joint work with LBG to help support colleagues going through this major life transition.
- We’ve published an article on our website looking at why we’re taking about menopause, the impact it’s having in the workplace and how members can access support.
- Watch and share our ‘Let’s talk about menopause’ video where we look at some of the common symptoms and how Accord can help those going through the transition.
- Download our new menopause leaflet for tips on how to have a menopause conversation at work. We also have a menopause poster to help raise awareness of the symptoms.
- If you didn’t manage to join our menopause awareness webinar back in January with the Bank Workers Charity, you can watch a recording of the session here.
- We also ran a training session for reps which was designed to equip you with the knowledge and confidence to support colleagues and members who may need help coping with menopause symptoms in the workplace. You can watch the recording here.
- Check out our guide to understanding menopause for more information about menopause, the symptoms and the policies and support in place for those affected.
- We also have our own network of menopause advocates who can offer support and guidance. You can find their contact details here.
The menopause is a natural part of ageing that usually occurs between 45 and 55 years of age, as oestrogen levels decline. But around 1 in 100 will experience the menopause before reaching the age of 40. The symptoms and impact of these in the workplace may vary from person to person, but menopause is a key workplace issue.
There’s progress to report outside of work too. Last week, the all-party parliamentary group (APPG) on menopause called for more, including boosting support in the workplace, introducing fresh training on symptoms for health workers, and improving access to treatment.
“We are beginning to feel the tide of change but the taboo around the menopause still prevails in all corners of society – in workplaces, within families and among friends, in education, and in the medical profession,” said Labour MP Carolyn Harris, the chair of the APPG.
“Access to HRT remains a postcode lottery for women in the UK and there is a stark divide between those who can afford to seek treatment elsewhere, and those who cannot.”
Publishing its final report after a year-long inquiry into the menopause, MPs demanded “widespread action” to improve the situation for those going through the menopause, as well as families, friends and colleagues affected by it.
The APPG argues that despite ministers cutting the cost of repeat HRT prescriptions, HRT “is not a luxury and it ought to be freely available for all who wish to use it.” It added, “We urge the government to make HRT free on prescription to all in England as is the case in the devolved nations.”
Mental health awareness
10th October was World Mental Health Day. And this year’s theme was ‘Make mental health and wellbeing for all a global priority'.
The overall objective was to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and to mobilise efforts in support of mental health.
Mental health problems exist in our lives, families, workplaces and communities, impacting everyone. We must do as much as possible to prevent mental ill-health – as individuals and as a society.
You can read our guide to looking after your mental wellbeing here, and our post from this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week here.
And don’t forget the support that’s available to you as an LBG colleague (this link is only accessible via an LBG device).
A few key services are highlighted below:
- Validium – for confidential support from a counsellor, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year on 0800 970 0100.
- Headspace – the global leader in mindfulness and meditation.
- Bupa – LBG’s Private Medical Benefit which provides access to quality medical care.
- Occupational Health – providing independent professional advice to support you whilst in work or help you return to work following illness.
Fire safety is under the spotlight following the fire at Bristol Harbourside. Fortunately, no LBG colleagues were on site, as the building is having a major re-fit.
The fact that the Fire Regulations were properly followed and the quality of the fire doors prevented more extensive damage and minimised the risk of injury (or worse) to the contractors on-site.
The picture on the right shows the extent of the damage inside one of the fire safety doors, with the outside door on the left remaining unscathed.
In addition, it highlighted the risk of travelling in a goods lift as this stopped between floors (unlike passenger lifts which go to the ground floor).
The fire started in an electrical room and the exact cause is being investigated.
The condition of fire exits in branches is a cause for concern a some have been found to be jammed, despite having been passed on risk reports. As the Harbourside fire shows, it’s vital that fire safety is taken seriously, and we’ll be working with the business to ensure that all colleagues are protected by fully operational equipment.
It’s also been noted that some branches contain combustible material that has been gathered over many years and needs to be disposed of. If you have any concerns about fire safety in your workplace, you should raise them straight away with your line manager. If you can’t get things resolved, get in touch with the officer who supports your workplace. You can find contact details for your local Accord officer here.
There have been reports of anti-social behaviour outside several LBG sites including Cardiff St William House and Halifax Trinity Road. These include damage to premises, drug use and dealing, colleagues finding used needles and the obvious resultant safety concerns. The Bank is in talks with local police, Councils and Charities operating bail hostels and homeless centres in the vicinity.
If you have any concerns about anti-social behaviour around your workplace, please get in touch via [email protected].
As the evenings get darker, it’s timely to consider your personal safety and how you can protect yourself when out and about. LBG’s Safe and Secure site
(this link is only accessible via an LBG device) provides a 'One Stop Shop' for all colleagues to raise awareness on key initiatives. Where immediate advice is needed on any form of security incident you should call the SECURITY INCIDENT REPORTLINE on 0808 101 4111, speak to local security guards or your line manager so the Group can ensure the appropriate support is provided to you.
The Group also provides personal alarms for your use outside the office which can be ordered via [email protected] using product code 547975.
Is your workplace as safe as it should be?
Health and safety inspections are carried out at regular intervals in your workplace by a Mitie Inspector, alongside your Accord rep (if you have one). These are to make sure that you’re as safe as you can be at work, looking for any hazards that may injure or cause ill health.
If you feel there is a health and safety issue in your workplace, you should immediately report it to your manager. If the problem is not resolved in a timely manner, you should contact your local Accord officer.
Health and Safety reports are stored in the Health and Safety Portal (this link is only accessible via an LBG device).
Accidents at work
All accidents at work should be reported via the Health and Safety Portal (this link is only accessible via an LBG device).
This allows the Bank to look for trends and make improvements to prevent further injuries of the same kind happening to other colleagues. Your manager will be able to show you how to input the details of an accident / injury.
If you’ve had an accident at work, Accord has a personal injury helpline that gets you free legal advice from our solicitors who will also pursue a claim if necessary. You can find more information about the legal services you have access to as part of your membership here. We've also published some guidance on our help centre on what to do if you've been involved in an accident or been injured.
Let us know your thoughts
If you have any feedback on the above items or would like other health and safety related issues to be included in our discussions with LBG then please contact [email protected]