Round-up of news for reps
Here's the first issue of our new communication just for Accord reps in Lloyds Banking Group and TSB.
This update covers issues outside of the regular 'business news' that relate directly to the role of a rep - including data protection guidance, website updates, mental health awareness, events, external surveys, recruitment and more.
You’ll know by now that both LBG and TSB have banned the use of WhatsApp for business communications. We’re doing the same. If you’re in an Accord WhatsApp group, it mustn’t be used for anything other than social messages.
There are good reasons why which aren’t automatically clear that our Data Protection Officer has drawn to our attention:
- It’s not possible to deliver the GDPR individual’s rights, e.g erasure, objection, Subject Access.
- The data would be looked at by Facebook.
- Adverts could be targeted to the receivers and other information is collected.
- It may be that Facebook and WhatsApp become joint controllers.
- Data would be transferred outside the UK and EU (Schrems Issues “EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework is now an insufficient mechanism to ensure compliance with EU data protection requirements“), and is monitored by the USA FISA 702, Cloud Act.
- Data would fall under Facebook and WhatsApp privacy notice, (they collect location and usage and who you contact as standard even if they don't read messages).
- Potential higher risk as union data is regarded as special category.
- There is also no content censorship or privacy with WhatsApp.
- Some people share inappropriate information across the network and without consent it reaches your inbox.
- If anyone knows your number, they can add it to groups without asking permission. It is an annoying problem and you will see a lot of unwanted group messages in your account.
And he’s concluded that, “Reps shouldn’t be using it for Accord business purposes. It’s designed for personal usage”.
We’re looking at all of our communication channels through a data protection lens and more advice and guidance will follow. In the meantime, make sure you’ve taken our e-bite on data protection.Complete our data protection eBite
We launched our new website at the beginning of the year, but this was just a starting point. Since then, we’ve been working hard with the web developers to make improvements.
We want to be sure members and reps can find the information they need quickly and easily.
We’ve published an article detailing the things we’ve changed/improved, and those we’re working on.
As always, your feedback matters. If you’ve got any suggestions or comments, drop us an email: [email protected]
Mental Health Awareness Week
Last week was Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW) - 10 – 16 May 2021. Paying attention to workplace mental health has never been more important - not just for that week – but every week.
The pandemic has created a lot of uncertainty for businesses and employees, which in turn has had a disastrous impact on mental wellbeing. The NHS has referred to the rise in mental health conditions as the ‘hidden pandemic’.
Check out our MHAW blog post for more information on mental health, how you can support colleagues with mental health issues at work, useful resources and the available support.
Be sure to check out the Bank Workers Charity’s workplace wellbeing pack. The pack contains a sneak peek of some of the Bank Workers’ Charity materials available for you to download and share with your colleagues - from guides and how-to articles, to social media infographics and wellbeing videos.
And if you haven’t already accessed the BWC’s Bank Resource Centre (BRC), you’ll need to register to gain access, but don’t worry, it’s free, simple to use and takes less than a minute to create an account. Once you’ve registered, you’ll have full access to a range of BWC materials to help support your efforts to promote positive mental health and wellbeing.
BWC: Loneliness & social wellbeing webinar
On Friday 11th June, we teamed up with the Bank Workers Charity for another webinar where we’ll be exploring social wellbeing and the impact of loneliness at work. The session will cover:
- Why social wellbeing is important
- How loneliness affects us and how this has increased during the pandemic
- Loneliness in the workplace
- Steps we can take to combat loneliness
If you missed any of the previous wellbeing webinars we’ve hosted with the BWC, you can catch up on past events our website.Watch the recording
TUC long Covid survey
The TUC has launched a survey for workers who have experienced or are experiencing Long Covid symptoms. The results will help ensure those who have been impacted can be better supported at work.
Office for National Statistics data has revealed that 1 in 5 people who’ve tested positively for covid-19 have had symptoms that have lasted for 5 weeks or longer, and that 1 in 10 have had symptoms for 12 weeks or longer. With over 4 million people having tested positive for covid-19, those experiencing Long Covid could be as high at 800,000.
Have you had, or do you have, Long Covid? If so, the TUC want to hear from you. Please share this survey amongst your colleagues too.TUC Long Covid survey
We’re always on the look-out for real life case studies and stories from members and reps. It would be great to feature more articles like this on our website.
- Have you helped a member out with a problem at work which could encourage other members to seek help? This can include health or mental health related support.
- Do you have a positive story you’d like to share about your own experience of being an Accord member?
- Have you used one of the benefits and you’d like to share your thoughts?
Anything you think may be of interest to other colleagues who may or may not be existing members, we’d love to hear about it.
Please get in touch – email [email protected]
Recruitment opportunities over the last 12 months haven’t been great. Our team hasn’t been able to attend inductions in person or drop-in to workplaces whilst out and about. And we’ve seen an increase in existing members giving up their union membership for other reasons, which we’re closely monitoring.
To reverse this downwards trend, we need all the help we can get.
Please speak to members in your workplace who aren’t currently members. Tell them about all the good things Accord has done for staff throughout the pandemic.
Everything is published on our website, so the latest news section will be a good starting point.
Show them one of our recruitment videos, share a copy of our ‘reasons to join’ poster and ask them to visit our website for more info and to join.
As an incentive, offer them their first 3 months’ membership for free. All they have to do is enter 3FREE in the promo code box on the online form, and include your full name as the recruiter. It’s as easy as that!
And most importantly, don’t forget about our existing members who are already supporting us. Check in on how they’re doing, ask if they’ve used any of our services recently and make sure they know all the things they have access to as part of their membership. You can get an up to date list of members in your workplace from the membership team – call 0118 934 1808.
We’re working through the timetable for the September rep elections process. We’ll be in touch soon with the details.
In the meantime, if there’s anything you need to help you in your role, please get in touch.
As always, we really appreciate your continued support.
Any comments or queries should be sent to the contacts listed in the newsletter.