We've noticed you are using an outdated internet browser. For optimum performance and usability of the this website, we suggest you upgrade your browser.
Outline of envelope with letter sticking out in green on a blue background
Back to all articles

20 July 2021

Accord TSB newsround July 2021

A digest of the latest news
Play the video

A digest of all the latest news

The July newsround has been issued to members in TSB to provide an update on our on-going talks with the business.

This update covers:

Lifting restrictions

Most of England’s remaining coronavirus restrictions were lifted yesterday. And since the UK Prime Minister announced these plans on 12th July, we’ve been in discussions with TSB to ensure you’re kept safe at work.

The bank says that colleagues’ wellbeing and safety are its priority and it understands that this is an anxious time - particularly given the rising infection rates.

TSB say colleagues’ concerns will be listened to and the bank will continue to work closely with Accord and Unite to gain feedback and insights, and to share good practice. There’ll be no rush to remove all current practices.

And although it will no longer be a legal requirement to wear face coverings, branch staff can continue to wear them if they choose to. Customers may also choose to continue wearing face coverings, whilst others will feel safe not to. However, masks will still be required for customers and colleagues during interviews.

The Branch Banking Director, Carol Anderson, confirmed that communications outlining the banks’ plans have been sent to all branch staff and managers. Below is a summary of the updated approach in branches in England which came into effect yesterday (19th July):

Social distancing:

Face coverings

TSB is recommending that branch staff take a lateral flow test twice weekly in order to keep both staff and customers safe

There are no expectations that non-branch staff should return to the office yet. If working from an office location there are no changes, staff should continue to wear face coverings when moving around offices and should continue to observe social distancing.

PPE will continue to be provided across the business.

For colleagues in Scotland and Wales, there are no changes to social distancing or face coverings rules as of yet. The guidance continues to be working from home where possible.

There’ll be ongoing updates from the home nations and the bank will continue to monitor and make necessary adjustments. You’ll be kept up to date as and when changes are made.

We’ll also continue to meet regularly with TSB’s senior leadership teams to discuss member feedback, address any concerns and share good practice from other organisations and government advisory boards as they happen.

We'd welcome your feedback on this - please email [email protected]

Staffing issues

Concerns about staffing levels are increasing and, in some areas, shortages are taking their toll on health and well-being.

With the predicted rise in infections and increase of those being required to self-isolate, coupled with the arrival of the holiday season, it is a genuine worry that resourcing is only going to get tighter and more difficult to manage.

The bank is aware of this and confirms that it responds to staff shortages, arranges support and encourages quick testing. It also has flexibility with opening hours and has closed branches on a short-term basis when necessary.

Alongside this, TSB is recruiting new staff. The recent increase in starting salaries should help with attraction.

Abusive customers

We’re hearing reports that the instances and the level of abuse from customers is increasing. This is not ‘part of the job’ and we’re asking the bank to have a zero tolerance policy and to close the accounts of customers who threaten or abuse staff.

We’ve been speaking to TSB about how we can work together to improve support for colleagues and we’re also supporting the Customer Services Institute in lobbying government for the creation of a standalone criminal offence for the abuse of retail workers (including bank staff).

We’d welcome your feedback on this matter. Please email [email protected]

Long Covid

On the 20th June the TUC launched its report looking at the impact of long Covid on workers. Details of the report can be found here.

We’re still learning about long Covid but know it will have a real and sustained impact on workers and that the number of workers who have it for longer than a year is likely to increase from the 385,000 cases we know of so far.

To address this the TUC is calling on the government to recognise long Covid as a disability under the Equality Act, and to ensure there is a right to compensation for anyone who contracts long Covid through work. You can show your support by signing this Megaphone petition and sharing it with the members in your workplace.

If you don’t know much about long covid, check out our help centre article for more information.

Like the TUC, Accord believes that long Covid-19 should be specified in law as a disability. We’ve started talks with TSB about its approach to long Covid and how the bank will support this in its health and wellbeing policies.

It's early days and not enough is known yet, but we’d like TSB to lead from the front and recognise it as a disability so that long Covid related leave is recorded separately from sick leave, recognising that some workers who have long Covid may have different and higher forms of sickness absence.

BWC: Understanding grief & supporting bereaved colleagues webinar

On Friday 6th August, we teamed up with the Bank Workers Charity for a webinar to explore grief and supporting those who are bereaved. We'll cover:

Missed the webinar, watch the recording below

Watch the recording


BWC: Managing anxiety in the "new normal"

After many months of lockdowns and measures in place, it’s no wonder some of us are feeling anxious as we navigate into the ”new normal”. Feeling uneasy about things changing again isn’t unusual.

The Bank Workers Charity (BWC) recently conducted a poll asking you what you felt most anxious about as we draw closer to the lifting of restrictions. Based on their findings, BWC have shared some tips to help reduce anxious thoughts and put your mind at ease over the coming weeks.

Read BWC’s guide to anxiety for more advice and support. There are lots of other ways BWC can help too, so if you’re looking for support for yourself, your partner or children, call their free and confidential Helpline on 0800 0234 834, or use their Live Chat service to speak with an adviser - they’re open Monday to Friday 9.00am to 5.00pm (except bank holidays).

Guide to anxiety

You might also like