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Compressed hours: General legal advice for Accord members

For members in Lloyds Banking Group.

As a pilot the Bank intends to speak to those members in Consumer Lending and People & Places who, under their contract of employment, work compressed hours (such as working the hours of a five-day week in four days each week).

The bank has indicated an intention to explore changing these arrangements by speaking to individual members. If the bank wish to speak to you about changing your terms and conditions of employment it is a reasonable instruction and you should participate in any such discussion.

Any change in the contractual hours of a member can only be introduced with their agreement so if they are not prepared to agree a change in their compressed hours then they should make that clear to the bank.

It can be expected that the bank may want to discuss the position with a view to seeking to persuade the member to change their hours. This may mean that if a member says they are not prepared to agree a change their manager may return to the issue on another occasion.

The member may therefore be best advised to ensure they have time to prepare for any discussion on moving away from compressed hours (by ensuring they have good notice of the discussion and seeking a postponement if they give insufficient notice of the meeting).

The member may consider preparing a note for themselves as to the personal and domestic implications there might be for them if their compressed working hours were to be changed, and they feel they cannot accommodate the change proposed.

If the compressed hours were introduced following a request for flexible working, then the member should revisit the basis of that request (and if appropriate confirm that the circumstances outlined in that request continue). If introduced as a reasonable adjustment by reason of any disability, then this should be made clear.

In any case the member should be able to explain why, if it is the case, the removal of their compressed hours would have a considerable adverse impact on domestic or other arrangements.

The Bank have indicated that they are exploring the position because of their assessment of the business’s needs, and if no agreement can be reached with a member about any change, though the Bank have not suggested this is what they may do, managers may in time suggest they might terminate the member’s employment and re-engage them on revised terms if they do not accept a change . If there is any suggestion of this by a manager to a member the member should consult Accord.

In seeking to persuade a member to change their hours the Bank might suggest that though the member can continue to work those hours, there may be other consequences such as a limitation on prospects for promotion and adverse implications for any discretionary bonus arrangements. If they do the member should contact Accord for advice, as in some circumstances this may be unlawful conduct (such as if the reason the compressed hours were introduced, was a result of a request to do so because of domestic responsibilities or a reasonable adjustment because of a disability).

Updated May 2023

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