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Accord receives lots of questions on a whole range of issues. Here are some of the things members are asking at the moment.

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Long Covid

Stressed woman at home - iStock image

Why am I being treated so harshly with Long Covid?

I’ve been off work for a couple of months diagnosed with Long Covid. I’m working with my GP to manage and monitor my symptoms and my health is gradually improving, but I’m not fit enough to return to work yet.

Disciplinary hearing

I need representation for a disciplinary hearing. I was investigated recently for call dropping and even though I gave explanations for why some of the calls were disconnected it’s been decided that I should be disciplined and may lose my job. I’m so worried. Can you help?


Yes – as a member of Accord you can ask us to accompany you at formal hearings. Having an experienced and knowledgeable rep supporting you ensures that you feel as comfortable as possible every step of the way, through what is likely to be a challenging experience. Everything you need to know, and some FAQs is available here. We’ll do our best to look after you and help you present your evidence and any other relevant information. And, importantly, we’ll make sure you get a fair hearing. 

Complete the representation request form straight away and we’ll be in touch within 24 hours.


Unpaid overtime

What are the rules on claiming overtime? I’m working at least 30 minutes extra every single day but I’m told I can’t claim it back as it’s just part of the job and I should suck it up if I want to get on in my career. I’m hoping to move to a Grade C role soon so don’t want to rock the boat. But surely this isn’t fair?


Not all colleagues are eligible for overtime payments, but those in grades A – C in Lloyds Banking Group are. It’s a contractual right. It sounds as though the additional time you’re working isn’t being planned and agreed in advance. Rather, regular unplanned incidents are arising. If that’s the case, it could be that a closer look at resourcing is needed and if you get in touch, we’ll support you in tackling the underlying issue. But, in the meantime, if you are required to work 30 minutes extra every day then you should either be paid for it, or you should be given time off in lieu (taken at a mutually agreeable time). How many hours you work for free should not be a determinant in whether you gain a promotion. If you’re being told it is, then we really do need to tackle that too.

Maternity leave

I noticed from the new Flexibility Works policy that you’ve negotiated some improvements to maternity pay. I had my baby on 10 February this year so I’m not sure if I will benefit. Can you advise please?


Congratulations on the birth of your baby! And we’re pleased to tell you that you will benefit from the improvement to occupational maternity and adoption pay. It’s been increased from 20 to 26 weeks and, regardless of when you started your leave, if your child was born or placed on or after the 1 January 2023 then you will benefit from the additional six weeks full pay.

Accord pressed hard for the increase and, although welcome, it still falls short of our conference policy to extend full pay to 40 weeks. So – we’ll keep at it. There’s plenty more to be done to support working parents.


Colleagues eating meal together

Lunch breaks

What are the rules on breaks? I’m a Customer Adviser in a busy Halifax branch, and I’m often called back early from my lunch hour to help during busy periods. I wouldn’t mind if it was occasional, but it’s becoming almost a daily occurrence because we’re so short staffed. I’m minded to go to a local café for lunch, but I can’t afford to do that every day. Surely I should be left in peace to eat my lunch in the staff room?


If you have one hour built into your working pattern for your lunch break, then you’re not being paid during that period, and you should not be expected to work. That said, occasional flexibility may be reasonable – but that should be two-way. So, if you agree to help occasionally during your lunch break, then your employer should reciprocate when you need some flexibility, for instance starting a bit later or going home a bit earlier.

If you’re being asked to cut short your lunch break on an almost daily basis, that suggests there may be a staffing issue that needs more scrutiny. We can help with that. We have a fantastic network of pool and area reps in the Halifax branch network* who have good working relationships with SBMs and ADs. Contact union headquarters on 0118 934 1808 and you’ll be given contact details for your local rep. Or use our online local support finder.

*We have rep networks in both Halifax and BoS, and we want to set up the same in Lloyds. If you work in the Lloyds branch network, want to gain some new and unique skills, support your colleagues and develop positive industrial relations locally then we’d love to hear from you. Contact [email protected]

Keeping my compressed hours

I’ve read all the advice you’ve provided for members like me who have worked compressed hours for many years and want to keep them. My work/life balance has been built around my working pattern. So, I welcomed the commitment you got from LBG that no-one would be forced to change whilst appreciating that doesn’t mean we won’t be asked. But I’ve been ‘asked’ 5 times in the space of the same number of months, and it’s now being suggested that I’m not a team player and this will be reflected in future GPS awards and my promotion prospects. I’m feeling really threatened for the first time in my career with LBG. Can you help?


We most certainly can help. This type of harassment isn’t reasonable. It’s counter to the agreement reached with LBG at national level and we’re ready, willing and able to help you formally challenge. Write up a summary of what’s happened, preferably in date order, and send your request for support to [email protected].

LBG has confirmed that flexible working will never be a barrier to career progression. We intend to hold it to its word.  


Does Accord have any plans in place for Hyderabad? Will workers here get equivalent worker protection and benefits that we enjoy onshore? The need of having this offshore office to widen the pool of talent available to LBG is understandable and welcomed, but the possibility is that the draw of lower costs would push a decline in the numbers and investment of onshore colleagues.


Accord’s General Secretary, Ged Nichols, visited India some years ago to check on labour standards and the treatment of staff in companies that LBG was partnering with as part of its global supply model.

The level of unionisation in the relatively comfortable IT services industry is low but there is a union trying to organise in the IT sector in Hyderabad.

Accord is an affiliate of the global trade union movement through UNI Global Union but we have no plans at this time to operate internationally.

Of course, as we have done in the past, we’ll be on our guard for the transfer of work from the UK that could undermine job security and terms & conditions of employment here.


Ask your union

Do you have a burning issue you want an answer to? 

Get in touch and maybe it’ll help others who were thinking the same thing.

Send an email to: [email protected]