Thursday, July 2, 2020

Absa allays job fears

Scores of employees at Absa Bank, formerly Barclays, are expected to lose jobs as the bank is expected to lay off most of its staff members next month as part of transformation.

Botswana Bank Employees Union (BOBEU) says is clueless about the bank’s intentions and the union seeks clarity on the envisaged retrenchment. 

Responding to this publication query, Absa spokesperson, Spencer Moreri said the bank has not embarked on a retrenchment exercise but rather on a ‘voluntary separation.’

He explained that following interest from a number of employees, the bank has affirmatively considered the matter of a voluntary separation scheme exercise that is scheduled to be effective early March 2020.

Moreri said he is not in a better position to disclose the number of employees who are intending to take part in voluntary separation.

He denied reports suggesting the bank has targeted a certain number of employees in the exercise.  

“There is no any targeted number of employees,” he said. 

Moreri denied that the voluntary separation exercise is related to their recent brand and name change.

About the number of branches that the bank intends to reduce Moreri said the bank has about 32 branches throughout the country with no plans to reduce that number.

“As part of our transformation journey to become the leading financial services provider, we continue to review our branch operating model with a view to reposition and realign our branch infrastructure to our digital banking channels leading to optimal customer service and enhanced colleague environment,” he said. 

Contacted for comment, the president of BOBEU Mills Tlhoro said it is unfortunate that the union is clueless about Absa’s intention to engage in voluntary separation.

He stated that on the 2nd March the union received a letter from the bank stating it intends to embark on a “voluntary separation exercise” that will resume from the 12th to the 20th of this month.

Tlhoro further stated the union has also replied to the bank seeking clarity on some of the issues that seems not clear which he hopes that the bank will not be secretive with information and give the union an audience.

“At the moment we are still in the dark therefore the union would not want to pre-empt any things till we get clarity,” said Tlhoro.

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