Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Barclays to chop off 40 managers in merger exercise

Barclays Bank of Botswana Limited is in the process of retrenching as many as 40 of its managers on the back of a review of its retail operations at the beginning of next month.

The bank has already notified the managers.

In a confidential letter in The Telegraph’s possession addressed to the managers and their union – Barclays Management Staff Union (BAMSU) ÔÇô the bank advised managers of its decision to review the organization design and revert to the previous structure prior to the branch operations and retail split of 2008.

In a letter dated 4th April 2011, Head of Human Resources, Joy-Marie Marebole, advised the union of the bank’s decision, explaining that the decision was taken after feedback from customers and colleagues on the inefficiency of the current structure and its negative impact on customer service.
“This is a key priority under the transformation of the business to ensure that we continue to deliver value in our service to our customers,” reads Marebole’ letter in part.

She explained in the letter that through the organization design, there will be some managerial roles that will not exist on the “Go to” structure due to the merger, adding that individuals will be advised accordingly and given opportunities to be assessed for new roles given the combination of retail and operations portfolio.

The merger has sparked fears of prospective job losses in the event that the assessed managers do not qualify for new roles under the merger.

“It is quite clear that if the merger is implemented, the separation of management of retail and operations would render one of the managers redundant in a given branch and if under assessment cannot be redeployed, he then certainly faces retrenchment. Competition for the few existing posts will be very stiff and it is very likely that at least half of the managers will be shown the door if they cannot be absorbed under any new roles,” said a manager who preferred anonymity because he is not allowed to speak to the press.

The affected managers are those on B4, B5 and B6 levels.

On the impact of the merger, Marebole explained that for the managerial cadre, the potential area of impact for B4 includes 37 retail managers with one acting.

“To be able to accommodate that do not make the B4 benchmark 20 vacant roles have been ring fenced with effect from 1st April 2011 to be able to assess and redeploy colleagues to these vacancies where role fit is established.

“For the B5/B6 level, 15 roles are ring fenced with effect from 1st April 2011 for the purpose of affording candidates that do not make the benchmark further opportunity for consideration. This will be subject to further assessment to establish fit for role,” states the letter to the union.
As for the clerical cadre, the impact is at acting BOSOM’s (11) and RM (1) whose substantive grade is B3.

Marebole said there will be an opportunity for them to be considered for B4 roles that are part of the GO TO STRUCTURE, adding that there are, however, currently 15 B3 roles that have been ring fenced with effect from 1st April 2011 to be able to redeploy colleagues to these vacancies.

“Please be advised that the process of change management will be followed. Where colleagues do not meet requirements of roles they have shown interest on, a further search will be conducted for a period of three months from the date of implementation of the revised organization structure. This will involve reviews to current vacancies in the business that has been ring fenced for this process. Post this period if the search is still unsuccessful exit options will be considered. This again is not expected at B1 to B3 level, given the skill base required broadly at B3 level and ability to move across disciplines,” concluded Marebole.

Her letter to the union was then followed with another letter dated 6th April to the affected individual managers who are expected to reapply for new roles within the bank.

The letter to the individual managers advises that roles will be advertised but restricted to branch operations and retail.

“You will have the first priority in terms of the recruitment process. You will be given opportunities to be assessed for new roles,” wrote Marebole adding that the managers would be provided with revised roles at the time the adverts are released.

Branch managers roles have already been advertised.

At the time of going to press, the bank’s Public Relations Manager Sakaiyo Baitshephi had not yet responded to Telegraph’s enquiries on the merger and how it will impact on the operations of the bank’s business.

The merger comes ahead of a case registered with the Industrial Court in which BAMSU is seeking recognition from the bank. The case was postponed on March 30 to May 16 as the bank’s lawyer, Sipho Ziga, was engaged in arbitration on the set date.

At the time of going to press on Monday, impeccable sources said that a meeting was scheduled with the managers in Gaborone.

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