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Should banks sack and gag just before Xmas?

Aussie bankers are receiving sackings, instead of stockings, as Christmas draws near. So should the festive season also be the firing season?

ANZ and Macquarie are at the top of the layoff tree this December, with each tipped to slash about 800 to 1000 jobs.

But while all banks need to cut costs, are they going about downsizing in the true spirit of Christmas? How about those reports of summary sackings? An ANZ worker in Melbourne is quoted in the Herald Sun as having only “enough time to get your bag and go”.

To make things even less festive, the Finance Sector Union says it has heard claims that bank staff are being gagged and spied on to avoid stories of ruthless redundancies becoming public. The union reckons employees could lose entitlements and in extreme cases even superannuation payouts for misconduct if they breached secrecy clauses.

But if you or your colleagues are facing the dole queue this Christmas, don’t you at least have the right to complain about it?

ANZ is quoted as saying that those departing and those staying are treated consistently and with dignity. Is there really a right way to give people their marching orders? And should employees be forced to stay tight-lipped when they get the boot?

Comments (8)

  1. In the senior banking world, a lot depends on politics – who you know, who you’re mates with. If a line manager is told to sack 10 of his 20 staff, he’ll go for the ones he’s worked with in the past….the ones he likes. Often personality is just as important as performance.

  2. The numbers involved here are very large and therefore a lot of people are gonna get p***ed off in the process. Banks haven’t got large enough HR teams to keep everyone happy. Channel your energy into getting a new job search, rather than moaning about your old company. forget them. t least in the current market, getting laid off doesn’t have the same stigma as it would have last year. People ain’t gonna think badly of you if your laid off. New employers won’t look on it as a black mark when there are thousands of others out there just like you. MOVE ON!

  3. Thanks Jabba. But “move on” to where exactly?? Another bank?? Yeah, right.

  4. People are angry not just because of the manner they have been let go, but because of the fact that there’s nowhere to go after being sacked. the prospect of long-term unemployment is the really killer here.

  5. The banks need to make this cuts to stay in business. They can’t delay just because there’s a holiday coming up.

  6. Current employees need to be gagged, clearly there are PR rules if you’re employed by a bank, you can’t just go slagging them off to everyone.

  7. Why is finance industry offer this little job security? Massive sacking whenever there is a downturn? This sucks!

  8. ANZ treating people with dignity ???. Now that would be a strategic change of direction for the bank. May be its exploring a new business model altogether. It cant treat its customers with dignity i doubt it very much it will do that for its staff. Has anyone forgotten Opes Prime ?

    May be Mike Smith might have come to his sense that his grand idea of wanting to “colonise Asia” (in his own words) should be replaced by transforming it’s staff to become hunters in Africa!!.

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