Should banks sack and gag just before Xmas?

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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?

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