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Does anyone actually get a new job during the consultation period?

As many thousands of former bank employees now know, it’s difficult to go directly from employment and into redundancy: the UK government imposes a ‘consultation period’ of at least 30 days.

Until the consultation period is over, you won’t be definitively redundant. And during the consultation period, you have a theoretical chance of either retaining your job or finding a new one at the same place. The Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform specifies that employers (banks) –

…would normally be expected to cover ways of reducing the redundancies, or of mitigating their effects. For example, consultation may cover alternative work patterns, job share proposals etc. The consultative process should continue until the issues have been aired and parties have had a reasonable amount of time to comment on information provided and the proposals or counter-proposals which have been made.

Outplacement providers who help bankers find new jobs recommend frantic internal networking during the consultation period. “It’s all about redeployment. You need to sell yourself internally and network hard, which can be difficult when your confidence levels are low,” says Linda Jackson, managing director of the City practice at Fairplace.

Miraculously, it seems that some bankers do actually manage to avoid redundancy. However, it’s a privilege reserved for a select few. The head of HR at one US bank says a mere 5% of people get redeployed.

“If people are good, we do our best to move them internally,” he says. “We have investment bankers who are suddenly very interested in global custody and private banking – they see them as a good second stage to their career.”

The head of recruitment at another US bank says 5% may even be too high. “A company like ours will work damn hard to find people new roles internally,” he says – before adding, “5% is probably on the optimistic side.”

Comments (16)

  1. If you are put “at risk” you will never find another internal role as the process is used to clean house of all troublemakers, part time workers, those who care too much about raising their children and being with their families and all others who do not worship at the altar of banking. Staff are considered disposable and undesirable if they wnat to have a life outside of the company. Many backroom discussions take place in advance to ensure that the lists of staff (‘there are no lists’), all can be made to fit the defintion of redundant

  2. This is unrealistic. Lets face the reality. Banks massively overstuffed themself during the hiring boom of 2005/2007. They did so essentially because of competitions with other house, there was no need at all of those people who went through without having the slightest idea of finance. Most of the redundancy process has been used to clean the floor of all these rubbish people who though they could get rich easily. A lot of them went to best university and sold the love for thruth for the evil. They got fired.

  3. Best not to be hard on all Banks..some do try and play by the rules..thinking Standard and Nomura here. If you are at Barclays / RBS the list means start looking cos you are on the way out.Have often thought about the may thousands in consultation whose skills would keep them at any other institution, but due to downsizing by their current employer they are going to be scrapped

  4. sorry, but what is “thruth”? I am interested in selling it.

  5. Yes me too I wanna sell some thruth and get reach rich quickly. A more interesting article would be an attempt to get an idea of how many people are out there who are looking and did find something, how long it took etc.

  6. hrVET I hope you are kjoking regarding Nomura. The unfairest things has been going on over there. They just kicked off people because they considered their own employee rubbish compared to Lehman , that is a big mistake. They choose to kick out good people to avoid envy inside the floor. No chance any of them will get rehired

  7. took me 6 months. Same job position. FI Trading. Smaller institution. Survived selling truths.

  8. good fermat glad for you mate, any more people?

  9. Gary the serf has it spot on!

  10. If you are an ethnic minority then you can have a gentle word to the effect that your selection for redundancy might carry an unlimited damages award. If you are working in a mainly white environment you will not be dismissed, and in time you can revert to your “redundant” job title as everyone forgets about the process.Tip from experience

  11. I was tinned last year after a “consultation period” as part of a headcount reduction. My boss was given my job and was clearly less qualified but he would have cost a lot more to get rid of. They went through a charade of a skills matrix test that was clearly skewed in his favour. I sued them – and 11 days before court date they caved in and paid me compensation! Moral of story – stand up to little bullies and be happier (and a little richer).

  12. If they want to cut heads then heads will role asap. Its just that simple with banks. Heads of departments are told to cut X% of staff and they just cut people who’s role can be moved or absorbed elsewhere (or people they just don’t want). The legal aspect means nothing to them, there are a million ways around these. If you are in IB then I suggest you get networking (internal and external) now.

  13. mryesyes – that sums up the problem with “racial discrimination” legislation in the UK – it’s a one way ticket for the few, and to be honest I wouldn’t be proud of myself if I kept my job over my colleagues because of a physical attribute rather than a skill.

  14. Totally agree, they don’t care about legal aspects or ruin’s one’s career…
    I know grads in IB at GS, MS, ML being cut just 1 month in the job and/ or people lured into back office departments of those institutions with F/O ambition profile .. just remember banks are shit, loyalty is nothing, hence move and network as much as you can

  15. I was contacted by the outplacement company before I was “consulted” by my line manager!!! Therefore the consultation lasted all of 20 minutes. They were very supportive of me for the next two months – probably because they thought I would sue them. Left my bank at the end of February – new job by the end of March – the only thing you can do to get your own back, is prove them wrong!!

  16. After working over 5 years at a leading IB I was asked into a meeting, given no notice and asked to leave immediately. I was put at risk for a three month period but was not allowed to visit our offices and was cut from all internal communications. Calling via the switchboard I contacted my internal network had developed over the years. Each time I created a new position (three in total, and policy was never tell people ‘at risk’ of available internal positions) and it got to the final step of informing our HR department of accepting the new role – they successfully ensured I did not get the position. After two of the three months of my role being “at risk”, and frantically trying to find alternate internal roles I decided to look externally. Well before my ‘at risk’ period ended, two other IBs were in a bidding war to place me and I accepted a role offering more than four times my previous salary.

    By accepting being ‘hard done’ by and moving on, now my old IB is one of my best clients, plus, already in my new role I’ve been promoted.

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