150 jobs to go at Nationwide as it ends its ‘jobs protection promise’

DOZENS of Nationwide employees were made redundant at the start of the year.

The Adver understands that more than 150 employees left the company in January as soon as the building society’s ‘jobs promise’ to not make any redundancies in 2020 came to an end.

And there are fears that more cuts could be made in the future as the jobs promise has not been extended into 2021. Some staff feel that the Swindon-based business’ message of being there for them during the pandemic rings hollow.

An anonymous source told the Adver: “I know many people who have been made redundant and are at risk of losing their job.

“Those affected by this are now very worried about trying to find a new job when things are a lot worse in the UK.

“They feel in a difficult position and upset from the whole experience, and they told me more staff have been put at risk in the last few weeks.

“The redundancies were company-wide across departments. People were told last year, even as early as the summer. Some chose to leave voluntarily but many were made to without choice.

“People were told they can stay on doing odd jobs anywhere in the business until December 31 but then they’d have to leave as the jobs promise would end.

“Many left before that as, naturally, they didn’t want to try and find a job in January just after Christmas.

“People’s jobs may have been safe last year but looking for a job at the start of the year during a pandemic and after the most expensive time of year is very harsh.

“The company prides itself on being there for its employees during the pandemic, but it isn’t over yet. Even this week, I’ve heard of people leaving.”

A People Management article shared by the company on LinkedIn earlier this month in which the building society boasted about protecting all its employees jobs during the pandemic sparked anger from those who had recently been asked or forced to leave.

Comments made below the post claimed that not every redundancy made in the last year had been voluntary and criticised the post suggesting that “throughout the challenges of the last year, our colleagues and members have continued to be at the heart of everything”.

Our source added: “While many appreciate why redundancies happen, the support and timing of it and then that article being published has been a kick in the teeth.”

Nationwide employs around 18,000 staff across the country and 6,500 at its Pipers Way headquarters.

Rumours of the redundancies started to swirl last summer after Reuters reported on redundancy packages being offered to some staff.

This followed the company sustaining a 40 per cent plunge in profits at the end of its 2019/2020 financial year, some of which was caused by the coronavirus pandemic and led to a bit of belt-tightening

Since then, half-year results for the building society’s finances between April and September 2020 indicated that its underlying pre-tax profits remained steady at £305 million.

A Nationwide spokeswoman said: “As a result of protecting jobs last year, we can confirm that some employees have left the society this year.

“The majority of these were voluntary redundancies and, wherever possible, we have looked to avoid redundancies through turnover and redeployment.

“The size of our organisation has remained consistent overall. As has always been the case, we regularly review our structures to ensure we have the right levels of employees in the right places.

“Our immediate focus is on protecting our colleagues and members in these challenging times.”

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