LONDON - Britain's largest domestic bank Lloyds faces a spat with some staff after launching a review of working conditions that could make it harder for staff with caring responsibilities to work flexibly.
Representatives from employee union Unite told the bank's annual general meeting in Glasgow on Thursday that thousands of staff had signed a collective grievance opposing a pilot scheme to assess how the bank offered flexible working.
Lloyds' trial could result in changes to compressed hours arrangements that enable staff juggling care for children or elderly relatives to work flexibly.
Unite delegates told the event the pilot was a "direct attack on working parents and carers" and that it would cost some staff several thousands of pounds to meet caring commitments.
The clash between Lloyds staff and its management is one example of the increasing tensions between major financial employers and their workforces as organisations attempt to revert to pre-pandemic working patterns.
Wall Street giant JPMorgan has, for instance, last month faced widespread internal criticism from staff over CEO Jamie Dimon's push for staff to return to offices.
Another UK employee union, Accord, has also challenged Lloyds on its expectation that staff work from the office at least two days a week.
Lloyds chairman Robin Budenberg told the investor event that the bank wanted to ensure flexible working was fair for everyone. "No decisions have been taken," he added.
Workers with compressed hours arrangements typically work full-time hours over fewer days, Unite said, affording them the opportunity to care for family on non-working days.
Unite said thousands of workers in some business areas could be affected if the pilot scheme was rolled out permanently, branding the initiative as a "backwards step".
Some union members protested against the pilot scheme outside the venue in Glasgow, images posted on social media showed.
A spokesperson for Lloyds said the bank remained "a strong advocate of flexible working" and was committed to providing a supportive and rewarding place to work.
(Reporting By Sinead Cruise and Iain Withers, editing by Barbara Lewis)