Here We Go Again: Have Lockdown Questions?

Safety, pay, targets, and leave on the frontline

With Victorians now in their second week of lockdown, frontline union members have found themselves facing renewed uncertainty. In these difficult times it’s important that we all work together to ensure safety for ourselves, our customers, and community members.

Westpac Group branch staff have raised questions about their safety, pay, targets, and leave. Our union has written to Westpac on our behalf seeking answers to these questions:

  1. What processes and support measures are in place for staff to monitor and enforce the wearing of masks in branches?
  2. Can staff refuse entry if customers refuse to wear a mask?
  3. Will Security guards be provided in branches where staff feel unsafe, and what is the mechanism in place for staff to request this?
  4. What processes or support measures are in place to assist staff who are struggling to serve customers in the 15-minute allocated times?
  5. What arrangements are in place regarding the use of QR codes inside branches? Do staff have the right to refuse entry if customers will not sign in using the QR code?
  6. What is the process for dealing with customers who do not have phones and cannot use the QR code to sign in?
  7. Staff are receiving conflicting information about whose responsibility it is to monitor legal restrictions in Westpac branches. They have asked Westpac to confirm who is legally responsible.
    Saturday Hours and Pay Arrangements
  8. Staff who work on Saturday have reported receiving conflicting information. They are confused as to whether they will be required to make up lost hours, be paid for lost hours or be out of pocket. Can you please confirm what arrangements are in place in relation to Saturday work and pay?
  9. Reduced branch opening hours, reduced time spent with customers and disruptions to usual customer flow are all factors which staff have no control over. These factors are having a material impact on their ability to achieve their targets. Will targets be suspended?
  10. Will the Westpac Group offer paid leave for staff who have been subject to self-isolation but have not been diagnosed with COVID-19? Currently this time off is eating into their personal leave, even though it is mandatory isolation and is in place to keep the community safe, as well as Westpac staff and customers.
  11. ​Will frontline staff in mandatory isolation who are not actually sick have the option of working from home or will they receive paid special leave?

As union members we are looking out not only for our workmates, but also the wider community. If you aren’t a member, join us as we work towards better outcomes for everyone:

You can reply to this email if you have any other questions about your lockdown rights.

Your FSU Reps,
Liz (BOM) and Yvonne (Westpac)

Authorised by Julia Angrisano, National Secretary