NAB AGM – our question to the Board on unreasonable hours

Mr Chairman, on Tuesday 7th December the Finance Sector Union released a report titled “Working for Nothing – How NAB robs employees’ pay, health and family time”.

The report details the experiences of over 1200 NAB employees suffering severe health and wellbeing consequences as a result of exploitative hours of work practices, which has enabled patterns of work over and above 60+hrs per week spanning over a decade.

These consequences include hospitalisations ranging from days to weeks for injuries of heart problems to severe depression, ongoing health issues for years, of relationship breakdowns and divorce and most concerning the contemplation of self-harm.

As one respondent noted – “My mental health deteriorated significantly. My Programme Manager joked about working me to death” another “ I almost self-harmed one night driving home. I drove my car off the road deliberately to try and have an accident to stop the insanity, but not so much to die….” And “I crashed my car once as a result of driving home so tired after a string of 20hr days. Manager just waived it off as a non-NAB issue”.

These workers describe a pervasive and toxic internal culture that coerces employees to sacrifice their health and relationships to maintain their jobs while the Board and Senior Executives ignore their ethical and legal obligations in the pursuit of profit maximisation.  

It would appear that no lessons have been learnt as these are the same criticisms levelled at NAB by the Hayne Royal Commission.

A copy of this report was provided to the CEO and Senior Executives. With no correspondence details listed for the Chair and Board we were unable to send a copy directly to you but trust the CEO has shared it with you.   

The NAB Board of Directors has a duty of care to their employees and ultimate responsibility for providing a healthy and safe work environment. How then do you explain the lack of due diligence and failure in governance, resulting in the hardships experienced by so many NAB employees?

Will the Board today acknowledge the harms caused to these workers by the Bank’s pursuit of profit and agree to remove the risks from the workplace and to the hundreds of millions in financial compensation owed to these workers?