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Union Volunteer Criticism Scaremongering

Tuesday 3 July 2001

Union Volunteer Criticism Groundless Scaremongering

ANZ has hit back at the Bank workers' union, Finsec, for criticising its new staff volunteer leave policy.

Last week ANZ announced that it was providing its nearly 4,000 staff with one day of paid leave per year to provide volunteer services to charities and community organisations of their choice.

ANZ's General Manager Human Resources David Laragy said staff were involved in putting together the volunteer scheme and the Bank would continue to closely monitor their feedback.

Mr Laragy said it was very worrying that Finsec had tried to scare staff with the prospect of increased workloads when the Bank had said it would do whatever was appropriate to make sure the policy worked well for staff.

He said it would be a shame if other companies were discouraged from introducing similar policies because of such a negative response from the union.

The Union's claim that the policy may lead to increased stress levels for ANZ staff has been labelled 'groundless scaremongering'.

Mr Laragy also questioned the reliability of Finsec's so-called 'stress surveys'. He said the Bank regularly surveyed large numbers of its staff and in the last 2 surveys, staff satisfaction had increased.

He commented staff had also indicated in surveys that staff numbers and workload were being better managed.

Mr Laragy said there was a lot of work still to do, but that ANZ was committed to addressing any staff issues openly and honestly.

"There has been a very positive response to the launch of the ANZ Volunteer Policy from our staff and it has attracted good feedback from our customers around the country. We have also received a significant amount of interest from various charities keen to take advantage of the policy.

ENDS




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