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Westpac compounds workplace stress

Westpac compounds workplace stress

Westpac bank will today be warned that its call centre workers, who are already dealing with a stressful job, face increasing pressure from an ever-changing roster system and lack of work-life balance.

The bank officer’s union, Finsec, and Westpac are back in talks at 11am today over the collective agreement after union members at the call centres walked off the job for a day earlier this week.

Westpac call centre staff are required to work half an hour more each day than other Westpac workers, and they are also on a continually changing roster system.

“We will be asking Westpac today, why they treat these call centre workers worse than anywhere else in the bank” said Finsec organiser Karen Skinner.

Occupational Safety and Health guidelines showed that shift work was a contributing factor to stress in the workplace.

“We are concerned that Westpac is increasing the stress levels of its call centre staff by expecting them to work a changing roster pattern and longer hours,” she said. “A call centre environment is already risk prone, with a constant incoming call flow, repetitive work and limited ability to manage your own day. Evidence shows that shift work just compounds this.”

Sports and Recreation NZ research shows that a key barrier to adults being more active is a lack of routine. “At Westpac’s call centres, that’s exactly what staff are trying to achieve.

“Happy and healthy staff are more productive, so it’s in the bank’s own interest to address these work-life balance concerns” Ms Skinner concluded.

Auckland call centre worker Jane Moss said her changing roster meant she struggled to commit to her netball team. “We want stable work hours so that we can plan our lives. Other workers take it for granted that they can plan a life outside of work, but for us the roster system is a huge barrier.”

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