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IT Contractors jobless as Lloyds cuts staff

26 July, 2009

Only days after a slight upturn, the Lloyds Banking Group has reported that it has had to cut back on 370 contract employees, mostly in IT support. Unfortunately this cut back has set back the slight rally in the market for IT contractors.

The Lloyds decision to cut back agency and contract staff, comes on top of the 400 contract job losses that the group announced over the past few months. This means that since Lloyds TSB fused with HBOS, to create a single IT operation, approximated 8,200 staff have been cut back, including almost 800 IT contractors.

In a recent interview, a spokesperson for Lloyds Banking Group was unable to confirm how many of the 15,000 incoming lay-offs that were expected by unions were likely to affect temporary IT staff. He also intimated that IT contractors could be dismissed more easily than permanent staff and they would take the fall for their full-time counterparts. It is the group’s policy is to use natural turnover and to redeploy people wherever possible to retain their expertise and knowledge within the group.

This move by Lloyds will no doubt unsettle the group’s remaining IT contractors, as apart from the cut backs they have already been subjected to two pay cuts totalling 20%, within the last year.

Unite, speaking up for the workforce, demanded a freeze on the expansion of work done abroad by the group, at a time when its UK staff faced an “uncertain future.” However, the demand has been ignored, as the Lloyds TSB Group Union understands that, despite closing 659 IT roles in the UK to cut costs, the banking group is maintaining its staff level in India. With Lloyds TSB Group Union reportedly having said that even though both the bank’s IT and collections and recoveries operations were directly supported by well over a thousand staff based in India – and the bank flying into the UK many more IT staff from India who are paid low salaries – the axe had fallen entirely on the jobs of UK staff.

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