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Absa defends IT staff moves

About 145 of Absa's IT staff members are still on gardening leave, while the bank attempts to assist them to find new jobs.

In February, ITWeb reported that about 200 staff were not successful in applying for positions within the reorganised structure and were escorted out of the building, carrying their possessions in boxes.

Fergus Marupen, Absa group human resources executive, says, so far, about 40 staff out of the initial 200 have resigned or have been placed elsewhere. At the moment, there are about 145 staff members who are still on gardening leave for the next two months, he says.

The bank's human resources department is contacting each of these people to determine whether its internal placement system is being used and whether staff are battling to find jobs, notes Marupen.

No clarity

However, Absa staff on reassignment are not guaranteed posts. The letter sent to employees states: “Should you not be able to secure a suitable alternative position in the Absa or Barclays groups during the reassignment period, you may be retrenched in line with the Absa reassignment and retrenchment policy.”

Employees have said Absa's internal recruitment system does not work as there are no positions available.

Marupen says Absa is seeking appropriate positions and is also engaging with PricewaterhouseCoopers to find posts for the affected staff. “This hasn't been an irresponsible process.”

Absa will take a view on its plan of action at the end of the period, says Marupen when asked whether there would be retrenchments. Absa has repeatedly denied there would be “mass” job cuts. Marupen says he is confident that most of the 145 staff members would find new posts.


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