Working on weekends

Weekend Rugby ANZ Australia is currently extending its hours in its branch network, so that more than eighty branches will open until 7pm on Thursdays or Fridays, while others open from 9am to 5pm on Saturdays.

Last year Finsec ran a campaign in ANZ National to protect workers who were required to work weekends and late evenings. At the time we argued that weekends (and evenings) are an important part of New Zealand’s culture, and should be protected. They are the time workers get to spend with our kids, and family. It’s when we can play sports, have a barbeque with friends, and go to church. The campaign was not about trying to stop banks opening on evenings or weekends, but about ensuring that New Zealand workers would be compensated fairly when they work ‘unsocial hours’ as part of their normal hours of work. Although very few bank branches open at the weekends at the moment in New Zealand, more probably will in the future, (along with many back office areas that already do) so it is important that these issues are resolved now.

And these issues are exactly the ones that are currently throwing bank staff lives into disarray in Hong Kong. Staff at HSBC, which now runs it branches 7 days a week, have found that the new working hours are ‘eroding their quality of life, taking away time with families and throwing study plans into chaos’.

3,200 members of the Hong Kong Banking Employees Association have written letters about their concerns at having to work on weekends.

The employees association’s vice chairman, Yu Siu-wa, ‘accused the banks of lacking corporate responsibility by overlooking the needs of staff.’

‘He also said the public may have been given a false impression that the banks were acting in their customers’ best interests by extending services seven days a week. But most services to be offered on weekends are in wealth management and financial planning.

(Thanks to Phillip C for the photo)

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