MADRID – CaixaBank has announced that it will moderate the previously announced reorganisation plan as a result of the merger with Bankia. The closure of 1,500 bank branches will not mean a permanent layoff of 8,291 staff as previously mentioned. However there are still expected to be redundancies for 7,791 people.
This is the largest proposed round of layoffs in the financial sector in Spanish history. After fierce criticism of this drastic decision, Caixabank comes up with the initiative to find alternative jobs for all 7,791 employees for whom a definitive redundancy scheme (ERE) has been made. For the 500 employees who would initially also lose their job, another position is being sought within the bank.
It is the first time that a bank in Spain is looking for a job alternative for all dismissed employees. Banco Santander has promised to look for other work for some of the redundant employees at the end of this year.
Employee redundancies – almost half under the age of 50
Caixabank is revising its reorganisation plan after unions brushed aside the proposed mass redundancies. The unions also put pressure on the Spanish government to reduce the number of EUA schemes. In all likelihood, the bank will further reduce the number of redundancies in the course of next month, following new consultations with the social partners. Details about the relocation plan will be announced after the upcoming social consultations. This redeployment plan is of great economic importance, because roughly half of the redundant employees are under 50 years old.
BBVA signs contract with Randstad for relocation
Like Caixabank, BBVA announced it will seek new work for the 3,798 workers made redundant. BBVA has concluded an agreement with Randstad for this. However, unlike Caixabank, BBVA is not looking for alternative work within its own organisation. Also, the number of ERE schemes has not been reduced so far. The period within which alternative work is sought has been extended to a maximum of two and a half years. Randstad takes care of the guidance, training and advice for all dismissed employees and looks for a suitable position for each of them. Extra attention will also be paid to employees aged 45 and over and employees who are nearing retirement age.
Similar to Caixabank and Santander, BBVA is carrying out the reorganisation out of necessity to cut costs due to the corona pandemic and the ongoing digitization of the financial sector. BBVA’s initial plan has also not been accepted by the social partners. They demand a reduction in the number of proposed EUA schemes and a proposal for voluntary redundancy schemes.