British banking giant Barclays is offering triple overtime pay to its frontline employees working in call centres and branches to aid customers amid the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
The decision has been taken as a demand for mortgage holidays and government-backed business loans have surged during the countrywide lockdown, The Guardian reported.
The move will benefit thousands of low-paid employees who are working extra hours to deal with a growing number of customer calls.
Employees who are off the work due to sickness, self-isolation will also benefit, the report added.
In an internal memo, Barclays said that it would pay three times the hourly rate to contractors and local managers, who are originally not eligible for overtime pay.
On the contrary, Barclays’ key workers like investment bankers, who are originally eligible for the overtime pay, are not a part of the latest overtime scheme.
In the memo, Barclays said: “We’ve been looking at ways we can help manage the unprecedented operational volumes we’re seeing at this difficult time – one of those is increasing the overtime hourly rate.”
Trade union Unite welcomes the move
The British and Irish trade union Unite welcomed the bank’s decision to offer a hike in pay to its frontline staff.
However, Barclays is falling short in areas like maintaining social distancing and keeping branches open on Saturdays when most high street branches have closed, the union warned.
Barclays follows US banks
Barclays’ decision is in line with the decision taken by a few big US banks to increase the payouts for the employees who could not work from home during the outbreak.
Last week, JP Morgan pledged to pay $1,000 (£800) to its frontline workers.
Bank of America promised to give frontline workers an extra $400 per month.
Wells Fargo also offered similar benefits to its employees.