Barclays strikes offshore labour deal

Barclays strikes offshore labour deal

Barclays has become the first UK bank to agree a framework with labour unions over the outsourcing of jobs to low-cost countries.

Finance union Unifi has hailed the deal as a "breakthrough agreement" that provides a national benchmark for avoiding compulsory redundancies.

Unifi has recently been locked in negotiations with Barclays over plans to export hundreds of software development jobs to India under a putative outsourcing pact with Accenture. The bank is also keen to move more call centre positions to low-cost offshore centres.

Lead negotiator for Unifi, Keith Brookes, says: "Unifi has recognised Barclays' need to reshape the business, and the bank has recognised the union's need to protect the employability and job security of its members."

Under the agreement, all staff under threat of having their job transferred will automatically qualify for three months advance notice in addition to three months severance pay.

Barclays is also setting up retraining programmes and a voluntary redundancy register to maximise redeployment opportunities for staff across the group.

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