Commerzbank and employee representative committees agree framework for personnel reductions
Binding outline reconciliation of interests and outline social plan agreed on / Bettina Orlopp: "Our common goal, as ever, is to ensure that the restructuring is handled as socially responsibly as possible. We have now laid the foundations for this."(lifePR) (Frankfurt/Main, )
Commerzbank and German employee representatives have agreed that operational redundancies will be used only as a last resort in implementing the personnel reductions. The numerous other options included in the set of measures specified in the outline reconciliation of interests must first be exhausted. Both sides agreed on the outline social plan designed to compensate for or lessen the financial disadvantages for the employees affected.
The parties to the negotiations had already agreed, in spring 2017, on an age-related part-time working scheme which would come into effect first. Now the other measures have been set out. These include provisions for older employees such as early retirement and the “56plus” severance scheme, termination agreements with a severance package, and voluntary individual reductions in working hours.
Large-scale staff transfers are planned as part of the restructuring. To soften the impact on the employees affected, the Bank will provide salary safeguards, commuter grants, opportunities to gain qualifications, and assistance with finding new positions.
Details of the personnel reductions in the individual Group divisions in Germany will be worked out, based on the agreements, over the coming months and set out in partial reconciliations of interest. The aim is to complete the negotiations by the end of this year.
Bettina Orlopp, Executive Board Member responsible for Compliance, Human Resources and Legal, said: “The personnel reductions are painful for the Bank and those affected. However, they are necessary in order to make the Bank fit for the future, and are an important step in the implementation of our Commerzbank 4.0 strategy. We want to ensure that the restructuring is handled as socially responsibly as possible. We have laid the foundations for this with the outline reconciliation of interests and the outline social plan.”
Uwe Tschäge, Chairman of the General and Group Works Council, stated: “Our aim is to avoid operational redundancies and to cushion the impact of the personnel reductions, as well as to maintain decent jobs for the remaining employees going forward. We are heading in the right direction with the agreements we have struck, and will build on this in our further negotiations.”
Commerzbank wants to sustainably increase its profitability by the end of 2020. As part of its “Commerzbank 4.0 strategy”, it is systematically focussing on its core businesses and wants to digitalise 80 percent of relevant processes. The reorientation makes significant personnel reductions inevitable. The Bank plans to have a core workforce of around 36,000 full-time positions by 2020, compared with around 43,000 full-time positions at the end of 2015.
As already announced, the Commerzbank will book restructuring expenses of around €810 million in the second quarter of 2017 for the personnel reductions. The Bank had previously forecast restructuring provisions of €550 million for 2017 and 2018 respectively. The lower charge is due to the personnel reductions already implemented, staff turnover and expected efficiencies in staff transfers and replacements.
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