Work half the week from home, says French staff bank Business

France’s biggest bank has told its 132,000 staff they can continue to work from home until 2024 as lenders rush to stop staff quitting after the pandemic.

BNP Paribas has told workers across Europe they can stay home two and a half days a week for at least two years.

However, the plan is meant to exclude the UK branch of BNP Paribas, with the agreement allowing home-working for the next two years signed jointly with the bank and representatives of two European unions.

Insiders at the bank’s London office said flexible working is currently allowed, but it’s not yet clear what the long-term plan will be.

Nick Le Riche, an employment partner at BDB Pitmans, said UK businesses are “mainly watching things” as they assess the potential long-term impacts of working from home.

“As businesses assess the year after lockdown, they might be looking to cement things a bit more in one way or another,” he said.

The move suggests the bank will never return to the traditional nine-to-five shift after an uphill battle in the financial industry to recoup full-time staff.

In addition to allowing workers to stay at home, the BNP has also agreed to foot the bill for the costs of working remotely, such as cooking more meals at home, Bloomberg reported.

Financial institutions have offered a host of new or improved benefits in the wake of the Covid crisis as the sector tries to tackle burnout and prevent staff from moving to other industries.

However, the banking sector is divided on whether staff should be able to continue working flexibly, with most Wall Street lenders taking a much tougher stance on returning to work than their European rivals.

The flexibility offered also depends on individual roles, with traders and investment bankers largely expected to be at their desks more than others due to compliance concerns.

The Financial Conduct Authority warned banks earlier this year that misconduct risks could be ‘increased by working from home’ as more people turn to unmonitored forms of communication such as WhatsApp to share potentially sensitive work information.

He said such actions are considered serious and warned the subject “will remain an area of ‚Äč‚Äčinterest”.

BNP Paribas did not respond to a request for comment.

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This notice was published: 2022-04-07 08:00:00

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