AIB plans to cut staff by 2,000


AIB's plan to cut its workforce by 2,000 employees is set to be implemented on a phased basis from October onwards, while promotion opportunities will be reintroduced at management level.

In an email sent to bank staff last Friday, executive chairman David Hodgkinson said the reduction in staff numbers would be achieved on a voluntary basis “as far as possible”.

Talks with the banking union IBOA in relation to the 2,000 job cuts announced by AIB in April broke down last month after the bank was unable to provide reassurances that there would be no mandatory redundancies, and the union referred the matter to the Labour Relations Commission.

Mr Hodgkinson said that if agreement is soon reached on the terms of the bank’s severance programme, the redundancies will be phased in over a 15-month period beginning in October. “People will be informed in September as to the timing and scheduling of the first change implementation,” he said.

He acknowledged the level of anxiety and frustration among staff members caused by the lack of clarity on severance programmes.

He also said normal HR practices had been suspended over two years, mainly due to cost pressures, but that the bank will now focus on “normalising promotion opportunities” at junior management and manager grades.

A large number of people have “stepped up” over the past two years to fill more senior vacancies. “We will recognise this in as fair a way as possible for all concerned,” he said.

At the end of 2010, AIB employed a total of 14,255 staff. In April Mr Hodgkinson said the bank had reduced its workforce by 1,300 people over the previous two years through natural attrition.