Skye Bank Plc has laid off 175 of its staff in spite of the directive issued by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, last Friday that banks should put on hold the current gale of retrenchment sweeping through the banking industry.
In a statement issued on Monday, the bank attributed the retrenchment of the affected staff members to their failing the bank’s appraisal exercise held in 2015.
According to the statement a combination of factors was taken into consideration in the annual exercise which ranged from low productivity to disciplinary issues.
The bank also explained that the affected staff were duly exited in line with the bank’s staff exit policy.
The staff disengagement exercise is coming 18 months after the bank’s integration with erstwhile Mainstreet Bank, which it acquired in October 2014.
The bank said it extended its appreciation to the affected staff for serving the bank, describing them as “members of the family” who would always be accorded deserving respect in their future dealings with the bank.
However, when Nigerian Tribune got to the branch opposite the PDP National Headquarters in Wuse Zone 5 where seven of the staff were affected by the retrenchment exercise, around midday, on Monday, some of the staff were seen talking in hushed tones while the cashiers attending to customers struggled to put up perfunctory smiles.
A staff, who spoke with our correspondent, lamented that those disengaged were paid only three months’ salary as parting benefits.
It was gathered also that another sack list would soon be released based on “age versus level”.
The source explained that “age versus” level means that the bank’s authority was presently matching the age of each staff with the grade level that the staff has attained to determine who would remain and who else to go.
Last week, the management of Eco Bank sacked over 1000 of its staff.
Ngige, in his reaction to the wave of sack in the industry had said in a statement that “Following spate of petitions and complaints from stakeholders in the banking, insurance and financial institutions, I hereby direct the suspension of the on-going retrenchment pending the outcome of the conciliatory meetings in the industry.
“This is as a result of the apprehension by my office of the various disputes in the sector in accordance and in compliance with the provisions of the labour laws of Nigeria,” it said.
“In this wise, all the retrenchments and redundancies done in the last four months and all proposed ones should be put on hold pending the outcome of the proposed stakeholders’ summit for the banking, insurance and financial institutions’ employers and employees, slated for the first week of July 2,’’ the statement read in part.