HSBC to move 1,200 UK employees to permanent home working

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HSBC PLC (LON:HSBA) is moving 1,200 UK-based employees to permanent home working.

Around 70% of its 1,800 call centre staff have volunteered to never go back to the office, Reuters reported.

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A quarter of the staff said they would prefer staying home only a few days per week, while 5% were happy to go back to the office every day.

The bank has offered £300 per year on top of people’s salaries to cover for extra expenses such as heating and electricity bills.

Workers’ union Unite said such initiatives are acceptable only if staff are truly on board with the idea and if rights are protected.

Earlier this year, the FTSE 100 group said it remained committed to its flagship London office at Canary Wharf but will cut office space elsewhere by 40% as part of its cost-saving drive.

Several UK companies have switched to permanent home working to save costs after deeming it as a success when it was imposed by COVID-19 restrictions.

But the government is pushing businesses to return to the workplace, with Rishi Sunak urging them to invest in growth albeit keeping in mind the benefits of flexibility with home working.

Remaining in the banking sector, Nationwide said last month it will allow its 13,000 office-based employees to work anywhere in the UK.

The reduced need for physical space means Nationwide will shut three offices it leases in Swindon, although it will retain its headquarters and major administration centres.

Shares in HSBC rose 2% to 433.7p on Wednesday afternoon.

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