Danske Bank employees ready for more flexible work
More than 17,000 employees at the group level have applied for the subsidy for arranging a home workplace offered by Danske Bank. Finansforbundet in Danske Bank is positive about the initiative, as long as it is voluntary for the individual to choose to work from home.
A large portion of the 10,000 employees at Danske Bank in Denmark have worked at home most of the time over the past 12 months due to the corona situation. It has worked well, and many employees are ready to continue working from home, so they can save transport time and organise their work tasks more flexibly.
The Executive Board of Danske Bank has decided that the bank will provide a cash subsidy of around 50 per cent of the amount it costs to arrange a home workplace so that it complies with the Danish Working Environment Act (arbejdsmiljøloven). In Denmark, the amount corresponds to about DKK 8,000 before tax. Of the bank’s approximately 22,000 employees at the group level, the offer applies to those who want and have the opportunity to work from home, and more than 17,000 have already applied. The figure also includes applications to cover home office expenses already incurred.
It is up to the employees themselves to apply for the subsidy for a home workplace – equipment that has been borrowed from the bank during the corona pandemic must be returned and does not count. It is then up to the individual manager to approve the application and assess whether the employee will actually work at home part-time in the future.
“For us, it is important that the agreement to work from home is based on being voluntary, and that there is no provision that the employee must be home on a fixed basis, for example, two days a week. The individual employee must largely decide how their working life is arranged so that it best suits the individual. It may be that some weeks they are not in the office at all and other weeks they do not work from home at all”, says Kirsten Ebbe Brich, Chair of Finansforbundet in Danske Bank.
The trade union and Danske Bank have entered into a local agreement that grants exemptions from the provisions of the standard collective agreement so that working life can actually be flexible for those who want it. The local agreement has recently been approved by Finansforbundet’s Executive Committee.
The local agreement runs until the end of the current collective agreement period, i.e. 31 March 2023.
Office workplaces are shut down
An internal survey in Danske Bank indicates that well over half of those in Denmark will take advantage of the opportunity to work at home more in the future. According to Kirsten Ebbe Brich, this may mean that more office workplaces in the bank will be closed in the near future.
“Some employees are relaxed about it, while others express concern about whether there will be a place for them when they choose to go to the workplace. There may of course be problems with the space in some places if a lot of people choose to work from the office at the same time, but they will have to try to solve that in the individual teams and areas. Many employees would like to have both a permanent place at the office and a home workplace, but that wish will probably not come true”, says the Chair of Finansforbundet in Danske Bank.