Coronavirus: Lloyds tells staff to work from home until spring

Suban Abdulla
·2-min read
Lloyds Bank, Halifax, Bank of Scotland and Scottish Widows are all under the Lloyd’s Banking Group umbrella. Photo: Isabel Infantes / AFP via Getty Images
Lloyds Bank, Halifax, Bank of Scotland and Scottish Widows are all under the Lloyd’s Banking Group umbrella. Photo: Isabel Infantes / AFP via Getty Images

Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L) is to ask most of its 65,000 staff who are currently working from home due to COVID-19 to continue doing so until at least spring 2021.

It comes after a rise of coronavirus cases renewed the UK government’s guidance urging employees to work remotely if they can. The group said its decision was “in line with guidance.”

Currently, two thirds of Lloyds employees are understood to be working from home, but employees continue to serve customers at its 890 high street bank branches.

A spokesperson for Lloyds Banking Group, said: “In line with guidance from the UK and national governments, and given the majority of our colleagues are working from home, we have asked them to continue to do so until at least spring."

In September Britain’s biggest domestic lender said it was cutting 865 jobs as part of restructuring plans.

Lloyds Bank, Halifax, Bank of Scotland and Scottish Widows are all under the Lloyd’s Banking Group umbrella.

The decision might come as a blow to the City of London where it employees thousands. The capital moved into Tier 2 COVID-19 restrictions last week, after a rise in cases. The restrictions mean that people are banned from socialising with other households in indoor settings, including in pubs and restaurants.

READ MORE: Lloyds Bank restarts 865 redundancies

Lloyd’s move is the latest in a number of firms that have begun to reevaluate their working options since the coronavirus crisis forced nationwide and localised lockdowns and the government asking workers to avoid commuting if they can.

Last week, accounting firm Deloitte announced it would close four UK offices and offer the 500 staff who work in their offices in Gatwick, Southampton, Liverpool and Nottingham work-from-home contracts.

Other big companies that have been considering moves to working from home, or downsizing office space include BP (BP). At the end of August, reports stated the oil giant would sell its headquarters.

BP chief Bernard Looney has previously said the FTSE 100 (^FTSE) company will move to a more “hybrid work style,” balancing home and office working.

This comes alongside news that banks could also be moving away from working in big office blocks in the near future by converting underused parts of their high street branches into space to work.

Virgin Money (VMUK.L) and Metro Bank (MTRO.L) have already made plans to convert parts of branches into flexible working space, according to the FT.

Watch: Why job losses have risen despite the economy reopening