We were on our honeymoon when he got the first call. It is a policy of the bank where we worked that all affected employees are notified of their retrenchment on the same day.
This ensures that no employee’s redeployment period lasts longer than their co-workers. It also minimises any eventual payout that an employee will receive.
And that day for us was four days after we got married in Vegas and two weeks into our six week trip through the States.
I have been working for a big-four bank for the past five years. I started in a call-centre role and through learning every aspect of the retail business and hard work, I worked my way up to a very senior role. After working there for a year, I met my now husband, a specialist in commercial banking. We moved in together shortly thereafter and adopted some fur children, who were to be the beginning of our small family.
We had saved our money and leave for two years to pay for our own wedding and trip of a lifetime. We spent the remaining four weeks of our trip trying to conserve our depleted funds, regretting embarking on such a long trip and contemplating what would happen to us when we returned to Australia. Our plans of saving for our first home had been seriously derailed let alone any thoughts of children. I regretted spending our money on our wedding day, when now we were faced with living on my sole income.
The bank promised that they would try to find him another suitable role internally, however it was through his own networking skills that he found a new role within a month of our return. We were lucky, but most of my husband’s co-workers were not.
The majority failed to find a new role within the bank and found themselves subsequently unemployed. Their roles were still a required function of the bank but their team were “too expensive” to keep in Australia. Our Philippines-based hub now completes all of their jobs for an annual salary of $6,000AU.
Life forged on and so did the redundancies, departments around us starting to lose functions and roles to off-shoring and it became extremely clear that not one of our jobs was not at risk of off-shoring.
Our old CEO once told us that no customer facing roles would ever be off-shored. A whole department was informed at the start of 2012 their entire function would be completed in Manila within a few years.
A department of over 1,000 staff who are still completing their jobs, knowing quite well that this year or next year might be their last.
My husband received the second call over Easter.
Again, we found ourselves on holidays having taken a short Easter break when they rung. Again, my husband was informed that his role was being off-shored. This time we knew the odds were not in our favour of him finding a new role.