Barclays Bank contractors in 20% rate cut sham

In what would appear to be another in a new round of contractor rate cuts for 2002 (Deutsche Bank contractors recently received a 10% cut), IT contractors at Barclays Bank have been told to accept a 20% rate cut, or have their contract terminated.

Unlike in other rate-cut examples, we have had several emails from our visitors who tell us they only found out via a post on the Barclays Intranet site, or via the in-house 'radio station'! No letter, no 'meeting', nothing. As one contractor told us:

"Both of these approaches are a disgusting, and dispicable way to treat professionals, who have already had their business accounts stripped of interest and excessive bank charges."

Another contractor sent us the following response:

"The cut applies all IT contractors across all projects... the memo on the Barclays Intranet was patronising to say the least. On one hand we constantly get a rack of memos about how well the Bank treats people but on the other hand the actions tell a different story..."

The following extracts were posted on the Barclays Intranet site and clearly shows why this move has generated such an angry response from those working on one project affected by the cuts.

Note: We have substituted abc for the Project name.

Contractor Rate Reductions in 'abc'

"Together with our colleagues on the abc Executive team, we've been actively seeking ways to reduce our cost base, balanced with creating best value for our clients and managing the risks to our business. We have also been looking at external market conditions that may help us achieve our cost challenge.

Against this background and after careful consideration, we have decided to serve 1 months notice of termination to IT and Project Management contractors supplied through agencies and working in abc. This notice will take effect from 1st June 2002.

The agencies will be advising their contractors over the next few days and this communication for abc was originally planned for early next week when all those affected had been advised. However, it has become apparent that certain agencies have released this information early and to avoid rumours and speculation this communication has been brought forward.

We will renew all contracts, subject to resourcing requirements, for those who will accept a 20% reduction in their rates, effective from 1st July 2002. We're looking for as many contractors as possible to accept our offer

to continue working in abc at these new rates.."

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