Not only do some of their customers experience bad luck, but it appears that Bookmaker Ladbrokes Coral have had their fair share of misfortune this month.
The bookmaker’s redundancy plans have been leaked, outlining their intention to close up to 1,000 of its 3,500 shops over the next 18 to 24 months. There are estimations that this will affect up to 5,000 employees, some of whom will be made redundant with others facing a reduction in their hours.
Ladbrokes circulated a letter that detailed the plans for the consultation and redundancy process. It was envisaged that employees will be grouped by area and competing against each other on a range of criteria. The role of Customer Service Managers will apparently be scored on the following:
- 40% for an online test
- 20% for a face-to-face interview
- 10% for their past disciplinary record
- 30% will be determined by the number of people they can persuade to sign up for online accounts.
The notion that employees would be going head to head competing to demonstrate who could sign up the most people has caused both internal and external controversy.
Within Ladbrokes there is an internal messaging board where many employees have voiced their concern on the criteria of essentially getting gamblers to set up online accounts. One employee described the concept as “ethically wrong”.
The Labour MP and gambling campaigner Carolyn Harris, stated that it is “totally disgraceful that staff in bookmakers are being made to compete for their jobs in this way” and that she is “appalled, although sadly not surprised” that staff are being urged to take advantage of vulnerable people by encouraging them to sign up for online accounts.
Ethics aside, many have commented that the criteria will favour staff who work in busier shops who have more opportunity with passing trade. Consequently, the decision could be said to be a pre-determined decision that will negatively affect those stores outside city centres.
Ladbrokes is being urged to enter into discussions with Community, the union for betting shop workers, to consider alternative plans to avoid job losses.
Although there is no mandatory selection criteria for redundancy, it must be fair and objectively justifiable. Common selection criteria would include:
- performance and ability
- skills or experience
- attendance records
- disciplinary records.
Appropriate weighting could be applied, i.e. that some criteria is more important to your organisation than others. It is also advisable to have two independent managers marking the criteria.
If you have any questions or require any assistance in relation to redundancies in your workplace, please feel free to get in touch with one of the members of the Employment Team.