- Technology said to be replacing human capital in local banks
- Banks using voluntary separation to retrench
- Minister says labour laws were not broken
The Minister of Employment, Labour, Productivity and Skills Development, Mpho Balopi, said in answer to a question from the MP for Bobonong, Taolo Lucas, who wanted to know the number of employees who left the employ of local banks since the advent of COVID-19, the number of employees per bank who left through voluntary separation or mutual separation, if there are any banks that are writing retrenchment letters to employees, the major reasons banks are generally reducing the number of employees, and when last the Labour Department perform inspections in the banking sector to ascertain fair labour practices.
According Minister Balopi, 151 bank workers left through voluntary separation while 239 left through the normal avenues of end of contract, resigning, and retirement.
Of the 239 who left through the normal avenues, Absa Botswana led the numbers with 111 followed by First National Bank Botswana (FNBB) with 106. Standard Chartered Bank had 83, Botswana Building Society 22, Bank Gaborone 22, Stanbic had 16, Botswana Savings Bank had 12 leave their employ while Bank ABC, the Bank of Botswana and First Capital Bank have retained all their employees.
Of the 151 who left through voluntary separation, Standard Chartered parted ways with 64 employees followed closely by Absa and FNB with 38 and 64 employees respectively.
Balopi said Stanbic Bank and State Bank of India had written retrenchment letters to staff and engaging the Commissioner of Labour but Stanbic decided to withdraw such letters while the latter sought to get 8 of its 9 employees to be absorbed by its sister company, Bank of Baroda, as it was closing shop.
Banks are said to have reasons like new technology and innovations that dispose of the need for human capital, as well as centralisation of services and closure of branches.
Nevertheless, Minister Balopi assured Parliament that labour regulations were followed that his ministry’s training and development department will advocate for the retooling of bank workers to get them more acquainted with new technology.