NAB staff claim ‘dehumanising’ overwork causing physical and mental health problems | National Australia Bank

NAB employees say they struggle with depression, self-harm, physical health problems, and broken relationships due to stressful unpaid overtime, which in some cases may amount to three extra days a week.

A survey of current and former bank employees, prepared by the Finance Industry Federation (FSU) to support the federal court action it plans to take against the bank on the issue, showed that 93% of the surveyed mid-level and above bankers work more. Of the standard 38 hours a week, he paints a bleak picture of life in the bank.

“I deliberately drove off the road in an attempt to have an accident serious enough to stop the insanity, but not so much to die,” a bank employee said in a union survey.

“My relationship ended at the time, I think largely because I lost my core.”

Employees reported that if they did not work overtime without pay, they would face punishment from the bank’s management, including being fired, intimidated and stripped of bonuses.

“My job is terminated,” said one of the bankers. “I was completely helpless.”

In its report, “Working for Nothing,” FSU said that working overtime without pay had become a norm within the bank and that there was a “fatal culture,” where employees succumbed to the practice.

“Management is turning a blind eye, so they don’t have to tackle workloads,” said one of the workers surveyed.

Another said: “I have been consistently shocked by the toxic culture and the deceptive way in which senior leaders have acted any guilt to drive employees into a mental breakdown.”

The National Secretary of the Federation of Southern Sudan, Julia Angrisano, said the overtime could be described as “another version of wage theft”.

“A significant proportion of employees report being pressured to work long hours each week by managers who are also required to work long hours,” she said.

“These demands are unjust, coercive and dehumanizing.”

FSU surveyed more than 1,200 current and former NAB employees who worked at Grade 3 or higher — ranks that include senior frontline employees and managers.

Under the enterprise agreement between the bank and the union, such employees are required to work additional overtime as long as is reasonable.

Of those surveyed, 93% said the NAB asked them to work more than 38 hours per week to perform their regular duties.

Two-thirds of respondents said that the demand for additional hours has been going on for more than three years.

Four out of five said the extra work caused physical or mental health problems, including fatigue, loss of sleep and back or neck pain.

“Like many NAB employees, I collapsed — hospitalized on my own tunnel in the mental health ward,” one respondent said.

Another was “so stressed that I was hospitalized in the intensive care unit where I spent a week and two months recovering at home from extreme stress and physical breakdown.”

More than three-quarters of survey respondents said overtime eats on weekends, and more than half said they worked while on annual leave.

More than half also reported that the increased workload caused problems in the relationship, with many also saying they missed family and school events.

“They stole my time from my family,” one respondent said.

Many blamed NAB for the end of their marriages.

Someone said, “The marriage is over.” “Husband said I work a lot.”

More than 900 of the 32,000 NAB employees also kept four-week diaries of their hours.

While about three-quarters of employees said they were listed to work between 38 and 40 hours a week, only 11% to 12% worked during the four-week period.

During that time, work 60 hours or more ranged between 9% and 10%.

One respondent said, “Seventy hours a week is twice the time I am expected to work and my paycheck.” “I lost financially, including super.”

An NAB spokesperson said the bank “does not expect colleagues to work unreasonable overtime.”

“We take any situation where the workload affects a colleague’s health and life outside of work seriously. If this is the case, we encourage colleagues to raise their concerns with their leader, or to report any concerns via our confidential whistleblower line.”

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