Ladbrokes Coral staff under performance review as redundancies loom
Ladbrokes Coral has reportedly informed staff at its 3,500 betting shops to get as many customers as possible to sign up for online accounts in an effort to avoid redundancy.
According to reports, the best performers will be able to avoid planned redundancies by the group.
Ladbrokes Coral is planning to close around one third of its 3,500 UK Betting shops, which would lead to around 5,000 staff being made redundant, in preparation for reduced revenues after stakes on fixed-odds betting terminals were slashed from £100 to £2 last year.
The claims surface from an internal memo sent to employees and seen by The Guardian. In the letter, it states that redundancies will be selected via a ranking system, and employees will be competing with other employees in their area on a range of different criteria.
This criteria will also vary by role. The Guardian reports that customer service managers will undergo an online test, along with an interview, while their past discipline record will also factor.
However, 30% of their score will depend on how many customers they can convince to sign up to a new online account. This clause has drawn the attention of the Community trade union, as well as Carolyn Harris, a Labour MP who has been a campaigner against gambling. Speaking about the memo, Harris said:
It is totally disgraceful that staff in bookmakers are being made to compete for their jobs in this way. I am also appalled, although sadly not surprised, that staff are being asked to take advantage of vulnerable people and urge them to sign up for online accounts. We are dealing with the scourge of FOBTs but at the same time bookmakers are seemingly seeking to drive problems online. It is time for bookmakers and gambling operators to put the vulnerable, customers and staff ahead of cold hearted profit.–Carolyn Harris, Labour MP Swansea East
According to the memo, Ladbrokes is undergoing a 45 day consultation period to decide which shops to close. Dismissals will begin after 1 May, after the FOBT legislation comes into force. Along with redundancies, some staff will see their hours reduced.