Ladbrokes Coral redundancy rankings consider online sign-ups
Ladbrokes Coral shop staff face a fight for their jobs through a controversial ranking system that will take into consideration how many customers they can persuade to sign up to online gambling accounts, a report has claimed.
The Guardian newspaper reported today (February 6) that a letter circulated to employees outlined how the bookmaker will close up to 1,000 of its 3,500 shops over the next 18 to 24 months. The report added that this could lead to about 5,000 staff members losing their jobs.
Ladbrokes Coral, which has blamed the impending reduction in maximum stakes at fixed-odds betting terminals from £100 to £2 in April for the gloomy outlook, has reportedly established a system that will rank staff according to different criteria, with employees grouped by area.
Forty per cent of a staff member’s score will be from an online test, with a further 20% based on a face-to-face interview and 10% set aside to reflect the individual’s past disciplinary record.
However, 30% of the score will reflect the number of customers they can persuade to set up online accounts, the report said.
“It is appalling that staff are being asked to take advantage of vulnerable people and urge them to sign up for online accounts – once again putting profit before customers' welfare,” said Carolyn Harris, a Member of Parliament who chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group on Gambling Related Harm.
The bookmaker has also told employees that it will not take any decision on which shops to close until it has completed a 45-day period of “collective consultation”.
Neither the bookmaker nor its parent company, GVC Holdings, responded to a request for comment today by iGamingBusiness.com.
The Guardian added that no redundancies will happen before May 1, with some staff set to be offered reduced contracts of 36 hours per week.
A Ladbrokes spokesperson told the newspaper shop closures were “an inevitable outcome of the changes to FOBT regulation”.
The spokesperson added: “We are fully committed to running a fair and transparent consultation process with our shop colleagues. Given the regulatory environment, our aim is to keep the maximum number of shops open, job losses to a minimum, and to continue to build a responsible and vibrant multi-channel environment in our shops where customers can transact with us seamlessly in our shops or online.”