More high street banks are expected to follow the lead of Barclays Bank and negotiate deals to safeguard the interests of staff affected by offshore outsourcing.
Barclays signed an agreement with finance trade union Unifi following the bank's decision last year to outsource some of its IT operations.
The deal will give employees three months' notice of potential employment strategy changes, regardless of their affiliation to a union. Unifi represents over two thirds of Barclays' 9,000 UK IT staff.
Barclays will offer voluntary redundancy, provide a £2m fund for redeploying its staff or give up to £2,000 per employee for training in a new career outside the organisation.
It will also give three months' pay to redundant employees if they are not redeployed or retrained according to the bank's other measures.
"The overall principle of the agreement is to minimise the number of job losses, as well as the impact in communities on which these jobs are based," said a Barclays spokeswoman.
"This framework has come about because of outsourcing strategies but its principles apply to any major restructuring project that has an impact on staff."
Unifi said the deal marked a breakthrough in corporate and union relations. Keith Brookes, chief Unifi negotiator, said similar negotiations with other banks, including Lloyds TSB and HSBC, were ongoing.
"Our policy is that jobs shouldn't go overseas in the first place," he said. "But globalisation is happening and this is a reasonable, pragmatic deal that minimises outsourcing pain and job losses."
Peter Skyte, national secretary of white collar union Amicus, said it was important that unions and employers discuss and resolve offshore outsourcing issues.
"We are currently in negotiations with a number of employers planning offshore strategies, but none are at a stage where I can discuss them," he said.
"Amicus is seeking to safeguard jobs and career prospects of employees in companies faced with outsourcing strategies in general, and to ensure that the use of [skilled] people and technology is not reduced within the UK."
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