Own CBA shares? Union labels bank ‘irresponsible’ following major COVID change

A business man yelling at another business man through a mega phone.A business man yelling at another business man through a mega phone.

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) share price has been on the up-and-up this week.

That’s despite the Finance Sector Union (FSU) having slammed the bank for denying staff paid COVID-19 leave.

According to the union, the bank’s paid pandemic leave was revoked this month despite Australia’s current Omicron wave.

At the time of writing, the CBA share price is $97.97. That’s 0.35% higher than its previous close and 5% higher than it was at the end of last week.

For context, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has lifted 0.24% today and 3% this week.

Let’s take a closer look at criticisms hurled at the banking giant this week.

Union slams CBA for scrapping paid pandemic leave

The CBA share price has outperformed this week despite the FSU labelling the bank’s decision to scrap paid pandemic leave “irresponsible”.

According to the union, CBA staff were told the bank would no longer provide ten days of paid leave to those impacted by COVID-19, saying it was an additional benefit provided during the 2021 and 2022 financial years.

They were told if time off was needed because they or a family member contracted COVID-19 they could use personal or carers leave.

Finance Sector Union national secretary Julia Angrisano said it was “outrageous” that CBA would scrap the initiative before the end of the pandemic, continuing:

Even worse that the CBA pulls the pin on its staff at the same time the Federal and State governments have extended Pandemic Leave Disaster payments for workers without sick leave.

What does the CBA expect to happen here? Have taxpayers pick up the cost? … This is the bank that posted a $2.4 billion dollar third quarter cash profit in May.

The union has called upon the bank and its CEO Matt Comyn to reinstate the leave entitlement.

A spokesperson for CBA said the bank instated paid pandemic leave in 2020 to support staff facing 14-day isolation periods, lengthy lockdowns, and homeschooling. They continued:

Should our people be unwell, or required to care for immediate family or a household member, they have access to a range of different leave options to support them. In the event all these leave options have been exhausted, employees are encouraged to have the conversation with their manager to understand other options that may be available.

CBA share price snapshot

The CBA share price is currently 4.5% lower than it was at the start of 2022. It has also fallen 2% since this time last year.

The post Own CBA shares? Union labels bank ‘irresponsible’ following major COVID change appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia.

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Motley Fool contributor Brooke Cooper has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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