||Issue No. 292||02 December 2005|
A Free Vote
Interview: The Binds That Tie
Unions: Worth Cycling For
Industrial: The Elephant in the Corner
Legal: A Law Unto Themselves
Politics: Ethically Lonely
History: Women, Unions, Banners and Parades
Women: Relaxed and Comfortable?
International: The Last Social Democrat
Review: The Corpse Bride
Culture: Tony Moore Holds His Own
The Locker Room
John Bares All
Tom A World Away
Bank Check on Bras
Its new grooming handbook hints that Ralph Norris might fancy himself as a bit of a Ralph Lauren.
The handbook advises female staff to give stockings with shiny finishes a miss because they will "make your legs look larger" and breasts the bra question with detailed advice on style and colour.
"Flesh coloured, smooth finish t-shirt bras will give you the best, most discrete look," it says.
Blokes need to be aware of where their ties hang and nasal hair, especially amongst the more mature, is on the nose.
"Trim your nose and ear hair. Hair in these areas can increase as you age and may give the impression that you are not well groomed," they are told.
"If your hair is light in colour, grey or curly, a shine product can add lustre and help it look healthy."
The Finance Sector Union describes the booklet as "patronising" and sees it as a strong indication to workers that they should spend more of their incomes on personal appearance.
"Although the new Grooming Handbook describes itself as only a guide and not Bank policy, we expect this document will be in managers' hands when they assess staff performance, particularly under the recently introduced Behaviour Assessment Tool," says Finance Sector Union national assistant secretary Sharron Caddie.
"We understand that staff must look professional, but this new Grooming Handbook is completely over the top.
"For example, it recommends staff buy expensive shoes, certain brands, even for female staff to throw out the little applicators that come with eye shadow and buy more expensive brushes instead."
She also says CBA staff may miss out on bonuses most would have qualified for under traditional performance reviews if their "behaviours" are deemed unsatisfactory.
"'Behaviours' are a set of vague concepts of the ideal employee, such as "Empowered and Accountable" or "Discipline and Excellence"," Caddie says. "As far as the FSU is concerned, nothing will stop the Grooming Handbook from being used against employees in such a way."
She says the handbook is particularly galling as the Commonwealth's new chief executive officer, Norris, is yet to address long-standing staff concerns, such as updating wages and conditions under the enterprise agreement, which is now two years out of date.
The handbook lists Bank-preferred styles and brands of bras and tells women to take the time to style their hair before leaving for work.
"Your hands do get noticed - moisturise your hands regularly," it advises.
"Consider having unruly brows regularly waxed or plucked."
Men are told to use eau de colognes on their body rather than after shave lotions and to update glasses at least once a year."
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