The new CBA job grading methodology for bank employees

The new CBA job grading methodology for bank employees


Among the fundamental changes introduced by the new Collective Bargaining Agreement for bank employees, there is a job grading exercise to perform in order to classify all functions in 4 new groups before the effective date, January 1st, 2020.

We have identified the various steps of the process and developed a DO’s & DON’T schema to ensure a proper implementation.


Preliminary steps:

  • Define the HR project core team
  • Plan the HR financial assessment (budget for potential salary costs) and the retro-planning
  • Assess the adaptability of the HRIS system
  • Inform the ExCo
  • Engage with staff delegation
  • Project management kick-off meeting
  • Communicate the grading project to employees

Assessment of the existing job descriptions & job grading exercise:

  • Compile an inventory of job descriptions/functions
  • Information session for managers
  • Draft new job descriptions according to new criteria
  • Calibrate and validate job descriptions
  • Communicate to staff delegation and managers
  • Job grading kick-off meeting
  • Train workshops participants
  • Grading workshops & remuneration review
  • Compare the different positions within the same business line / department and ensure consistency
  • Sign-off of the job grading results

Final steps:

  • Communicate job grading results to employees
  • Information sessions for employees
  • Communicate job results to staff delegation and managers







Group classification:

- Do not convert former groups with new groups



Job grading:

- Focus on the function (job description)

- Define objective criteria to assess each function

- Rate the value of each function (even by half-point if it can help)

- Do not compare job grading with individual performance evaluation

- Do not link the job grading with the individual skills


Job description:

- Summarize tasks with comparable scope

- Involve managers when drafting the new job descriptions

- Be clear, accurate, keep it simple and use a template with grids or questions

- Finalize all job descriptions before starting the job grading

- Do not draft a job description for each individual

- Do not use words like "manage" or "management of ...", or tools name which will eventually be outdated or clients, auditors and/or responsible names or number of people in a team


Grading workshop:

- Train participants to understand and get familiar with the function classification methodology (5 criteria)

- Evaluate functions by department starting with the highest functions

-Take the first criteria and assess all your functions against it, then replicate it with each other criteria

- Share the importance of confidentiality

- Stay objective despite potential special requirements of the business

- Avoid exceptions

- Do not start the grading workshop without having all the keys in hand and with untrained stakeholders

- Do not participate in the discussion of the classification of your own function

- Do not use the function as the driver of your assessment but the criteria

- Do not try to replicate the previous grading scale


Consistency review: 

- Review and cross-check the evaluations

- Do not finalize the process if the results don't reflect the current situation



- Be transparent and clear with staff representatives and employees

- Do not disregard employees' questions


- Reassess and adjust salaries to the group minimum amount after the grading process

- Do not decrease any remunerations as a consequence of the job grading process


  • Take detailed minutes during project management meetings
  • Provide business representatives with an instruction form on job description drafting
  • Create a FAQ
  • Be available for questions via a specific mailbox or HR Helpdesk
  • Do not underestimate the social dialogue
  • Start early to be ready on 01 January 2020