So it’s been a little over a month since we saw the introduction of the National Living Wage but instead of praise for a better bank balance for employees, there’s been a backlash of outrage against some “tight fisted” employers that have found a way around the legislation that has resulted in some actually being worse off… #livingwageoutrage
So how have they done this? Well, not that I want to name and shame but, let’s take the example being very poorly set by B&Q, they have made changes to employees contracts which take away additional “premium pay” for Sundays and Bank holidays, which used to be set at time and half and double time respectively. The new contracts are getting rid of some long standing bonuses of around 6% AND those that don’t sign these new terms can have their employment terminated and lose any accrued bonus. These changes now mean that some of their staff are out of pocket by hundreds or even thousands of pounds! Would you sign up to that??
They, along with other companies guilty of removing premium pay packages, have said that they have made the changes to be fair across the board and that some employees will be better off under the new terms. Unfortunately others will not and as one whistle-blower said “this is a kick in the teeth being loyal”.
Some other big name companies are clawing back the pennies by revoking perks previously offered to some staff to be able to give the increase to others, here are some examples:
EAT are taking away the 30 minute paid breaks, which sees some employees £936 worse off, however they have extended the £7.20 minimum wage to all staff regardless of age.
Zizzi have reduced their choice of free food for some employees resulting in a hit of £520 a year, but have said they now make discounted food available to all staff.
Café Nero have taken away a free panini, yes really a simple free panini, which sees their employees worse off by £364 over the year.
George Osborne has commented “this is not in the spirit of this law, this is not how it was intended.” However, he must have seen it coming… it was predicted that to cover the extra wage bill, an additional £3 billion pounds a year would need to be found from somewhere and that in fact 60,000 jobs could be lost by 2020.
But while some giveth just to taketh away. Aldi and Lidl have really stepped up and in fact increased their wage to £8.40ph for all staff, saying that the best way to maintain profitability and make these increases work, is to make every one of those hours for every employee as productive as possible, and I think that’s a great example to set.
Do you want to be an employer like Aldi or Lidl, but just don’t know how to boost productivity? Get in touch and let us see where we can help. #livingwageoutrage
Thanks to ITV’s this morning: find their report here http://www.itv.com/thismorning/hot-topics/the-new-living-wage-outrage