When senior management and HR disagree

This is about being hourly paid, hours worked and earning the national living wage here in the UK. A particular senior manager is stating that a junior level of management in stores should be working a certain number of hours but those hours mean, for the hourly paid staff at that level, that they would be earning below the national living wage, a figure determined by the Govt.

Naturally, I queried this with HR who weren’t sure, especially after the staff member gained advice from ACAS. HR conferred with the senior manager (SM) in question and came back to me in agreement with said SM. However, after a further complaint was made in writing (now forming a grievance), HR have said off the record that said SM is wrong.

Said SM had a conversation with me today, voicing opinion in such a way as to indicate that I should agree with her which I don’t. I feel that as manager, it is my duty to support my staff and so my response was simply that I wanted to do the right thing by the staff member in question whilst also not contradicting company policy.

Let’s be frank here – I am not an expert in employment law, nor am I an HR bod so my knowledge is limited.

There are principles at stake here. Our managers contract states that a full working day is any hours between 8-6.30, which would be a 52.5 hour week. But for the purposes of payroll, we get paid on a 7.5 hour day. We daily do above this, in fact every day I personally do 8.5 hours (if I didn’t I wouldn’t be able to perform my job) and when I calculate my salary out per hour, using my standard 8.5 hour day, my pay per hour isn’t great. Even on a 7.5 hour day it isn’t brilliant.  And remember here that the company can demand that I work 8-6.30 daily without any extra pay (outside those hours I get time off in lieu).

So when a member of staff is being expected to work hours they aren’t getting paid for, I’m on their side.

Watch this space…

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