TGI Fridays Workers Step Up Pressure On Bosses And Government

Outsourced Payroll BirminghamWe’ve previously posted about this ongoing dispute between workers and management at TGI Fridays (see below). This stems from a string of changes that were put into place and adversely affect their people.

Workers have had time and a half payments for bank holiday working stopped, free staff meals were stopped 3 years ago when the national minimum wage was introduced, and then TGI’s announced that 40% of tips paid on a card would be redistributed to the kitchen teams. This final change was the last straw. The change to tips means that some waiting staff have lost £250 per month in lost wages.  Four days of strike action has taken place at some restaurants and the next step was for them to deliver a letter to the business secretary, Greg Clarke at the department of Business, Energy, Innovation and Skills.

The government are also under pressure from Jeremy Corbyn who has said that hospitality workers will keep 100% of tips left by customers under a Labour government.

Dave Turnbull, Unite regional officer said: “…Rogue bosses like TGI Fridays are being let off the hook to abuse tips and exploit government/HMRC guidelines (E24) on tips and troncs, to boost their own profits and offset the cost of the government’s pay rise to low earners.” Unite will be informing TGI’s management of its intention to hold a consultative ballot of all union members across the chain’s 82 restaurants on strike action.

We are disappointed that the government has failed to act to make sure that every worker in the hospitality sector is treated with fairness and transparency. We continue to watch developments.  If you are unsure about tips and would like to know what a tronc is, please give us a call here at our Birmingham Payroll Masters head office.

Bosses Pretended To Be Staff To Opt Workers Out Of Auto Enrolment

Payroll Services BirminghamWe last reported on this developing story on the 10th May 2018.  Senior Staff at Workchain Ltd a recruitment firm operating across the Midlands, had logged into the NEST pension scheme and posed as their staff to opt temporary workers out of the auto enrolment scheme.

If the offence had not been detected by NEST the Derby based company, formerly known as Smart Recruitment UK Ltd, would have been able to avoid paying pensions contributions. There was a joint investigation involving The Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate, Derbyshire Constabulary and Nottinghamshire Constabulary and the Pensions Regulator.

It was alleged that the Directors of Workchain had encouraged five senior staff to take their temporary workers out of the pension scheme. The defendants, two directors and five senior staff pleaded guilty at Derby Magistrates Court on 7th June.  The District Judge Jonathan Taaffee committed the case to Derby Crown Court for a sentencing hearing which will take place on 28th June 2018.

The Pensions Regulator brought the prosecution for the offence of unauthorised access to computer data, contrary to section 1(1) of the Computer Misuse Act 1990. A conviction for computer misuse carries a maximum sentence of six months’ imprisonment and/or and unlimited fine in a magistrates court.  Or Two years imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine if the case is committed to the Crown Court.

We process the payrolls of thousands of people, which includes Auto Enrolment payments, so if you have any questions regarding payroll linked to auto enrolment give one of our Birmingham based payroll gurus a call.

Does Employee Silence Automatically Infer Acceptance?

Payroll Services BirminghamThe short answer is no, not necessarily.

The Court of Appeal in Abrahall vs Nottingham City Council heard that the City Council had brought in a new pay system to regularise a host of pay systems. Shortly thereafter the Council brought in a two year pay freeze.  There was no industrial action (there was a consultative ballot) and no affected employee raised a grievance.  Then Nottingham City Council proposed an extension of the pay freeze.  Unions then activated a collective grievance procedure.

The main issue was whether the employer could assume that the employees accepted the variation in their contracts by working for two years under the pay freeze.

The Court of Appeal ruled that the employer should not assume this. The Court also issued a number of principles on whether acceptance should be inferred, including:

  • Where the variation is wholly disadvantageous, acceptance is less likely to be inferred (as it was in this case)
  • The question is to be determined objectively
  • Acceptance of a variation of contract should only be inferred from conduct where that conduct brooks no other reasonable explanation save for acceptance

In conclusion the Court of Appeal found that the employees were contractually entitled to annual incremental pay progression.

The opinion of Payroll Masters is that clear communication with employees is always in the best interests of a good relationship between employer and employees and this has many underlying benefits. To discuss any aspect of your payroll please contact one of our friendly, Birmingham based head office payroll professionals.

The Biggest Pay Gap Is When Women Hit Age 50

Payroll Wages BirminghamResearch published by the TUC shows that women earn less than their male counterparts at every stage of their working lives, but the biggest gender pay gap is when women reach the age of 50!

The research looked at the earnings of men and women in full-time employment. At age 18 – 21 a woman will earn £1,845 less than her male colleagues and as time goes by the pay gap increases.  Women aged 22 – 29 earn £2,305 per annum less, and when women reach the age of 40 the gap in annual earnings doubles from £3,670 at age 30 to £7,400 per annum when a woman reaches the age of 40.

The TUC says one of the reasons is the impact that having children has on a woman’s career path, as they often return to work in lower-paid roles.

But the pay gap doesn’t get any better as women get older. At age 50 the gap between men’s and women’s annual pay gets even wider.  Women in their 50s hit a gender pay gap of £8,421 per annum.  The research points to the long-term impact of lower paid work, which has over the years, perhaps offered fewer promotion prospects. Plus as women get older caring responsibilities particularly for elderly relatives comes into play.

There is a welcome shift in attitudes towards equal pay for women doing the same job as men. The introduction of the Gender Pay Gap Reporting that came into effect in April, means employers are being forced to look at why their female employees earn less than men in the same roles and take action.

Gender Pay Gap Reporting will usually fall under the remit of the Payroll Department. At Payroll Masters our clients outsource their entire payroll function to us.  If this is something we can help you with please get in touch.  One of our head office payroll professionals will be more than happy to talk to you.