GMB DEMAND B&Q REINSTATE BONUSES AND ALLOWANCES FOR WORKING SUNDAYS AND BANK HOLIDAYS
B&Q are giving with one hand and taking with the other says GMB
GMB are calling for DIY chain B&Q to reinstate bonuses and allowances for working Sundays and Bank Holidays. (See notes to editors for a previous GMB press release on B&Q’s National Living Wage implementation).
On 1st April the government brought in National Living Wage of £7.20 for those over 25, a rate that’s well below GMB #£10now campaign’s £10 an hour living wage. Since then B&Q have raised wages for all staff but have attempted to mitigate the additional cost of wages in the following ways:
· Removing time and a half pay for working Sundays
· Restructure allowances for working in high cost living areas
· Remove double time for working bank holidays (Now proposed to be 1.5)
· Remove summer/winter bonuses which equates to 6% of annual salary
GMB Birmingham & West Midlands Region will visit stores tomorrow (Wednesday 20 April 2016) at the following locations to engage with members in order to make sure terms and conditions upheld.
Spring Vale Business Park,
Black Country Route,
Alvis Retail Park,
Rebecca Mitchell, GMB regional equalities officer, said "The changes that have been introduced at B&Q are a result of the National Living Wage coming into force. Our members are very concerned about these changes as this will mean that many of them will not have much of a pay rise at all. B&Q are giving with one hand and taking away with the other.
GMB will work with our members to reinstate these bonuses and allowances. We are joining the fight with our members so together we will have the power to fight for change. The more workers who join, the easier it is for the union to fight for the right to negotiate for them. "
Contact: Rebecca Mitchell on 0121 550 4888 or Samantha Jones on 07939 874272 or GMB press office on 07970 863 411 or 07739 182 691
Notes to editors
GMB press release dated Tuesday, April 5, 2016
GMB Comment On Reports That B&Q Are Using National Living Wage Implementation As ‘Excuse’ To Cut Pay And Benefits
National Living Wage will be of small comfort to members and their families if employers seek to undermine it by making changes such as these says GMB.
GMB commented on a report that B&Q are using National Living Wage implementation as an excuse to cut overtime pay and employee benefits. The report comes from a change.org petition drafted by a B&Q employee that has so far attracted more than 134,000 signatures. (See notes to editors for a link to the petition).
In the petition, B&Q employee Kevin Smith claimed employees were threatened with termination unless they agreed to sign a contract with the following changes to their terms of employment:
§ Removal of time and a half pay for working Sundays,
§ Restructuring of allowances for working in high cost of living areas of the UK
§ Removal of double time for working bank holidays (now proposed to be 1.5)
§ Removal of a summer and winter bonus equating to 6% of annual salary
The new living wage came into effect on Friday 1st April 2016, and will mean UK employees aged 25 and over will be paid a minimum hourly rate of £7.20.
Michael Ainsley, GMB regional organiser, said “Clearly we welcome the new National Living Wage however it will be of small comfort to members and their families if employers are actively seeking to undermine it by making changes such as these which in many cases actually make employees worse off. GMB members have reported that the changes will cost them between £800 and £1500 year.
I have written to the chief executive officer of B&Q, Michael Loeve, complaining about the scandalous treatment of low paid, hardworking people, but so far I have had no response. Allegedly, B&Q have been consulting with staff about their proposed changes which brings into sharp focus the inadequacy of staff forums and that only by being a member of a recognised trade union do employees have the power to really negotiate.”