Following a UNITE newsletter in Manchester which included a section on Out Of Hours, John Lucas issued a further company announcement (to some people) on 9th November seeking to address many of the concerns raised by union and UKCF reps about the company’s “data cleansing” exercise.
The hottest topic was the company recording “NOELIG” (no eligibility) in your HR records if they thought you hadn’t claimed a particular form of Out Of Hours payment recently. The note includes some crucial reassurances:
- “The NOELIG code does not mean that you would not have any eligibility in the future it just reflects what you have claimed since April 2006.”
- “In signing this form you are not accepting a change to your terms and conditions, nor are you signing away your right to have these details amended further in the future.”
The statement is very welcome, as people had understandably been very concerned about the ambiguity of the form.
Unfortunately however, the note continues the confusion about what it is that they are recording. It says “Our aim is to merely understand the current ‘out of hours’ arrangement that you are working and being paid for”. This suggests they are recording what you are being paid, rather than what you are entitled to be paid. The latter view is clearly spelt out in the advice from the union and UKCF reps on CafeVIK, which was approved by the company and to which John Lucas’s own note refers.
We continue to advise you to check the information on the company letter very carefully and only sign and return when you are sure it is correct.
If in doubt, please contact your rep. Reps themselves may need to consult the reps involved in the subgroup for guidance, as this is a complex area.
Campaign and Survey
UNITE continues to be very concerned about the company intentions in this “harmonisation”. Everyone would welcome a more fair and consistent approach, but not one which reduces payments to the lowest common denominator or seeks to increase the compulsion to work long or unsocial hours.
This harmonisation will affect you whether you currently work overtime / shifts / standby or not.
UNITE and PCS have agreed a joint leaflet on the issue, so that we can alert employees to what’s going on whether they are members or not. If you want to protect terms and conditions at your site, why not contact us to discuss getting it distributed where you work.
Don’t forget our “Out Of Hours” survey which is open to all employees to complete. See: www.ourunion.org.uk/ooh.
Campaigning is key to building up the union at your site. The success we are having is reflected in the growing list of reps and contacts at the foot of this note. What can you do to help?