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Guest suziedarkness

Stitched Up by my Employer - advice needed

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Guest suziedarkness

I have a bit of a problem which I am so annoyed about, I would be gratefull if anyone could give any advice.

 

I currently work part time (25 hours) in a school kitchen.

 

I am leaving next week to go to a full time position.

 

Now, I contacted the lady in the office who deals with wages to find out how much money I will get when I leave next week as I am expecting they owe me quite a bit and here is why:

 

I am paid £*** per hour x 25 hours per week x 43 weeks per year. this is what it states in my contract. Now because we only get paid 43 weeks of year, the school spreads the annual amount over 52 weeks and divides it by 12 so that we get paid the same every month, which in theory is a great idea but ....... I started in January of last year and so have worked a whole year and are 6 months into 2nd year.#

 

Now when we get paid each month, we dontactually get paid for every hour that we have worked because they are spreading 43 weeks of payments over 52 and I am down about £110 per month which goes into "a pot" to make up for the weeks I dont get paid.

 

I have paid about £450 into this pot but my employer is refusing to acknowlede this and wont pay me what I am owed. Any thoughts?

 

Suzie

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But you're paid a fixed amount per hour. They need to keep records of the number of hours you've actually worked since the start of the year. (Number of hours x hourly rate) - actual recieved pay = what you're owed. Easy to work out, easy to prove so get the grievance letter in with all the figures and hopefully that will scare them into paying you.

 

Hope that helps

 

P.S. the patronising maths is for the benefit of your employers...a school no less...oh the irony ;)

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Guest suziedarkness

Thanks for your reply Flipper.

 

I have worked out exactly what I have worked and what they should pay me. I am so mad, seems that the teachers big slap up meals are subsidised by me working for nothing!!!!!

 

It has made food for thought (pardon the pun) in the kitchen as people are now wondering how many past employees have been stitched up in the same way and never realised. Unfortunately for the school pursar, I may be a mere kitchen assistant but I do have a brain and it doesnt take much working out to see that they are trying toi have me over.

 

Suzie

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Hehe good pun! :D

 

Come to think of it, your payslip should be showing everything earned and everything deducted. It should show what you've been paid as your contracted hourly rate and then itemise what's been set aside for the 9 week cover fund. Where I work, they used to have a christmas fund that worked on the same principal and anything put aside was always detailed on the payslip so there could be no confusion. Might be worth contacting ACAS to find out the legal requirements on how they detail it.

 

On a side note, my stepmum works for the local council. I've heard many many stories at how mercenary and immoral schools in particular are when it comes to their budget. Sounds like they're playing a numbers game, relying on employees not realising they're owed money.

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Guest suziedarkness

Flipper, you have hit the nail on the head or the cook in the kitchen haha!!

 

Unfortunately, their numbers game has been rumbled by me and I wont let it drop.

 

I have requested a meeting with the ring leader today in a final hope that they will see the error of their ways and agree to pay me what I have earnt and not what they feel I should be paid. I dont hold out much hope although I did scream TRIBUNAL yesterday as I left the office.

 

If I dont get the meeting today then I will not be working my last weeks notice and I have told them that. I will just wait until they have paid me then I will send the grievance letter giving them 28 days to resolve and pay up or I put in a claim for unlawful witholding of wages.

 

Lets see how they enjoy their school lunch then!! :D:D

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Come to think of it, your payslip should be showing everything earned and everything deducted. It should show what you've been paid as your contracted hourly rate and then itemise what's been set aside for the 9 week cover fund. Where I work, they used to have a christmas fund that worked on the same principal and anything put aside was always detailed on the payslip so there could be no confusion. Might be worth contacting ACAS to find out the legal requirements on how they detail it.

 

 

If this is a local authority school and thus the OP is employed by the LA, then there is no 'set aside fund'. it doesn't work like that.

 

How it works is that the employers hours are averaged across 52 weeks for pay purposes. For example if you are paid for 30 hrs/week for 42 weeks of the year that is 1260 hours p.a.. So you would be paid at a rate that reflected 24.23hrs/week.

 

I don't know how that affects things at the end of someone's employment, but is is not money dedeucted as any form of set aside.

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Guest suziedarkness

Pat when I say "set aside" its because that is how I try to explain that they dont pay me for all the hours I have worked.

 

The fact is, it says quite clearly in my contract that I am paid £xyz per hour. Now the fact they spread my 43 week salary across 52 weeks does not give them the right to pay me at a lesser rate per hour, which it means that they have.

 

I have spoken to an employment law solicitor and he has said that they quite clearly DO NOT have a leg to stand on. They must pay me per hour the amount that is stated in my contract.

 

I had a meeting today with the head of the department and she admitted to me that I have been short changed and there is nothing she can do about it, its the way the governing body works. She also said that there are poeple out there who have been short changed and dont realise it.

 

she also said that they wont set a precedent by changing the way they deal with people who are leaving their jobs part way through a year because "it would cause too much aggravation".

 

What she doesnt realise now that I have opened a can of worms, is what aggravation I will be and I plan to campaign for all so-called term time workers who are being stitched up by their educational employers!!

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In a way, it sounds as if it may be better to go to tribunal. They're clearly using this as a way to trim their budget and if it's resolved beforehand obviously it leaves them free to keep on attempting to fleece their employees.

 

Anyway, you're clearly an intelligent and knowledgable person Suzie, so I have no doubt that one way or another you'll get what you're owed. The real shame is that an institution which should be instilling honesty in its pupils doesn't abide by the same principals!

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I understand your argument and where you are coming form on this. However, I can't see that this will get anywhere.

 

This method of working (annualised contracts) is very, very common in local government and I can't see that the public service unions would have allowed the practice to continue if they thought it wrong/illegal.

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No one is saying it's wrong or illegal Pat. The argument is that part of her wages are put aside to cover months where she's not working. She's earnt that money, they've put it aside and now they're not willing to pay it.

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