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ibfern

PC World....Do i have a case?

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Hi i am currently employed by PC World in my local City, however i dont want to give away the details of location or my name due to the companies "no bad mouthing" laws.

 

Recently i have been invited to attend my fourth IPI procedure(individual Performance interview) which in essence is my final IPI (the procedure for not hitting sales which gets reviewed every month).

 

I have consistently been hitting the companies targets but not the stores individual targets where other members of staff have been. as i am on my fourth IPI i dont know what my rights will be to an unfair dismissal by tribunal due to being dismissed because of sales figures. I have signed a 25 hour contract which the company 12 months ago, risen from an original 16 hour 20 months ago, However nowhere in my contract does it state that i can be dismissed for my figures.

Currently we have to hit as an individual in our store

 

2 TV's a month (30% attach on brackets, 35% cables, %50 PCP (extended warranty, and %15 sky HD) All have to be hit on TV's.

 

1 Rental Agreement Per Month

 

10 PC's a week (%55 Norton, %30 Microsoft Office, %25 techguy services, %25 Mobile broadband, %25 Laptop Bags, %60 PCP (Extended Warranty)

 

All this with making a minimum of £60 Margin profit per every hour of work, making it 1500 Profit Margin not sales.

 

And we are expected to hit all them targets all the time to succeed in not going on IPI. the company targets are all lower than those with the exception of microsoft office.

 

The store itself hits the companies targets and is a really profitable store, where as the store expects more from the staff than the company average. The manager has recently taken on 6 members of part time staff on 8 hour contracts, and again this is leading me to believe they are trying to cut back on hours by forcing people out of the company on larger part time contracts.

 

what are my rights regarding dismissal due to sales figures ect... please help...

 

Thanks

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I can't assist you with an answer, but how can you reach a target when sales depend on customers coming into the shop not you going out to get them.

If only 20 people came into your branch in one week, would you all be sacked. Don't sound right to me.

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Hi i am currently employed by PC World in my local City, however i dont want to give away the details of location or my name due to the companies "no bad mouthing" laws.

 

ok, let me correct you here...

 

the companies "bad mouthing laws" are meaningless. They may have a policy of not bringing the store/company into disrepute, but until such time as parliament passes an act stating that you cannot say that PC world is a badly run and badly informed company that habitually misleads its customers and places ridiculous sales targets and responsibilities on its poorly paid workforce, then it aint a law, its a company policy, and wherever the law and "company policy" come up against each other, the law automatically wins.

 

Recently i have been invited to attend my fourth IPI procedure(individual Performance interview) which in essence is my final IPI (the procedure for not hitting sales which gets reviewed every month).

 

**snip**

 

what are my rights regarding dismissal due to sales figures ect... please help...

 

Thanks

 

 

ok, lets see what we can do...

 

 

firstly, how long have you worked at the store?, as you will need at least 12 months service with the company to qualify for an unfair dismissal claim.

the only other way you can claim for unfair dismissal if you dont have 12 months service is if oyu are bein discriminated against in some way, either due to sex, race, disability etc.

 

secondly, these "targets", what does your contract of employment state with regards to termination of employment?, what do they class not hitting targets as?, misconduct?, gross misconduct?.

 

thirdly, who agreed these targets?, did the store manager simply tell you that you all had to hit the target, regardless of contracted hours etc?.

If so, does the bonus structure reflect that part time staff hitting the same target as full time staff mean that part time workers get paid more?, as they are doing twice as much work?...bet you it doesnt.

 

finally, these "IPIs" you refer to, I take it you mean you have been given warnings for not hitting this ludicrous target.

When being given these warnings, were there formal discussions and notes made, were you allowed to have witnesses etc, and were you given a copy of these notes to sign to say that what was discussed is accuratley reperesented in them?...ill wager you werent.

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firstly, how long have you worked at the store?

 

 

From OP

 

I have signed a 25 hour contract which the company 12 months ago, risen from an original 16 hour 20 months ago,

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From OP

 

 

oops!, didnt see that :s..

 

 

anyways...

 

I have signed a 25 hour contract which the company 12 months ago, risen from an original 16 hour 20 months ago

 

ok, so you have 32 months (2 years, 8 months) service, so you fully qualify for tribunal aid and, if required, redundancy pay.

 

ok, the first step here would be to make a written grievance to the stores HR department, detailing that you believe that you are being unfairly penalised due to the store not being able to drum up enough custom in order to help you acheive your sales target, in addition, you feel you are being victimised as your manager keeps giving you warnins without allowing you the right of appeal.

 

ask them to show you where in your contract it states that as well as the store target, you have to meet a personal target, seeing as how PC world ifficially disbanded the "personal target" system in 2006 due to critisism over its staff deliberatley misleading customers in order to hit their personal targets.

 

 

seems ot me that the manager is imposing these targets because they either dont know that that system has been abandoned, or they are simply being an arsehole

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Just to add to godpikachu's already comprehensive answer...

 

Were these IPI's all one way? By which I mean did they offer you any help or training in achieving these targets? The employer has a duty to look into and resolve any reasons for poor performance. If they don't then the purpose of these performance reviews would be completely redundant. And as Godpikachu has already insinuated, these 'warnings' don't strike me as being an official diciplinary procedure...as in a letter being sent out inviting you to a meeting and advising you of your right to have a colleague or union rep present.

 

If you're contract does not state that your employment is dependant on hitting clearly set out sales figures then they would have to go through a disciplinary procedure for unacceptably poor performance. Obviously, they'd still have to do this even if your contract does state you need to hit targets, but it would be alot easier for them to supply evidence in their favour. Anyway, this would mean inviting you to a meeting, advising you of your rights and documenting any evidence they had for your poor performance. Technically, an outcome of this could be a final written warning, although that would likely be ill-advised as it could be seen that you weren't given a fair chance to improve before the final step of disciplinary - dismissal. An easy argument from your point of view would be to ask them to prove your percentage of sales figures from total sales figures had dropped significantly enough to show your performance had dropped to such a level as to be considered poor. Afterall, last time I checked we were in a recession!

 

I would very much recommend you have a talk with someone from ACAS. They can't advise you specifically on how to deal with this, but they can tell you where you stand with regards to employment law, as well as what their advice to employers is which is also taken into account at employment tribunals.

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Thanks for all the help on this....in reply to the IPI being official, yes they did officially send me a letter inviting me to a meeting and offered me to take somebody along, however i didnt realise quite how serious this would become as they told me that it was nothing to worry about on each occassion because i would not get fired until recently. So i relunctantly didnt bring anybody along with me.

The previous meetings where all noted and signed, however on each occasion in the notes the company have refused to view my contract in these meetings. I have reviewed my contract many times and it doesnt state anywhere about personal targets, especially termination of a contract.

 

In further response to godpikachu, the manager has set the exact same targets for every member of staff including full timers, and no the bonus structure gives benefit to the full timers in terms of how much they get paid where as part timers get paid only a quarter at most no variation on contracted hours.

 

However yesturday before i posted i went into work with an injury due to football meaning that i cant drive or go to work as it is a knee injury (doctors note included), and the manager accused me of faking the injury to get out of the IPI hearing and told me to come to work the next day in which i had to refuse, nobody was in the office with us however my step dad was just outside of the store as he gave me a lift, he will be joining me in the next IPI. could this help me?

 

Thanks

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Thanks for all the help on this....in reply to the IPI being official, yes they did officially send me a letter inviting me to a meeting and offered me to take somebody along, however i didnt realise quite how serious this would become as they told me that it was nothing to worry about on each occassion because i would not get fired until recently. So i relunctantly didnt bring anybody along with me.

The previous meetings where all noted and signed, however on each occasion in the notes the company have refused to view my contract in these meetings.

 

whenever you recieve anything in writing from your employer it should be treated as official, and thus something to worry about.

in your case they hav einformed you of your rights and because they have then lulled you into a false sense of security you havnt exersized them.

ALWAYS exersize your rights, they are there for a reason...

 

 

...I have reviewed my contract many times and it doesnt state anywhere about personal targets, especially termination of a contract.

 

make mention of this at the next meeting you go to, ask them to explain exactly why you are being penalised for a non-existant T&C...

 

In further response to godpikachu, the manager has set the exact same targets for every member of staff including full timers, and no the bonus structure gives benefit to the full timers in terms of how much they get paid where as part timers get paid only a quarter at most no variation on contracted hours.

 

Trust me on this, PC World abandoned personal sales targets in 2006, due to repeated critisism in the press and due to investigations by trading standards/consumer direct.

It was abandoned and replaced with the current "store target" system as PC World employees were being forced to deliberatley mislead customers in order to secure sales, and thus keep their jobs by meeting their sales targets. Some employees were simply doing as they were told, but others were more or less committing fraud, usually by adding on things that had not been asked for, or by including things that they claimed were "part of a deal".

 

stores in the DSG group are still doing this to some extent, i was with my friend the other week when he went to pick up his new laptop from currys.

the laptop was advertised and reserved with the price of £299, however in the store the pimply faced youth salesman attempted to charge an additional £65 for microsoft office 2007 and norton anti virus, neither of which were asked for and neither of which were wanted.

 

 

As the company no longer has personal targets, your manager has no business disciplining you for a non-existant sales target....ergo, you have done nothing wrong..

 

 

However yesturday before i posted i went into work with an injury due to football meaning that i cant drive or go to work as it is a knee injury (doctors note included), and the manager accused me of faking the injury to get out of the IPI hearing and told me to come to work the next day in which i had to refuse, nobody was in the office with us...

 

ok... if your doctor has isssued a sicknote, then your manager has no business venturing their own medical opinion, as i will wager a large amount of money that your manager is not a qualified medical professional in any capacity.

Please ask your manager to provide details of his medical qualifications.

 

...however my step dad was just outside of the store as he gave me a lift, he will be joining me in the next IPI. could this help me?

 

your stepdad will not be allowed to sit in on the meeting, unless he is an employee of PC world OR a union rep.

 

If you do have another meeting, inform oyur manager that regardless of the outcome, you will be making an official complaint about them, as they have committed various faux-pas and broken a few employment regulations, as well as a few company policies.

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When you go to the meeting, if you don't have a union rep, make sure you get a colleague who's trusted and responsible, and ask them to take notes. If you become 'overwhelmed' you also have the right to halt the meeting for a short space of time. Just say you're feeling overwhelmed and you need a few moments to gather yourself together. It'll give you a bit of time to confer with your colleague and make sure they're collecting the notes properly. There's also the chance they may refuse which would be a breach of your rights.

 

It may also be worthwhile to raise a grievance concerning your manager offering his medical opinion and demanding you attend the meeting in an unfit state.

 

After each of your previous meetings were you given any documentation with regards the outcome?

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Thanks for all the help on this, youve helped me a lot with the issue, ive got a lot more confidence about this scenario now. Il be taking a personal friend whom is an employee of PC World with me for the meeting to take notes ect...

 

Thanks again everybody

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However yesturday before i posted i went into work with an injury due to football meaning that i cant drive or go to work as it is a knee injury (doctors note included), and the manager accused me of faking the injury to get out of the IPI hearing and told me to come to work the next day in which i had to refuse

 

Unfortunately the manager can insist you attend work. A Dr's note (med 3) is only advisory and does not have to be accepted by an employer. It isn't morally right but legally he hasn't done anything wrong by refusing to accept it. The only purpose this certificate serves is for SSP/ESA. He's on a very sticky wicket though, I'll tell you that. Although he is under no obligation to allow you time off, a tribunal if it came to that would take a very dim view of a non medic's attempt to ignore a qualified medic's advise.


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I was just reading through this as it relates to a situation I was in not so long ago with currys.

 

Any news on the outcome ibfern?


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