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Every little helps….our bonuses


Ho, ho, ho…..the Christmas spirit has well and truly been packed up and put in the attic for another year.

Bosses of some of the countries biggest employers yesterday showed that they had neither a heart nor any balls.  According to reports up to 44% of british workers were absent from work yesterday due to the freak weather conditions that swept the country.  Yours truly was one of them.  However, the likes of Tesco and Asda (part of the Wal-Mart group) have said that staff who were unable to attend their place of work might have to take the day as unpaid leave or as holiday.  But, and this is the big but… would be down to the store manager’s discretion.

OK, now I worked in retail for 8 years and these store managers will be bonused on the financial performance of their store.  They will also (post-Christmas) be looking for big staff productivity savings as they cut the hours down from the high period in the run up to Chrimbo.  I would be surprised if there are many if any of the store managers out there who are thinking “the big boys are saying I can use my discretion to pay my team”  most of them I am sure have heard the message, “if you want your bonus you can use your discretion to not pay people who couldn’t get to work through no fault of their own”.

So come on Tesco, come on Asda, come on Marks and Spencer and the banks (but we know you are a bunch of scheisse already)….have the balls to say it from the top and not try to infer that it is all down to local decisions.  Have some respect for your managers and your staff.  If you aren’t going to pay people who can’t attend then shout it from the top and own it, don’t hide behind mealy mouth expressions of “local discretion”.

And at the same time confirm this to me:  If one of your head office staff was not able to make it into your offices – did you dock them a days pay?  If one of your senior managers was stuck in a village somewhere did they have to take it as holiday or did you allow them to  “work from home”?

We paid people who couldn’t attend work whether they had the ability to work from home or not.  Where people got in, we sent them home early.  Sure we are not a retailer or a bank, but nor are we a bunch of heartless bastards.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. RyanW permalink
    01/07/2010 17:17

    I think stuff like this should be outlined in a policy. If your role calls for you to brave mother nature, then you should know that ahead of time that it is an expectation and how your company will handle it. If this, then that.

    Industry aside, every company will have roles that absolutely must come in or be available with 100% functionality. You may not need to be there (and probably shouldn’t), but the IT guy keeping the order system up and running probably does… retail establishments have to have minimum coverage… etc etc etc. Having nothing laid out leads to the confusion and poor decisions that you outline. I’ve been bitten by this crap before in a non-essential role… and… I’ve also held a role that I knew would have me driving into the maelstrom.

    What you describe is shitty and I don’t think it needed to happen.

  2. 01/08/2010 11:44

    @RyanW – You make a good point and of course there are always roles that are just damned essential, but then in that case I would be making sure that I (as the employer) got them there come hell or high water.

  3. 01/08/2010 15:53

    These are salaried people, right? People who don’t get paid overtime when they stay late? Who don’t get OT for the hours they spend thinking about work problems on Saturday? For the extra time they spend on email at home? For the extra time they spend working even though they are officially on vacation like my husband because even though they are on vacation, nobody is doing their work while they are gone so they are dreading what is waiting their return so they are chipping away at it while they are sitting in the airport?

    Oh for pete’s sake. Yeah. No backbone.

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