- Michael LoeveCEO, B&Q
Don’t use living wage as excuse to cut pay & benefits
I have worked for B&Q for over 5 years, I started in the business working as a part time customer advisor and have worked my way up to a management position. I live and work in a high cost living area of London. The past month has been one of the most difficult for me personally and as a manager.
In early February 2016, after the Government announced that the minimum wage would be increased to a new ‘national living wage’, B&Q ran a consultation of its pay and rewards framework. They proposed the following changes:
- 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 full time customer advisors are being hit the hardest. Those who have worked within the business for over a decade and know our customers and our business the best are losing thousands of pounds a year. B&Q are asking people to sign their new terms and conditions of employment or they will be dismissed.
As a manager it has been incredibly difficult conducting consultations with people that are set to lose thousands of pounds and telling them that if they don’t sign by March 24th they will lose their job.
Big businesses like B&Q are using the national living wage as an excuse to cut overall pay and rewards for the people that need it the most. I feel ashamed to work for a business that treats their employees with so little respect. I feel ashamed to work for a business that proposes to pay neighbouring stores two separate rates of pay. I hope that there are others out there that feel the same and support this petition.
I hope that with the support of others, through signing this petition, we can influence B&Q and other businesses to reverse these changes. I also hope they acknowledge that treating people in this way will have a negative impact on their business in the future.
*I've written this petition under a pseudonym to protect myself at work