Thursday, 4 August 2016

The jaw-dropping difference a Union can make in a redundancy situation

Redundancy pay over £60,000 ? Most of these union members have exceeded that.

I posted a few days back about a win of £6400 , split amongst 32 people.

Well, I've just helped secure a similar win for 28 members sharing £15,000.  But the difference here is that the £15,000 is small change compared to the money the union had already negotiated.

Many years ago at this factory, you had your annual holidays in arrears.  In other words, you had to work a year before you had paid holidays.  When the company was taken over, these workers were all owed a fair bit of holiday pay. At that time, the union didn't want to cause the company a problem by making them pay it all out at once.  A nice little deal was done so that workers would get four weeks holiday pay whenever they left the business. 

Twenty eight of these long service workers have left (or are about to leave) under voluntary redundancy.

The employer is paying this outstanding holiday pay on top of the negotiated redundancy pay.

The workers get an unsociable hours allowance on top of basic pay. The employer has not included this in it's calculation of the historic holiday pay, although it had included it for all other holiday pay.

The calculation had not been an error.  HR argued that as the unsocial hours element didn't exist at the time of the original deal, they needn't pay it now.

After several weeks of reluctant conversations, the employer has come round to Unite's point of view.

On average. the workers had each been underpaid by between £500 and £600.

Few of these members would have noticed the underpayment.  Why? Because thanks to Unite, the basic redundancy payments (for workers with long service) were in the region of £50,000 to £55,000 each.  (It's very rare indeed to find a good redundancy agreement where there's no collective bargaining.)

Add on four weeks historic holiday pay.....add contemporary outstanding holiday pay.....add notice pay....and these workers each received a considerable sum.

As HR have accepted Unite are right about the calculations for historic holiday pay, they've now paid up.  So that's the extra £15,000 or so between 28 people. I have written this blog to show the hard work and eye for detail Unions have in securing the best possible outcomes for members.

The union members have signed a legal agreement which includes a confidentiality clause. This means I can't say who the employer is, or give names etc. But without doubt, the union has delivered an astonishingly good deal for these members.

Between them, these 28 workers have had over 1.6 million pounds.

Unions. Still winning.

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