The proprietor of Auto Windscreens has imposed 20% pay cuts on workers who haven’t agreed to them – and allegedly pressured different staff into consenting – because it makes an attempt to slash prices to outlive the Covid-19 pandemic.
The strikes by Markerstudy Group, which employs round 3,000 workers, elevate questions as as to if the corporate has adopted UK employment guidelines by chopping pay for round 3% of workers who refused to comply with the deductions.
The group gives insurance coverage providers in addition to proudly owning the windscreen restore and alternative agency, which is maybe greatest referred to as the sponsor of English soccer’s League One and League Two cup competitors for 5 years till 2000.
Having furloughed round 900 workers in March, the corporate requested its remaining staff on 9 April to take a brief wage reduce, backdated to 1 April, and quit sick pay.
In a query and reply doc despatched to workers concerning the proposals, Markerstudy recommended that redundancies could be doable if the wage reduce was not accepted, and added: “If anybody refuses [to accept the pay cut], it will likely be handled on a person foundation”.
Some workers have instructed the Guardian they obtained calls from managers telling them to signal the doc or they might be made redundant.
On the finish of final month Markerstudy instructed staff that 97% of them had accepted the proposals, though it’s understood that some workers say they solely signed beneath duress and a few have begun grievance processes.
Pay has been docked from all staff courting again to 1 April.
Philip Landau, an employment lawyer at Landau Legislation, mentioned: “The suggestion for workers to take a pay reduce in these extraordinary occasions will not be unusual. The authorized place is that an employer is usually not entitled to unilaterally impose on an worker a pay reduce or lowered hours with out consent of the workers.
“Such consent could also be given on the time of request, or employers could have already reserved the fitting to fluctuate the pay and hours within the contract of employment. Nonetheless, any such variation, even when reserved within the contract, would nonetheless have to be cheap and for stable enterprise causes.”
Landau added that if an organization was “in real severe monetary issue” courts would possible contemplate it cheap to depend on current clauses in employment contracts to fluctuate phrases.
A spokeswoman for Markerstudy mentioned: “As a way to try to protect as many roles as doable, [the company] took the tough resolution to ask workers to comply with a variation to a few of their phrases and circumstances. The group obtained overwhelming assist from nearly 98% of workers who’ve appreciated the necessity for this in an effort to try to safe the group’s continued viability.
“Markerstudy has labored with workers to try to minimise, insofar as doable, the numerous impression of the coronavirus pandemic on each space of their enterprise. It’s not applicable to touch upon particular person conditions or circumstances. [The company is] not conscious of any threats being made to workers, and take such allegations severely.”
The corporate didn’t reply a query about whether or not it had breached employment regulation through the pay reduce course of.
— to www.theguardian.com