tesco staff pay problemWatch
now this is a long post so please be patient with me
i started working nights with tesco in lerwick, shetland in nov 2011. my first 6 months or so went without problem and i was relatively happy with my job. in march 2012 coming to the end of the tax year night staff in my store were at a major shortage and my managers asked me as a favour to carry my holidays over into the next year so as to not leave them with even less staff. i agreed to this and was told it was not normally allowed but under the circumstances there should be no problems and even if i didn't get holidays carried over i would get paid for them shortly after the new tax year began.
i was asked to book my holidays and add on the 6 i was owed from the previous year which i did. everything seemed fine, apart from i noticed i had not been paid any of the overtime i had worked for in march. after months of chasing this issue one of my managers finally took me upstairs to have a look at the rota. this was a new manager just god the job after working for royal mail and he could not decipher the rotas used by the previous managers. after a long look at the rotas i noticed for some weeks there was 2-3 pages all with different shift patters on them meaning it was impossible to determine from this how many extra shifts i'd worked. now im part time, working 3 days a week and i had been in working overtime twice a week while low staffed and he knew this so he stuck his neck out and authorised a pay amendment of 240 which is as much as he said he could without reliable rotas to look at. i was asked to book my holidays and add on the 6 i was owed from the previous year which i did. low and behold in october 2012 after coming back from a holiday i noticed i had not been paid my weeks holiday. not only that a lot of overtime was missing that i had worked for in september. all this left me in considerable debt and when i brought this to the attention of my managers, all 3 of them were new at this point, they seemed very concerned. promising me my pay in the following month.
(now this is where my problem becomes incredibly complex)
in november i fell ill and was diagnosed with a viral infection by doctor. after a week i went back to see him and he decided i wouldn't be able to return until i had passed all tests and was completely clear of all infection. he even decided it was needed to send samples away to aberdeen for more thorough testing. he signed me off for a week and told me if i didn't hear from him within a week it will be safe for me to return to work. so a week later i hadn't heard from him and returned to work on the saturday and sunday but on monday morning i had a letter come in the post from my doctor saying he had urgently been trying to get in contact with me and there had been a problem with the samples so i needed to come in for further testing. i immediately phoned my manager to inform him and gave the letter to another member of staff with me at the time so he could hand it in. it took a further 2 weeks for the test results to come back (5 days of this was giving samples for testing as they wanted 5 consecutive days) and it said i was clear. i also brought this letter in for my managers as it was dated that day with official stamp from aberdeen royal infirmary.
my pay at the end of november neither had the holidays or missing overtime and was also missing any sickpay i should of been paid in the month i was told by my doctor i had to take off insisting even if he hadn't made the call to keep me off that tesco policy wouldn't allow me back until i was cleared due to the nature of the viral infection. initially when i took this up with my managers they insisted that it was because i had been off too long and full sick pay is effected by attendance. after looking in the handbook i quickly determined this to be false and i should of just earned my second week of full sickpay and even if my full sick pay had been removed because of my attendance being too low (which is not the case) i should be entitled to basic sick pay.
i then found out during the ARI that my managers hadn't recorded any of the information or documented the calls i had been making during this illness and i was down on the system for the entire month as awol. now luckily i managed to get my manager to admit in front of witnesses that i had handed in a sickline and luckily i had a witness that a letter had been handed in saying i had to go off work for more testing to clear me which he also eventually admitted and during the ARI they seemed to realize the problem and told me it would be fixed. the following month (december) i obtained 1 day full sickpay and 1 holiday in my pay. i queried this and was promised the problem would be fixed and i would get what im owed the following month and again i went on holiday in january only to come back finding none of what i was promised had happened.
i was then told by my 3 managers on nights that it was not their problem to fix my pay. i thought this was one of the most outlandish claims i had ever heard from a manager in any job i have worked in. after arguing this and explaining to them what their job was they retracted this statement and handed me over to our personel manager being told if anyone could fix it she could. after an hour of looking on the system at stuff i didn't understand she seemed to notice a lot of overtime i was due and accepted that i was due 6 holidays from 2011, 1 week full sick pay and 1 week basic sickpay and she could also see overtime issues turning to me to say that it was going to take her the entire day to go through this and advised me to go home and sleep as it was sorted now that it was up to her. so i went home and again phoned up the beholders of my debts promising them that my pay problems had been resolved and i would be recipient of a pay amendment at the end of the month large enough to make a considerable dent in each debt. this was now the 3rd or 4th time i had made this phone call to each of them but as the earlier ones were me saying i was mid dispute and this one was me telling them the dispute was over and i was getting paid they were happy to wait for their lumpsum payments.
shock and awe, there was no extra money in my next pay, feb 2013. her response was that she'd had difficulty determining exatly how much i was owed and she was working now to get me an advance of 60%, the rest to follow in march. so... in march when again payment never came i was told some excuse of tesco the company (not the store!) decided to hold off on all overtime payments as our store had gone over budget (you may have read about the tesco store that hired a hercules bomber to transport our stock in and save christmas when the boats couldn't run, well now our GAs were the ones loaning them the money for it apparently)
they said the payment had already been authorised for the following month when the budget was refreshed. furious, but accepting of this with the last of the fight already sucked out of me i waited. i received only £300 in pay amendment. when i took this to my personel manager who i had sat with and gone over all this with she looked puzzled and said "it was just the 6 holidays you are waiting for tho right?". im baffled by this. after sitting with me for over an hour and going over this in complete detail and making her see with her own eyes what i was owed how could she forget? she told me to go home, that she was going to be at it all day. did she just wait for me to leave then just put her feet up?
another meeting. now im with wages manager and my new personel manager. "another new one!" while discussing it we realize im still down as awol for the entire motnh i was off. no one had fixed it. with what limited info they had about the sick lines and letters they asked me to leave while they figured out how much sick pay i was owed and changed it from awol to sick. we discussed the overtime thats been missing to which they tried saying it's all automated so if i clocked in it will be on my payslip. that sort of pay error just does not happen. then after i brought up it had happened in march and i received it a few months later they said they will check the system and make sure.
now we are talking about this month. they came and told me that because of the dates they received sick lines/ phone calls etc while i was off i was only due the 1 day sick pay i was already paid. i asked my manager how can they determine this when they dont have the correct dates and such, they have had to guess most of it because the information was missing. they have simply decided to make the dates of this information match up in such a way that i will not receive any of the sick pay. i was wondering how they had determined i was still awol on 3 days and instead of 2 absences it was 4 absences. they manipulated the information to suit them.
they also said that they had given my pay information serious looks and that i was only owed 1 day overtime. i asked what they had used to determine this as it was obviously wrong because a few nights before i looked at the new digital rotas with a manager that was brought in following the mess i had witnessed in march the following year with the rotas being useless. when we checked he could see that i was down for 7 overtime shifts in september yet i was only paid for 2 of them. i had asked for a years worth of my clock-in times but was told they can only go back 5 weeks which was not long enough to see even the last overtime shift i had done as i was now refusing to do overtime until i was paid correctly. so they could not use this according to their own words. their reply was we gave your payslips a hard look. i ask how can you determine what overtime i have not been paid for by looking at my payslips? the problem is that it is not on there so looking at them alone is not going to determine a thing.
i have recently been told by another store manager who was with us for a while that he has seen the problems i am deeling with and he has had to sit our senior managment down and have words with them about how they treat pay errors as he had never seen any other store compare to our problems in 20+ years with the company. he did this mainly because during the original meeting they had brought up my pay problems and they agreed as a team that my problem was not a priority and that it will be sorted or forgotten shortly. he also told me he was pretty sure that either my personel manager or the wages manager could print me off my clock in times as far back as i started if they really wanted to.
so here is the conclusion of my wall of problems. i hope i have come to the right place. my questions are...
1. does anyone know for sure if i can get those clock in times and determine for myself exactly how much overtime i am owed?
2. is there a way i can claim compo due to all the debt troubles and stress this has caused me? i was even nearly evicted from my house by my council as they stopped listening to me saying "i should be getting money this month" and i had to borrow money.
3. where can i officially complain about all this?
here is a few extra facts that may help with responses.
i am a member of usdaw. i did approach my store rep but he told me to go deal with them myself. im not sure you can understand what it's like dealing with this somewhere like shetland. most of these managers and workers have known eachother since before working from tesco and they are a tight bunch. i emailed usdaw about my rep and asked for advice. i was given a number for managing director for grampian usdaw but this was the point that my personel and wages managers stepped in so i decided contacting her was not needed. i have now lost the number.
my contract was brought to me in august 2012, it was backdated to march 2012 even though i started in november 2011. after my second temp contract was up i seemed to just keep working on being told i had already signed my contract. i believed this.
my god looking up at this wall of text i feel like such an idiot having allowed my stores managers to drag it out and stall this long and now i just want to let it be known what they have been up to and get all i can out of this year of work hell.
pls help me
Point two I believe you can complain if your wages are more than 10% incorrect, however compo I don't know
Point three officially you have to complain to your Line Manager or Personnel Manager, and then stage two to group personnel depending on size of store.