Lose that overtime.

My current contract in Local Shop is that I work only weekends. All day Saturday and seven hours Sunday. I work alone on those days. This suits me.

At the moment I am also working evenings (just three hours) Monday-Wednesday. This is because Morning Woman buggered off without giving notice. So Boss now works the mornings, Stimpy does the afternoons and he and I do the evenings Mon-Wed, while he does them Thursday and Friday. Monday to Wednesday are fridge cleaning nights. One person could not do it all. Other than that, the rest of the week is one-man operation. It’s just a little shop.

This means I have Thursday and Friday off. I get the weekend two days before the rest of you, nyah. Also my weekend does not contain the horribly busy Saturday or the most-things-closed Sunday.

I could live with that arrangement being permanent. Evening shift starts at 6 pm so most of the week allows late-night writing and whisky. I only have to sleep early on Friday and Saturday nights. It might become permanent but hasn’t yet. It would also mean I could take on microbiology work because I have the daytime Monday to Friday to do it. Ideal.

At the moment though, if I went on holiday I would only get holiday pay for Saturday and Sunday. The regular Mon-Wed slots are overtime. Even though I do them every week, they are not (yet) contracted hours so do not qualify for holiday pay. Not something I’m going to get stressed about. The pay is low anyway, I can easily make up the difference with a visit to eBay and simultaneously reduce the load on the rafters.

The Gubblement are determined to fuck this up.

If holiday pay includes regular overtime hours then the Secret Ninja Cleaning company has only one option. Disrupt regular overtime hours. They would not let me settle into a routine, they’d switch my overtime hours around so I can’t claim any of them are ‘regular’.

All other companies will do the same.

Small companies, especially, have a strict and often tight budget for paying staff. If they have to pay more holiday pay then that amount has to be saved somewhere else. There is no ‘spare cash pot’ they can dip into. They don’t have a magic money tree they can pick a few extra notes off. Most small companies skirt the shores of bankruptcy every day. One more rise in minimum wage, one more strain on the breaking-point pay budget, and something has to go.

Usually it’s staff.

We have this much money to pay staff and no more. If we have to pay each staff member more money then the only way the business can survive is to have fewer staff. That is reality.

When you force a business to pay each staff member more money, then the business is either a) big enough to laugh it off or b) small enough to be wiped out by the extra charge.

You can’t run a business without staff. Well, okay, I did for seven years with just me but most business models don’t work that way. Most small businesses are trying to grow. Trying to turn from small business into medium-sized business and eventually into big business.

To existing big business, that means competition and they don’t want that.

So who is behind this idea? Big business of course. They can afford to pay a few extra pennies in holiday pay to their staff but they know it will kill the expansion plans of small rivals. It can only make small businesses smaller.

The unions support this measure. I think that makes clear which side the unions are on and I’m glad I’m not paying to be in one.

It would be nice to have a higher wage but if the company can’t afford to pay it then some will have no wage at all. The remainder do, however, have to cover all the extra work that used to be done by the now-fired other staff.

Then the burned-out remaining workers quit, the fledgeling company goes down the tubes and big business can relax once more.

It’s not just a Tory thing. Labour brought in ‘tax on account’ which means that if you start a business today you will have to pay tax on this year’s earnings and also on next year’s. You will pay double tax in the first year. The tax office say ‘most new businesses fail in their first year’ but have never considered why that might be. It’s because the tax kills them.

Big business runs the gubblement, no matter which part of the all-the-same politician party is currently in power. Small businesses used to be the stock-in-trade of the Tory party but now they want to kill them all just like the socialist parties.

The only way to survive this is as a one-man band. Work alone. No staff.

No growth. Minimal earnings, just enough to cover the bills.

Any more than that and the socialist Tories will slap you down.

Just imagine what the other parties will do!


11 thoughts on “Lose that overtime.

  1. I also thought there would be some unintended consequences from this. My guess is that more low-skilled people will be pushed on to something like zero-hours contracts or into contract work; no recognisable overtime, and the hours will be variable enough to make whatever the employer wants to claim as “regular” hours legitimate.

    All our staff are on salaries, so hopefully this doesn’t affect us. However, I can’t help looking at such Union-led case law and feeling that the employees are just being used as publicity fodder. Employment law is complicated enough for small companies without making it more difficult. The only long-term winners will be the lawyers.


    • Salaried staff are probably not affected. When I was salaried, the ‘overtime’ was unpaid but expected. It will also not affect my self-employed side: there is no holiday pay.

      It will mainly affect the hourly-paid, such as I am in the Local Shop job, where frequent and regular overtime is expected (but at least it’s paid for).

      In other words, it will mostly affect businesses who pay hourly, ie the small ones. The ones who can’t afford it.


  2. A sound summary.

    It was interesting to read the terminology being used – a union spokesman said that it wasn’t fair that workers are being ‘penalised’ by not getting overtime included in holiday pay. Penalised as in getting money when not working.


  3. It’s easily sorted – make holiday pay per week an average of the previous 3 month’s weekly pay. Avoids the regularity of hours and the zero hour contract problems. Too simple a solution no doubt.


  4. The unions and politicos should keep their noses out of this. It’s a matter of what it says in your contract of employment and everyone knows what those terms are when they take the job. It simply doesn’t need fucking about with IMHO


    • Fucking about with things that don’t need to be fucked about with is what politicians do these days.

      It’s not as if they have to run a country or anything. Their bosses do that for them.


  5. I’m just hoping that it’s retrospective as has been hinted. It will give me great pleasure to extract money from my late employers. They got the contract which I was deemed part of by bullshit and lies so hell mend them.


  6. “When you force a business to pay each staff member more money, then the business is either a) big enough to laugh it off or b) small enough to be wiped out by the extra charge.”

    In a nutshell.


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