Don’t gamble on your payroll - BetFred face backlash after holiday pay mishap Oct 30, 2019Views: 199
Another day, another payroll drama. What better place for the scene to be set than a bookies. But this time, instead of red-faced men being dragged out by the ears by their thundering wives, it’s the employees waging war on the big bosses over holiday pay.
The bookmakers BetFred were hit with a stonker of a payroll issue whereby the payroll was calculated incorrectly for staff who had worked overtime ahead of a holiday period. Instead, the pay was only calculated based on their contractual hours.
Wow. I don’t even like working for money let alone for free! Well, neither did the employees and this mammoth mistake ticked them off massively (excuse my language). It’s unclear exactly how many of BetFred’s 7,000 employees have been affected, but it’s assumed that it’s in the hundreds. That’s hundreds of employees who have been left hundreds of pounds out-of-pocket.
Just to add a bit of background, in 2017 the Employment Appeals Tribunal ruled that payments for purely voluntary overtime should be included in holiday pay calculation if they are regular enough to count as “normal pay”. So ever since, if an employee regularly does overtime (which was absolutely the case for the majority of BetFred staff) then this needs to be taken into account. So these poor employees slogging away, earning only 10-20p more than minimum wage are giving up more of their time for free for a pittance.
To add insult to injury, according to a whistleblower within the company, word around the water cooler is that this problem was known to the company months ago. The only effort made on the company’s part was to send out a memo to staff and then wait for them to claim. But the problem was they didn’t know they should have claimed in the first place! Not cool!
A spokesperson for BetFred blamed its payroll system for the error, saying it has struggled to cope with changes in the way holiday pay is calculated and claims their payroll was outsourced to an external company. Yeah yeah, the oldest trick in the book *rolls eyes*.
Well, I have a few suggestions to take away from this about how you can stay in the game and not put your money on the wrong horse (thank you, thank you).
- First of all, no matter what, always keep track of your overtime because, unfortunately, sometimes even the people who are literally paid to do this for you let you down.
- Secondly, know your rights as an employee when it comes to pay. Have a chat with your manager or your HR department if you feel something might be amiss with your pay.
- Last but not least, if you’re an employer then take control of your own payroll. Don’t outsource, grab it by the horns and do it yourself. Make sure you are using a payroll system that can automate administrative tasks, reducing the risk of errors.
Written by Aoibheann Byrne | BrightPay Payroll Software
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