Tuesday 12 September 2006

getting on better with your associate employee contemporaries ....

I had a meeting with the director today. Partly it was a check-in to see how I was getting on after my transfer, but it was also partly to give me some news:

"I brought you up at the leadership team meeting last week. I put you forward as a good candidate for promotion."
"Oh yes?"
"Yes. Everyone thought it was a good idea and nobody raised any objections at all."
"The only problem is that HR tell me that TUPE law says that we have to honour your existing terms and conditions for a period of not less than six months after your transfer."
"Isn't that law there to protect me?"
"But this same law is now preventing me from getting a promotion and a pay rise?"
"Yes, that's about the size of it. We will look to promote you six months to the day from August 14th. You could use your pay rise to offset the extra cost of healthcover since the transfer"


(and yes, she seriously did say that last bit)

Just when I thought that HR couldn't find a way to piss me off more than they already have, they've gone and found a way of turning a law that's there to protect me to my disadvantage.

Brilliant. Do you think they have brainstorming sessions to come up with this shit?

I left the office today at 19:35 with a pounding head, and the knowledge that I would have to boot up my PC to do some more work as soon as I had finished my tea. What I really didn't need was to be pulled over by Site Security as I approached the main gates and to have my car searched to make sure I didn't have any office stationary (or whatever it is that they look for) hidden in my glove box.

These are the days I really live for.


  1. we actually submitted a formal query to them during the transfer process asking them about this - we wanted to clarify that we would be getting this undertaking from them to protect our jobs for at least 6 months (sometimes you can get 12 months).

    The reply we got back?

    Apparently they couldn't offer that guarantee because the company was going through a merger and a period of significant change etc. etc.

    So my question now? Which is it? Are they giving me that protection (and delaying my promotion), or are they not?


    They don't *have* to do this, they're just being spiteful.


  2. I think you should have a contracts solicitor ruminate on that one. It wouldn't surprise me if proposing a pay rise as compensation for loss of health benefits was grounds for formal complaint.

    I think you should write to the HR and say you will accept their payrise, providing they also amend the figure to compensate you for the recent loss of benefits, and if they don't agree to your terms, start the search for another job.

  3. did I ever update you on the health insurance thing? One guy was bold enough to stand up and be counted on our behalf, and started pushing his colleagues around to get something done. The standard package at new company is to offer a 52% discount on BUPA membership. This guy got the equivalent of that 52% added onto our salaries. Unfortunately, if I wanted to keep my cover as it is (i.e. have the WTs covered and not excluded as a pre-existing condition), I was going to have to pay the full 100%. This guy pushed to get me the difference paid as a one off payment (for this year only) in my September salary. This means that I will not be out of pocket for a whole year, but will then have to pay an extra £40-something a month if I want to keep my cover after that.

    It's a whole lot better than a kick in the teeth, but I will eventually be out of pocket. I thanked the guy in question for his efforts (he shouted at people), and he shrugged and said that the sad thing was that it actually took him very little to get it done - he was just the only person who had cared enough to try.

    The director was making an off-the-cuff remark when she suggested I could use my future pay rise to cover the difference. I don't think she meant any offence by it, it was just for want of anything else to say. She's nice enough, and I actually used to work for her a while back. It was a bit thoughtless really, no more.

    I'm not letting the fuckers get away with stalling my promotion though!


  4. I don't think I've explained that very well.

    cost of health insurance to me before my transfer = nothing (well, it was a taxable benefit)

    cost of BUPA health insurance to me now: £84

    added to my salary: £38 per month

    difference: £46

    1 off payment to cover the difference for 12 months: £500-odd (adjusted for National Insurance and so on)

    but after 12 months, I will obviously be losing out to the tune of nearly £50 a month.

    Rubbish (although I used BUPA for the first time last week when I went to see my neurologist, and they were an awful lot easier to use than the last lot. I expect that all the diagnostic work I'm about to have done will see that I get my money's worth)


  5. That stinks.

    As someone who's worked predominantly in short-term contacts, nothing surprises me about the way companies behave any more. Having finally found a permanent job about two years ago, I figured I was safe enough for as long as I wanted to stay in it, but even now, times are a-changing, not least in that suddenly all paid overtime (I often need to do evening and weekend events) in my department has been stopped, although other departments continue as normal.

    I've resumed my hunt for something new, but meanwhile, I sit and seethe about having to spend my own time working, without even the sweetner of some extra pay, knowing other people working at the same event ARE being paid!

  6. Yuck! My company here went through a merger last year, and we are still trying to figure out what it all means.

    My time off was cut way back (in terms of sick leave...I now have to be out sick for more than 3 days before I get to take any of my "illness leave" time).

    I know that companies are supposed to watch costs, but it's always been pretty clear to me that you should value your employees so they will want to stick around.

  7. not enough firms look at the costs associated with having to find new employees, on average at least several thousand dollars and many months of vacancy for some roles.

  8. Check that law out, I'm pretty sure that the TUPE law states that they can't change your pay and conditions without your consent.

    HR are almost without exception a waste of frickin' time. I've never met one that wasn't at best borderline incompetent.

  9. They are powerful people though, and thats the scary bit.

    You could always say, well lets just promote me anyway, because I'll agree with you to violate that TUPE law statute for me, in this case, just this once, so that I can get what I'm deserved.