ANNOUNCEMENT : ALL OF ROYAL MAIL'S EMPLOYMENT POLICIES (AGREEMENTS) AT A GLANCE (UPDATED APR 2019)... HERE
ANNOUNCEMENT : NEW CORONAVIRUS FORUM... HERE
02 Apr 2019, 17:09
On my mail centre we work from 6:00 to 14:00 and we still have 1h break. Nothing changed. The difference is now we will get paid for the full 8h instead of 7h.
02 Apr 2019, 17:21
I spoke to somebody who worked the 18.00-22.00 shift last night and all staff were told to make sure they took a 20 minute break where previously you didn't get one. I had a word with a couple of managers at the weekend and the email they have been sent says to give AWR staff breaks which they understood to be the same breaks as RM staff get. I didn't get a reply from Angard when I asked them to confirm we should get the same breaks.
16 Apr 2019, 10:27
Are people now getting the same breaks as RM staff particularly on a 4 hour shift? I worked my first shift last night since the changes, half the managers were denying any knowledge of any changes and not giving people a break. This is rubbish as other shift managers on nights and weekends have received notification. I insisted on a 20 minute break but others in the same area didn't get one. The original feedback I got on all staff being told to take a break was only applicable in one area. Still trying to get an answer from angard whether RM are now honouring AWR in regards to breaks where identical shift lengths are worked compared to RM staff.
16 Apr 2019, 12:51
May 2018 Quote/Misquote from Simon Barker,RM UK Process Operations Director;
"Within the mail centres and RDCs We're building/we built in a relaxation allowance – its roughly 13 per cent but does change depending on the nature of the job"
This is part of the response I received from his office;
“As you are aware I have sought assistance from our HR/People Team and they have advised that the relaxation allowance has always been built into the standard times measured to carry out indoor activity, generally at a level of around 11 – 13% depending on the activity being carried out i.e. lifting weight / standing etc and that the relaxation allowance is not something that is being built in owing to the introduction of the Shorter Working Week.”
So if you (AWR qualified) work in a mail centre or RDC for a 4 hour shift (240 minutes at 12%) would work out at 28.8 minutes.
16 Apr 2019, 13:07
Thanks for the information. RM staff doing a 4 hour shift get a 20 minute break at my MC so just looking for parity, if I don't get it I'll take it further.
16 Apr 2019, 14:28
tabact wrote:Thanks for the information. RM staff doing a 4 hour shift get a 20 minute break at my MC so just looking for parity, if I don't get it I'll take it further.
I would think parity is the least you're entitled to expect. At our RDC Angard/Agency shifts for the past few months were reduced to 4 hours with no break. From April a change has been made which gives Angard/Agency a 4 hour 45min shift. This means they work four hours, have 30min break & then return to work for 15mins. (If you only have one break this must be taken sometime between the shift, It cannot be taken at the end). I am sure the whole shift is paid.
I have also also questioned P/T meal break entitlement some years ago to get pro-rata equality with full time employees within RM. I believe it is only right to endorse RM's mantra of equality & fairness.
16 Apr 2019, 18:36
What is a “relaxation allowance”? Is it related to breaks or to money?
I’m about to work my first weekday nightshift since the changes and what I’m reading does not fill me with the confidence we will get the correct break allowance. As stated above, the end time is flexible and you leave when the manager says you can go, so the shift length may be as short as 5.5hrs or as long as 7.75hrs (sometimes longer if you’re asked to start early or stay behind!) Previously Angard have been getting a 30 minute break regardless of the length of this shift while our RM colleagues get an hour and a potential early finish.
What is a “grace break”? The allowance for 7.5/7.75hrs is 40 minutes (as far as I know) but RM staff always get an hour, and I assume the additional 20 minutes is their “grace break”. Should AWR qualified Angard staff also get the grace break?
16 Apr 2019, 19:01
Information is available at; https://www.cwu.org/wp-content/uploads/ ... t-2000.pdf
In May 2018 the agreement was cited “In the way forward agreement, we have commitments..... that will continue to be honoured" so is still valid.
16 Apr 2019, 20:12
There’s a hell of a lot to digest there, and much of it does not apply to Angard staff. However the question about whether we, as AWR agency staff, are entitled to the grace breaks/relaxation allowance is not addressed. Should we be getting an hour’s break along with our RM colleagues?
16 Apr 2019, 21:32
Section 5. page 22,23. Explains what relaxation allowance is, which answers "What is a “relaxation allowance”? Is it related to breaks or to money?"
There is also an explanation of grace breaks.
Also stated - breaks for Mail centres & RDCs differ from delivery offices.
It is clear RM, following EAT decision, have to pay agency the same hourly rate, as opposed to the higher rate which compensated for breaks & holiday pay.
As for meal/rest breaks.The agency worker regulations specify;
Basic terms and conditions
After 12 weeks in the same job with the same hirer, you will be entitled to the same basic terms and conditions as if you had been recruited directly.
These basic terms and conditions include:
basic pay, including holiday pay, overtime and bonuses linked to your performance
life of working time – for example, not being expected to work more hours a week than those who are directly recruited
annual leave (where this is above your legal entitlement you may receive an additional payment, as part of the hourly rate (CHANGED) or at the end of the assignment, instead of the additional leave) -
rest breaks and rest periods
paid time off for ante-natal appointments
17 Apr 2019, 00:05
Well, nothing was said tonight when I started my shift. A colleague had a word with the union rep who went to speak to the night shift manager. Apparently the night shift manager “would not entertain the idea” of Angard getting the same breaks as the RM staff - so if we are here 7 hours or more we will still only get 30 minutes break. The union will escalate it, but that’s the stance at our MC at the moment.
17 Apr 2019, 08:31
Your post pretty much sums up working for Angard. It's ridiculous that two weeks after a complete change in the way breaks are paid we haven't been told what the new break allowance is. The only logical assumption (to Angard workers) is RM will adhere to AWR and we get the same breaks as RM staff but we are dealing with RM here. If you contact Angard asking for clarification you get told 'we don't know we're trying to find out'. RM managers have had an email regarding paid breaks but we don't know what's in it so makes it a bit difficult to argue your case if a local manager refuses a break. MC managers obviously don't want to give any more breaks than they have to, they are only interested in keeping their budgets down. At a national level I'd guess that with the hourly rate having been reduced RM are saving money by paying breaks as nobody gets anywhere near full time hours normally.
As usual when dealing with Angard nothing is easy as Reed are just an administrator for RM. It's no good telling me they will let me know what RM has implemented for breaks ASAP. A proper independent agency would know your employment agreements. It just proves yet again Angard is not fit for purpose and is purely a vehicle to keep zero hours staff technically not employed by RM. If there is no answer forthcoming then everybody should raise a grievance and potentially be willing to go down the tribunal route.
17 Apr 2019, 10:37
tabact - you have summed it up entirely. One individual member of Angard staff raising the issue with a line manager (particularly night shift managers at our MC) would get nowhere. He/she would quickly find themselves passed over for shifts in favour of someone who wouldn’t make a fuss. And there are plenty Angard staff who appear to neither know nor care what their official Ts & Cs are as long as they have some beer money hit their account on Fridays. A joint grievance via the union rep is probably the way to go, but I would hate to be seen as the instigator. Angard staff are easily dispensable, and a local shift manager won’t care about the implications of a tribunal - they just want “feet in bull rings” saying “yes sir, no sir, three mailbags full sir”.
17 Apr 2019, 11:25
I'm already out of favour with the managers so getting sod all work on my preferred shift at the moment and I got my break on the one I did work even if others didn't. I've been on both sides of the fence in various jobs and most employees will moan away about things but very few will actually do anything so as a manager you can normally get away with it. I'm sceptical to how much help you would get from the CWU as they are opposed to the use of casual staff and don't even acknowledge Angard exists the last time I looked on their website, try a search on angard 'no results'. Any grievance has to be raised with Angard first as they are officially our employer then progressed from there. I'll be surprised if RM aren't going to comply with AWR on breaks as they are leaving themselves wide open for future employment tribunals.
18 Apr 2019, 12:59
Somewhere on this forum I have recently seen a table (or similar) outlining rest break entitlements for various shifts. Can anyone point me to that, or repost them?
18 Apr 2019, 14:22
It's section 5 of the pdf file you looked through the other day. There are local agreements in mail centres so talk to RM staff to confirm 100% what they officially get. Either way if paid breaks now and equal treatment under AWR we shouldn't get different breaks anymore but in the real world.
18 Apr 2019, 15:33
Thanks tabact. It seems that in a standard nightshift (which seems to be 2230-0608 for RM guys, although they normally get away before 6) they receive 60 mins (the entitlement of 40 plus 20 mins grace). We only get 30 mins (but this is complicated by flexible finish times - it’s correct if we leave at 0500, but not if we finish later which often happens). It’s difficult to know how to address this - the other staff members I’ve spoken to have shown no interest in speaking out, and I don’t want to be seen as the only person making a fuss.
18 Apr 2019, 16:08
Hopefully Angard will actually do their job for once and tell us what RM has instructed their managers to do in regards to breaks. I'm not arguing with RM managers over breaks. If they don't give me equal breaks it's down to Angard to sort out any problems for their employees. We know Angard just jump how high they are told to by RM but I'm going to pursue this all the way. I get virtually no shifts now so it doesn't matter if I piss them off.
18 Apr 2019, 19:09
I have asked Angard numerous times for a simple table comprising length of shift and the paid break allowance for each length of shift.
This would be so easy to do but for some reason won't do it.
24 Apr 2019, 01:21
Well, the response I received from Royal Mail management, via the CWU rep, is that we work for Angard so we need to take any grievance to them. RM don’t appear to be aware of any recent changes in procedure with regard to Angard (which seems hard to believe). Angard’s latest response is that local Royal Mail managers set the breaks. So we are being passed from pillar to post.
Surely the whole point of the exercise is to align Angard’s T&Cs with Royal Mail’s - ie. an Angard worker should receive the same break entitlement as a member of RM staff working the same shift and doing the same job. Why can’t Angard communicate that to Royal Mail, or why can’t senior Royal Mail managers communicate that to the shift managers?!
It’s stating to feel like the formal route is the only way to go to get this resolved. But at what cost?
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