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Paid breaks from 1/4/2019

03 May 2019, 07:25

The last response I got was Angard were waiting on RM legal department and their understanding was they intended to bring us completely in line with RM staff. If they don't it obviously breaches AWR so they leave themselves wide open for any claims. All the shifts I work on we are now getting equal breaks so I didn't need to escalate it further and all the managers I've spoken to have been told to give us the same breaks. I know some people will be doing a 22.00-06.00 shift next week so it will be interesting to see if they get identical breaks on a full length shift, normally they start at midnight so have different breaks. It will be all irrelevant to me anyway if the amount of shifts I'm getting continues.

It's already been confirmed in one of the Kocur tribunals that RM set all the contract conditions so talk of meetings between senior managers sounds like a load of rubbish. Angard/Reed just do what they are told to by RM.

Paid breaks from 1/4/2019

02 Aug 2019, 18:48

Staff at our mail centre may finally be getting somewhere regarding paid breaks. I persevered with emails to Angard, copying in any managers I was aware of, and this week received a reply from a senior manager. She advised she is liaising with the site and will respond in due course.

Yesterday, staff on a late shift were briefed and told they should have been getting the same breaks as Royal Mail and from now on this would happen. The break allowance is 20 mins for a 3hr shift and 30 mins for a 4hr shift. However, the manager who was allocating breaks did not approach us and when I asked, I was told to leave early rather than take the break. Not a big deal on a short shift but it caused confusion as the staff on duty were doing different length shifts. When it came to 30 minutes before the end of the shift it was my time to leave (having not had a 30 minute break) but others who were due to leave stayed behind, worried it would look bad if they left while there was work outstanding. This left me feeling uncomfortable leaving the floor, but I felt that staying behind (unpaid) defeated the whole point after having worked so hard to get the break entitlement we were due. I’m concerned that having to take the break at the end of the shift will lead to staff feeling obliged to stay behind.

I’ve yet to work a longer shift or nightshift so I don’t know what will happen there regarding breaks or early finishes in lieu of breaks.
Last edited by Lockardian on 02 Aug 2019, 19:43, edited 1 time in total.

Paid breaks from 1/4/2019

02 Aug 2019, 19:34

Lockardian wrote:Yesterday, staff on a late shift were briefed and told they should have been getting the same breaks as Royal Mail and from now on this would happen. The break allowance is 20 mins for a 3hr shift and 30 mins for a 4hr shift.

For a 3hr shift it's a 10min break and a 4hr shift it's 20mins

Paid breaks from 1/4/2019

02 Aug 2019, 19:45

SpacePhoenix wrote:
Lockardian wrote:Yesterday, staff on a late shift were briefed and told they should have been getting the same breaks as Royal Mail and from now on this would happen. The break allowance is 20 mins for a 3hr shift and 30 mins for a 4hr shift.

For a 3hr shift it's a 10min break and a 4hr shift it's 20mins


I’m only quoting my RM manager. I think that local arrangements are in place, possibly agreed with the CWU. The exact wording was “10 plus 10” on a 3hr and “20 plus 10” on a 4hr.

Paid breaks from 1/4/2019

02 Aug 2019, 19:48

Lockardian wrote:However, the manager who was allocating breaks did not approach us and when I asked, I was told to leave early rather than take the break. Not a big deal on a short shift but it caused confusion as the staff on duty were doing different length shifts. When it came to 30 minutes before the end of the shift it was my time to leave (having not had a 30 minute break) but others who were due to leave stayed behind, worried it would look bad if they left while there was work outstanding. This left me feeling uncomfortable leaving the floor, but I felt that staying behind (unpaid) defeated the whole point after having worked so hard to get the break entitlement we were due. I’m concerned that having to take the break at the end of the shift will lead to managers saying “just do this before you go” or staff feeling obliged to stay behind anyway.

I’ve yet to work a longer shift or nightshift so I don’t know what will happen there regarding breaks or early finishes in lieu of breaks.

To be honest I found it so frustrating that many Angard staff seemed to have no idea what their break entitlement was (even after the briefing) and didn’t seem bothered that they hadn’t been given one. Only those who asked are told they could leave early which made it look like the ones who left early (ie. took their break) were “skiving” or similar!


Royal Mail staff are not able to take breaks at the start or end of their shift and it has been agreed to be during the middle with help from the Union in the past. Angard under AWR entitlement after 12 weeks continuous work to trigger AWR, should be under the same rules but it is not. I've even been asked to accept additional paid time in order to NOT take a meal relief during a shift and it just shows that Royal Mail needs to bring more Angard in or to extend the shifts Angard usually get in order to receive a meal relief to get a chance to sit down for a few minutes!

Better yet, offer Angard casuals a chance for Royal Mail part-time/full-time permanent contracts if the duties being done are proven to need more people working on it. :thumbup

Paid breaks from 1/4/2019

12 Aug 2019, 09:38

At Gatwick we receive a paid break BUT they’ve shortened the shifts by 30 minutes.

That way it costs them the same as a 4-hour shift with an unpaid break.

Paid breaks from 1/4/2019

12 Aug 2019, 10:02

We now appear to be getting (at the discretion of the manager on duty):

3hr shift - 20 mins break
4hr- 5hr59m shift - 30 mins break
6hr-7hr59m shift - 40 mins break or 60 mins break

There seems to be a local agreement where RM staff get an extra 10 minutes, so depending on the manager on duty we get this too. For the shorter shifts, part or all the break tends to be given at the end of the shift, ie. we go early.

Things are certainly better than they were.

Paid breaks from 1/4/2019

17 Nov 2019, 13:31

Once again, our breaks are being allocated differently to Royal Mail staff. On a 7.5 and 8hr shifts, the RM guys get a full hour but Angard are only allowed 40 minutes. The reason given is that the RM staff receive an additional
“grace break”. Has anyone experienced anything similar? Is this “legal” and the correct interpretation of the policy?

Paid breaks from 1/4/2019

17 Nov 2019, 15:58

Lockardian wrote:Once again, our breaks are being allocated differently to Royal Mail staff. On a 7.5 and 8hr shifts, the RM guys get a full hour but Angard are only allowed 40 minutes. The reason given is that the RM staff receive an additional
“grace break”. Has anyone experienced anything similar? Is this “legal” and the correct interpretation of the policy?


On 7th May 2018 Simon Barker, UK process operations Director, gave the following response to a question relating to meal relief and the SWW.
“In the way forward agreement, we have commitments of between five and seven hours, people get 30 minutes. Then between seven and eight hours 59 minutes they get 40 minute breaks and that will continue to be honoured.
Within the mail centres and RDCs we’ve Built in a relaxation allowance – its roughly 13 per cent but does change depending on the nature of the job…...”

I sought confirmation to this & received this response;

HR/People Team 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 .....”
hold
Edit; Realised I have posted this information before but Simon Barker, who is now the National operations Director, should hold sway on the information he has provided & HR confirmed.

Paid breaks from 1/4/2019

18 Nov 2019, 10:22

You should get the same according to ACAS.
https://www.acas.org.uk/article/6493/Rights-while-working-as-an-agency-worker
After passing the 12-week qualifying period, they have a right to start getting the same working patterns and rest periods as staff directly employed by the hiring organisation, including any entitlement to longer lunch breaks or extra breaks.

The 'any entitlement' section is the one I'd have thought counted. Nothing about grace breaks not counting.

Your breaks could be affected by how RM at your MC interpret your status on a shift e.g. regular staff or overtime staff. At my MC RM staff doing overtime only get 40 mins while regular RM staff get 60 mins including a grace break. Angard normally do shorter shifts so there isn't a like for like equivalent. If the same rules regarding breaks apply at your MC their argument could be you are treated the same as overtime staff because you are agency covering work that would normally be done as overtime by RM staff. I'd disagree with that but you'll have to get Angard to back you.

Paid breaks from 1/4/2019

18 Nov 2019, 12:41

Tabact - I believe the argument for treating all the shift as overtime would not be valid & as my post indicates it would not alter the break entitlement.

Edited from the way forward agreement;

“Attendances consisting wholly of overtime should attract paid breaks based on the length of attendance as in the table above” (e.g. between five and seven hours, people get 30 minutes. Then between seven and eight hours 59 minutes they get 40 minute breaks).

Relaxation Allowance
“In the parts of the mail centres covered by workload measurement and planning values the additional grace break (10 minutes) may be extended to 20 minutes for full-time indoor jobs and scheduled as “relaxation allowance”, as originally agreed in connection with RRP (10 minutes may be scheduled within indoor part-time jobs)………..”



I assume therefore the hour paid break for indoor full-timers incorporates the relaxation allowance.
13% of 38 hours = 5 hours. (1 hour per day on a 5 day week)
Pro-rata a part-timer on a 20 hour week indoor 13% of 20 = 2.6 hours (divided by 5 day week = 31 minutes per day)


Part-timers cannot be treated less favourably than full-time employees.

It is clear from the legislation AWR qualified workers would have the same rights as employees in respect to breaks.

Paid breaks from 1/4/2019

09 Jan 2020, 22:37

A few years ago Royal Mail and Angard Staffing had been found to conspire together to issue Angard agency workers with less rest breaks than Royal Mail staff. That situation was happening at the Leeds Mail Centre. Case number from the Leeds Employment Tribunal: 1802726/2015, "Kocur vs Angard Staffing and Royal Mail". Royal Mail (RM) staff were getting 20 min rest breaks on 4 hour shifts and 60 min rest breaks on shifts longer than 7 hours. Angard agency workers were not getting any rest breaks on 4 hour shifts and only 30 min rest breaks on shifts of more than 7 hours.

AWR-qualified (=after 12 weeks of service [with possible breaks in service up to 6 weeks, so no need for 12 "continuous" weeks of service]) Angard agency workers are entitled to exactly the same rest breaks that RM employees get. By the virtue of a nation-wide agreement with the CWU union, Royal Mail employees get:

- on shifts of 4 hours: minimum 20 mins + optional extra 10 mins (depending on local agreement between RM and CWUin any particular Mail Centre), so up to 30 mins in total;
- on shifts of 5 to 7 hours: minimum 30 mins + optional extra 10 mins (locally agreed), so up to 40 mins in total;
- on shifts of more than 7 hours: minimum 40 mins + optional extra 20 mins (locally agreed), so up to 60 mins in total.
- these "optional extra rest breaks" are the so-called "relaxation allowance rest breaks" and they have nothing to do with a totally different concept of unofficial rest breaks, called "grace breaks".

If you get less rest breaks than RM staff, you are being continually robbed by the both companies, despite them losing a court battle regarding this very issue in Leeds Employment Tribunal in 2016 (one year later after it was lodged in 2015), so they are very aware of your rights, they just prefer to earn extra money off you, by forcing you to work more than RM staff (by taking shorter breaks or no breaks at all), hoping that you will not know any better.

They also try to muddle the waters by claiming that the "optional extra minutes", the one locally agreed between RM and CWU are so called "grace breaks". They are not "grace breaks" but "relaxation allowance". "Grace breaks" are ad hoc, occasional extra rest breaks, totally unofficial, and at the whim of RM managers - they are not schedualed in writing and therefore, they are only occasional, rare.

"Relaxation allowance" rest breaks are, on the other hand, officially agreed in writing (in RM employees' "Duty Report" documents [also called "P318", if I recall correctly]). They are officially scheduled, in operation permanently, and written down in the "Duty Reports" for RM staff, alongside normal "rest breaks". They have nothing to do with a whim of RM managers or the "grace breaks". "Relaxation allowance" rest breaks must be given to RM staff, and they are given to them on every shift, if any Mail Centre in question agreed them locally. You can tell that by watching for how long RM staff go for their rest breaks, and even better, by looking into their "Duty Reports"/P318's, that are available for anybody to see them, even if you are Angard agency worker. They are usually located in the HR area and are stored in big folders, which contain all the diffrent "Duty Reports" in operation in any given Mail Centre. "Duty Reports" are usually one page and they are freely available to check by anybody, usually only RM staff check them, to confirm their place of work or rest breaks times. Nothing to stop you from checking them yourself - it is a free country and they are stored in public HR area, that anybody can access, RM staff and Angard workers alike. "Relaxation allowance rest breaks" are not "grace breaks", despite what RM managers may be telling you. You are entitled to them in the same way that RM staff are entitled to them.

Fight for your rights, because rest assured that Angard and Royal Mail do not care about you, and will not give you the same duration of the rest breaks, if they can get away with it. Check that Employmant Tribunal case for further details. It is not available online, so you will have to request a copy of it from Leeds Employment Tribunal directly. Royal Mail and Angard have lost the case about the rest breaks, but because it was not officially published by Leeds ET (because of confidentially issues regarding other matters raised in that clam [1802726/2015]), they take advantage of it: Angard workers are not aware of their rights and not aware of these companies losing a court battle regarding this very issue, so the abuse can continue in other Mail Centres, apart of Leeds Mail Centre. You are entitled to exactly the same rest breaks that Royal Mail staff receive, not even a minute less!

By the way, you also have to be given shifts of exactly the same duration as RM staff, check the case available online: "Kocur and Roberts vs Angard Staffing and Royal Mail", number 1805244/2018 and 1805245/2018.
This case is published online on the offical website of Emplyment Tribunals: https://www.gov.uk/employment-tribunal- ... 05245-2018
Angard and RM were giving agency workers shifts 12 minutes longer than the ones that RM staff worked (8 hours for agency workers, compared to 7 hours 48 mins for RM staff). Both companies have lost the case regarding this, and in Leeds Mail Centre Angard workers are working now exactly the same shifts times that RM employees are working, no more mucking about!

Paid breaks from 1/4/2019

02 Apr 2020, 17:19

We have never been given the same shift times as Royal Mail
Staff in our mail centre. We are normally booked to finish at 0500 when the RM staff are booked until 0608. The finish time is flexible depending on workload, sometimes we are sent home as early as 0300 if there’s not enough work. Sometimes we work until 0600 with no extra break that the RM always get. A colleague has spoken to Angard about this and RM have responded by changing our start time so we aren’t eligible for the extra break! Apparently, over a year down the line night shift managers had no idea we were supposed to get the same break entitlement as Royal Mail staff - they don’t want to give us more than 40 minutes so they’ve shortened our shift instead!! (How could they seriously not know before now when the other shift managers have known for months?!)

Some of us don’t mind the flexible finish time but it’s an inconvenience for staff who have to wait around for public transport or walk home/get a taxi home in the middle of the night! It’s not a large mail centre - much of our work has been reallocated to other sites - so we do understand their situation. Half of a shift is better than none. But it’s obvious that our RM managers believe they can make up the rules to suit themselves where Angard staff are concerned.

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