Monday, 7 August 2017

Aberdeenshire UNISON branch statement on council's Equalities Outcomes 2017-21

Below is the statement which the branch has sent to all Aberdeenshire councillors as well as to the HR Equalities Team within the council.

Kathleen Kennedy speaking on equalities
Aberdeenshire Branch welcomes the council’s new Equalities Outcomes for 2017-21 with their specific focus upon disability, posted last week on Arcadia.

The branch commends the council’s Disability Confident accreditation under the Department of Work and Pensions' Disability Confident Scheme. This accreditation recognises the council’s commitment to ensure that people with disabilities and long-term health conditions feel engaged, supported and presented with opportunities to fulfil their potential within the workplace.
The branch is committed to doing everything we can to support the council in making this a reality. We are also proud that our Equalities Officer, Kathleen Kennedy is a member of the UNISON Scottish disabled members’ self-organised group and has also been active on the national disabled members’ committee and is on the standing orders committee for their conference this year.

This reflects very positively on the branch and also on Aberdeenshire Council, as Kathleen can bring her knowledge and experience gained on these groups back to the council. We will be looking for the council’s support for this work.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Sleeping in and the minimum wage

Recent legal judgements mean that an employer who requires workers to do a sleep in at their workplace must include that time in calculations for the national minimum wage.

This means that members, and potential members, who sleep in and are low paid, may be entitled to a pay rise and possible back pay.

Inez Kirk
This issue will particularly affect low-paid members in the private or community and voluntary sector who do regular sleep-ins.

But probably not those working for Aberdeenshire council because they are paid above the minimum wage.

Here Inez Kirk, Branch Secretary explains the issue:

“The law states that all workers over the age of 25 should be paid the national living wage as set by Westminster. This rate is £7.50 per hour. This means that for every hour worked this rate should be paid.

“However, this does not mean that each hour during a sleep in should be paid £7.50.

“What it does mean is that the total number of hours worked and the total pay received for those hours should meet the living wage rate.

“So, for example, if you start work at 3pm and work until 11 then sleep in for 8 hours then work from 7 until 3, your total working hours are 24.

“If you then take the total amount of pay received and divide it by 24 and it comes to above £7.50 then your pay meets the level of the national living wage. If it is below £7.50 then the law has been broken and this has to be sorted and back pay given.

“So if you were on £9.77 per hour for the above shift you would be paid 16x£9.77 = £156.32  Plus sleep in £35.41 =  £191.73

“Then divide that by the total number of hours classed as working £191.73/24 = £7.99

“This shows that pay rate is within legislation.