B&Q in breach of contract as it tries to use so-called ‘living wage’ to force new conditions

[Image: Reuters.]

[Image: Reuters.]

No party to a contract can force new conditions on another.

In trying to do so, B&Q owner Kingfisher is in breach of its original contract with workers.

If they are unionised, employees must refuse the offer and take appropriate action to force Kingfisher to honour its agreements.

If they are not, then they should join a union now.

This Writer would advise them to take their lead from the junior doctors, who have been forced to strike against a contract imposed on them by Health Secretary Jeremy misprint Hunt.

Of course, that puts the Conservative Government on both sides regarding pay disputes.

It should be on the side of the workers in the Kingfisher case, but it is against them when it comes to the NHS.

In the meantime, This Blog advises all readers to avoid B&Q until the company accepts its responsibilities to employees.

This is a large firm that is not short of the money required to pay the increased amount.

How much do managers and executives take home?

Thousands of workers at B&Q face being sacked if they refuse to sign a new contract as the owner of the DIY giant introduces harsh new measures in response to George Osborne’s new living wage.

The national living wage comes into effect today, which forces employers to pay staff over the age of 25 a minimum of £7.20 an hour – a 50p rise from the previous minimum wage.

As a result of the new rate, B&Q owner Kingfisher has demanded employees sign away rights to a range of work-related benefits worth more than £1,000 a year.

Under the new terms workers will no longer be paid double time ‘premium’ pay for working Sundays and bank holidays and they will have their summer and winter bonuses cut.

Other benefits, such as additional allowances for living in London and other high-cost areas, will be lost.

Kingfisher says it has been forced to bring in the new cost-cutting measures so it can afford to pay the new living wage, which will rise to £9 an hour by 2020.

The blunt letter to employees – seen by The Times – warns that if they refuse to agree to all the changes and sign a new contract, ‘unfortunately, this will result in your dismissal’.

Source: Employers fight back over Osborne’s living wage as B&Q tells employees they will be sacked unless they sign a new contract that strips them of perks worth £1,000 | Daily Mail Online

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23 thoughts on “B&Q in breach of contract as it tries to use so-called ‘living wage’ to force new conditions

  1. mohandeer

    I don’t understand this. Kingfisher employed people on a contract and now they want to tear up that contract so they can pay them less by what amounts to illegal means.
    Can I suggest that if you can get your goods from a different outlet, you do so and boycott B & Q, I know I will.

    B & Q have massive profits shared among the CEO’s but the person earning them that nice salary with bonuses is something you scrape off the bottom of your very expensive shoes?

  2. Brian

    Experience of Kingfisher shows they are a ruthless part of the Tory elite. If the workers show solidarity they can force B&Q to negotiate. This could be an opportunity for the workers, you can guarantee B&Q will not find enough ‘Bots’ to replace them without loosing huge sums of money.

  3. stickhal

    All those boycotting B&Q: PLEASE, PLEASE write to Kingfisher to tell them you are doing so, & importantly Why. Support our UK workforce as WE are the customers. WE stand together with the staff. Withholding OUR minimum wages from their tills.

  4. Joan Edington

    Oops. Commented on a previous post before I got down to this post. I should have known when Mike said he’d look into it that he would produce more than a comment.

    I don’t think I’ll miss my pensioners’ card since B & Q have been going downhill lately, IMHO.

  5. mr p hothersall

    Shame on you kingfisher I will not buy anything from your stores until you treat employees with respect .I urge all readers of this post to consider doing the same.

    1. barrymorton508

      This is a typical bullies reaction to being told off by the bigger guy, do not be bullied by these tactics it is your right under law to receive this money and keep your contract as is, if you get pressure from management you can always tell them that you are due to this because the law is on your side so tell them they are breaking the law, they wont like it but tough.

    2. fathomie

      It is Cameron’s fault. His bonfire of workers rights, health and safety legislation and trade union bashing has given business licence to loot. The one area largely untouched, basically because altering it could backfire (badly) is Contract law. Cameron knows only too well, that attempts to weaken contracts cuts both ways.

      However, the fact it’s a breach of contract law to attempt to change conditions without agreement, didn’t stop councils up and down the country doing exactly that from 2010 – 2013 – at the govts encouragement.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      That’s not really the point. If you’re working those days, you need to demand them from your employer too.

  6. Matt Martin

    As a former “apron of shame” wearer (aka B&Q employee) this is no different to the usual contempt they treat staff with… Meanwhile how many hundreds of thousands spent on the new poorly conceived ad campaigns?? Let’s not blame government for trying to enhance our dismal lives, rather than the foolish decisions made at head office level! Plus, let’s not forget store managers get £60k plus meanwhile…!

  7. Darren Woodiwiss

    My understanding, having been down this route where a US company took over a UK company and the first thing they did was extend our working hours.

    I understood that it is illegal to force a new contract on an employee but entirely legal to then make them redundant if they don’t accept it.

    What workers rights in the UK?

  8. Leslie corlett

    While families totally rely on wives doing part time work and young kids starting first job the likes of b n q will always take advantage the motto being if you don’t like it there’s plenty who will

Comments are closed.