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Searching Staff....Is this right?

Lizzie Cornish 1 02 Nov 09 - 04:50 PM
Lizzie Cornish 1 02 Nov 09 - 04:51 PM
The Villan 02 Nov 09 - 04:59 PM
Lizzie Cornish 1 02 Nov 09 - 05:30 PM
Ebbie 02 Nov 09 - 05:31 PM
Lizzie Cornish 1 02 Nov 09 - 05:31 PM
Lizzie Cornish 1 02 Nov 09 - 05:34 PM
Gervase 02 Nov 09 - 05:45 PM
McGrath of Harlow 02 Nov 09 - 06:06 PM
Folkiedave 02 Nov 09 - 07:39 PM
artbrooks 02 Nov 09 - 07:56 PM
Smokey. 02 Nov 09 - 07:57 PM
Leadfingers 02 Nov 09 - 08:29 PM
Jack Campin 02 Nov 09 - 08:45 PM
Rapparee 02 Nov 09 - 10:42 PM
Big Mick 03 Nov 09 - 01:46 AM
JohnInKansas 03 Nov 09 - 03:40 AM
The Villan 03 Nov 09 - 03:52 AM
Roger the Skiffler 03 Nov 09 - 04:42 AM
Rapparee 03 Nov 09 - 09:06 AM
catspaw49 03 Nov 09 - 09:42 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 03 Nov 09 - 09:53 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 03 Nov 09 - 09:55 AM
John P 03 Nov 09 - 10:19 AM
Folkiedave 03 Nov 09 - 12:56 PM
Folkiedave 03 Nov 09 - 12:56 PM
Lizzie Cornish 1 03 Nov 09 - 01:06 PM
gnu 03 Nov 09 - 01:14 PM
Folkiedave 03 Nov 09 - 01:32 PM
Leadfingers 03 Nov 09 - 01:32 PM
Folkiedave 03 Nov 09 - 01:53 PM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Nov 09 - 01:56 PM
GUEST,PeterC 03 Nov 09 - 02:00 PM
Folkiedave 03 Nov 09 - 02:02 PM
JohnInKansas 03 Nov 09 - 02:32 PM
Bainbo 03 Nov 09 - 02:48 PM
Folkiedave 03 Nov 09 - 03:35 PM
Bainbo 03 Nov 09 - 03:49 PM
Lizzie Cornish 1 03 Nov 09 - 04:51 PM
The Villan 03 Nov 09 - 05:27 PM
Folkiedave 03 Nov 09 - 07:13 PM
MGM·Lion 04 Nov 09 - 02:42 AM
Fossil 04 Nov 09 - 03:13 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 04 Nov 09 - 03:56 AM
Ruth Archer 04 Nov 09 - 04:04 AM
Folkiedave 04 Nov 09 - 04:36 AM
MGM·Lion 04 Nov 09 - 04:52 AM
Ruth Archer 04 Nov 09 - 05:44 AM
MGM·Lion 04 Nov 09 - 06:02 AM
GUEST,Mr Red 04 Nov 09 - 06:37 AM
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Subject: Searching Staff....Is this right?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 04:50 PM

I have a friend whose daughter has not long started working at 'Boots the Chemist', which, for our American, Canadian and Australian friends on here is the most major pharmacy chain in the UK.

Today, the young person was searched.

She was taken into a room which locked itself from the inside, with another member of staff, a young man, who was also searched. They had to take their shoes off, pull the waist of their trousers open so that person checking them could see they had nothing hidden down there.

I know someone else who works for Laura Ashley, the clothes shop, and they too are subject to random searches, but bags only.

Both these companies are paying basic minimum wages to their staff, not even allowing them a paid tea break, even if they work for 6 hours...They are allowed to have one, but it's taken out of their wages. They are not allowed lunch breaks.

What the f*ck is going on?

Boots has not long been taken over by some Italian Billionaire Bastard, apparently....

What right does he have to insist his staff are treated this way?

Is it legal?
Can they be prosecuted for invasion of privacy, or some such thing?

I believe the young girl says it's in her contract that she agrees to be searched, but is this morally, ethically or legally right?

Geez, have we lost the plot!


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Subject: RE: Searching Staff....Is this right?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 04:51 PM

Apologies. Could this be moved to the BS section please. Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Searching Staff....Is this right?
From: The Villan
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 04:59 PM

Nothing wrong if it is in the contract.

However I would be dead worried if it was only one member of staff doing this behind closed doors. That is not acceptable and should be reported immediately.
It should be 2 memebers and preferably one male and one female.

If you do not have anything then no harm, but do remember its in the contract.

I remember back in the sixties when I worked for the GEC in Birmingham with over 18000 employees, every exit had guards at the gates and they had the right to search you and your car without question. I got searched several times. I didn't complain. I was clean.


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Subject: RE: Searching Staff....Is this right?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 05:30 PM

"If you do not have anything then no harm, but do remember its in the contract."


Sorry, I totally disagree.

I worked for Boots when I was young and we were NEVER treated this way, ever.

Many young people think it has always been this way, it hasn't.

Now, employers often go out of their way to emplop staff only for 7 1/2 hours so they don't have to give them a paid lunch hour.   In all he jobs I had, I had a paid lunch hour and a tea break morning and afternoon..and I was NEVER searched, ever.

Goodness me, there'd have been a total outcry if employers had done that.

The Executives of GEC should have had some of their own volts shoved up their trousers for doing that...

If you feel you cannot trust your staff, then you shouldn't be in business....because one of the main reasons that staff are possibly now stealing things is because they are treated so shittily. No tea breaks, no lunchtimes, searches, no contracts (often) no regular hours, no support.

Where the hell are the Unions???????

Thank God the Dustmen have come out on strike!
I fully support them, every inch of the way...because this morning I sat watching a pratty councillor telling the BBC that being a dustman wasn't a skilled job, and therefore it was right for the council to now pay them less under the new equal wages rules. One dustman said his pay would drop from £19,000 to £14,500 ?????!!!!!!

You cannot keep treating people like this!   I bet that snivelly, snotty arsed councillor would never pick up his own dustbin....yet he thinks that he has the right to pay his dustbin collector less, because 'he' is not as 'skilled' as Snotty Arse!

Holy Dumping Dustbins!!

WHAT has happened to us all???????????


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Subject: RE: Searching Staff....Is this right?
From: Ebbie
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 05:31 PM

Yikes. In the US, federal law requires the establishment to allow a ten minute (paid!) break every two hours and a (paid!) 30 minute break after four hours. Any time worked after 8 hours is overtime at time and a half.

If an establishment does not honor this law, the Department of Labor will step in.

Every now and then I realize that other countries are not necessarily as civilized as the US.


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Subject: RE: Searching Staff....Is this right?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 05:31 PM

'emplop' ?    I like that word! :0)


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Subject: RE: Searching Staff....Is this right?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 05:34 PM

Ebbie.....thank you so much for posting that. I'll pass that on to the young girl concerned..and well done USA!

Someone else has just told me to go to ACAS to find out the rules and regulations that the employers have to meet.

I'm not shopping at Boots from now on. Or Laura Ashley!


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Subject: RE: Searching Staff....Is this right?
From: Gervase
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 05:45 PM

I agree that being searched is an intrusive and degrading process - but on the other hand, retailers are losing huge amounts to what is euphemistically termed 'shrinkage', and in some sectors more is taken by the staff than by shoplifters. In 2005 the British retail sector lost nearly £2.5 billion from shrinkage, and more than a third of that was down to staff theft. It's why more and more shops have CCTV over the counters; they need to monitor the staff as much as the customers. Very few chains have no process in place to monitor staff; if they don't search they will have cameras trained on them.


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Subject: RE: Searching Staff....Is this right?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 06:06 PM

It doesn't sound legal. In fact I suspect they could be in serious trouble if she decides to make a complaint.

If she's in a union that would be the place to start.


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Subject: RE: Searching Staff....Is this right?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 07:39 PM

I do not know whether this is true or not.

But one thing for certain - I would check very carefully before posting to anything that Lizzie says.


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Subject: RE: Searching Staff....Is this right?
From: artbrooks
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 07:56 PM

Not to comment about the accuracy of the events related, at all, but this sort of thing does happen. I think that, at a minimum, a person has a right to privacy while undergoing any kind of invasive search, and it should be performed by a person of the same gender. I can't honestly discuss the legality of it, since I'm not in the UK.


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Subject: RE: Searching Staff....Is this right?
From: Smokey.
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 07:57 PM

In 2005 the British retail sector lost nearly £2.5 billion from shrinkage,

Or so they told the Inland Revenue.. 'Shrinkage' is a tax-deductable expense and a heaven-sent opportunity for creative accountancy.

and more than a third of that was down to staff theft.

How could they possibly know that?

Beware of statistics :-)


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Subject: RE: Searching Staff....Is this right?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 08:29 PM

So join the Union while you may

Dont wait until your dying day

For that may not be far away

If You're a black Leg Miner

As Kevin said - The Union is the place to start


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Subject: RE: Searching Staff....Is this right?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 08:45 PM

It is legal for employers to search their employees' bags.

It is TOTALLY illegal for them to do body searches of any kind (like looking into pockets). If they have suspicions they can call the police, who do have such powers but will only use them if given good reason. And "it's Friday afternoon" is not a good reason.


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Subject: RE: Searching Staff....Is this right?
From: Rapparee
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 10:42 PM

If I search, or even just look in for something, a person's desk I have someone else with me as a witness.

If I had to have a search of the person done I would call the police to do it.

If there is suspicion of theft there are other ways of confirming or denying the person's supposed guilt without an invasive search. Don't these firms employ security personnel (and I don't mean low-paid security guards, but professional loss prevention specialists)?

I'd scream bloody murder over this -- if a woman and searched by a man, in private, I'd scream sexual abuse.


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Subject: RE: Searching Staff....Is this right?
From: Big Mick
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 01:46 AM

Sorry to contradict my dear friend Ebbie, but there is no provision US labor law (FLSA, Fair Labor Standards Act) which requires an employer to provide breaks, rest periods, or even lunch breaks. The only requirement is to pay time and one half after 40 hours. The only exceptions I know of to this involves employees who are minors. And to put a point on it, a few years back the Republicans proposed not having overtime kick in until a worker worked 2080 hours in a year. Doesn't require too much to see how that would be abused.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Searching Staff....Is this right?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 03:40 AM

Yikes. In the US, federal law requires ...

There are some regulations in US federal law regarding working hours, breaks, and other conditions; but as also pointed out the main impact of federal law is on (minimum) wage and overtime pay - - - however - - -

The laws generally apply only to businesses doing business with the government in some way, and even then only to businesses above a certain size. They may be applied to businesses without government contracts if the size (number of employees) is sufficiently large.

Most states have additional "requirements" that apply more broadly than the federal ones, but in most cases they again apply only to companies with "state contracts" and/or above a certain size - typically 12 to 40 or so employees in a single workplace.

Additionally, a business is permitted to ignore the rules for overtime pay for "salaried exempt" employees, so that the rules do not apply to almost anyone paid a salary as opposed to an hourly wage. There are "lots of words" about who qualifies to be called "salaried exempt" but all the words are overridden by the provision that anyone who's salary exceeds a specific amount can be considered "exempt" and not subject to the rules. The last time I checked, the "specific amount" was about 80% of the federal poverty level income.

A second "out" for businesses is that anyone who's is eligible to receive "commissions" on work performed - rather than only an hourly wage - generally are exempted from the rules, even if they also receive a "base wage" and even if they never actually receive a "commission." ("Tips" from customers are (sometimes) treated as "commissions" but that gets pretty fuzzy in practice.)

An employment contract is about the only way to know what "they" can do to you, and about the only way to get a decent and clearly defined contract - and to have some assurance that the contract will be enforced - is to be in a decent union.

John


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Subject: RE: Searching Staff....Is this right?
From: The Villan
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 03:52 AM

>>The Executives of GEC should have had some of their own volts shoved up their trousers for doing that...
<<

Don't be silly Lizzie


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Subject: RE: Searching Staff....Is this right?
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 04:42 AM

I'm with Terry & Kevin on this. No point not joining a union & then complaining if you get exploited. Unions should deal with these problems on your behalf. That means not just paying your dues but going to meetings, serving on committeees etc. Yes, it's 90% boring but if you don't who will?

RtS
Retired Member UCU, former Dept Rep, Branch Member & Union Rep on University Academic Board.


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Subject: RE: Searching Staff....Is this right?
From: Rapparee
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 09:06 AM

Sorry, JiK, but to be an exempt employee requires more than just being on salary. It also requires (among other things) supervisory responsibility. Some libraries have tried to get around the FLSA by putting everyone on salary, only to learn that there's more to exemption than that.

In lieu of overtime I get six additional days of leave each year -- and believe me, I earn 'em!

This isn't the definitive Word from the government, but it gives a fair discussion of what defines an exempt employee.


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Subject: RE: Searching Staff....Is this right?
From: catspaw49
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 09:42 AM

I think its horseshit of course but beyond that..........

There are times I just love the UK or whatever we're calling folks over there today.............

BOOTS THE CHEMIST

See, our chain pharmacies are named things like Rite-Aid, CVS, Walgreens, and stuff like that............Boots the fuckin' chemist just cracks me up!


Spaw


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Subject: RE: Searching Staff....Is this right?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 09:53 AM

"RE: Searching Staff....Is this right?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 07:39 PM

I do not know whether this is true or not.

But one thing for certain - I would check very carefully before posting to anything that Lizzie says."



















So, moving on from fatuous comments.....

I've rung up ACAS this morning and they put me on to the Equality and Human Rights Commission. Both of them were very shocked to hear the story.

The Human Rights folks told me to contact the 'Human Resources' section of Boots. (Goodness, how I hate that HR word!) Needless to say, the HR department would not talk to me...so I was ushered along to the Customer Services Department..The young woman there was as shocked as the two previous people.

Basically, it's down to the young person concerned to now take this further, because even Boots own Customer Care Department wanted that to happen.



As far as people stealing, Gervase...you know, I'm almost at the point of understanding why they do it...because down here in the West Country you get shite wages, minimum wages more often than not...and if an employee won't even give you a tea break for free, after you've worked for them from 8am in the morning for SIX hours, on your feet all the time...well, you know what, the bastards deserve all they get!

If you show your staff no loyalty, then you will get NONE back..and sadly, that is what is happening all over the place, as penny pinching accountants claw back money from the very people who MAKE the money for their Corporate Masters.

You cannot and should not treat all employees as if they are criminals.

This world wide craziness that we have, where we are all regarded as potential criminals, terrorists, paedeophiles etc...is utter madness!

The young woman concerned was NOT stealing....she was just picked at random out of all the staff.

I'm not sure why some people on here seem to think this is right, or that she should be glad to have a job. That's the kind of thinking that has brought this abhorrent situation into being in the first place.

It's *not* right, not right at all.

And just think on this one....If you have a boss who's a little weird, well....what a wonderful idea for perverts to give themselves a good time at Boots the Chemist expense....

"Now then young woman, just lift your shirt up and pull your trouser waistband out....and....."

It's sick, it's disgusting and it's morally wrong.


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Subject: RE: Searching Staff....Is this right?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 09:55 AM

Boots was started by Jesse Boot of Nottingham, Spaw....

He would be turning in his grave right now...


I used to work for them moons ago and was treated with respect and loyalty.

After this, I will never shop at their stores again.


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Subject: RE: Searching Staff....Is this right?
From: John P
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 10:19 AM

In the United States it is very common for employers to require random drug tests. I think this is as intrusive as being searched. If the drug tests caused people to not act crazy or the searches stopped theft I could ALMOST understand it, but these intrusions don't do that. Someone who had a fight with their spouse that morning, or got too drunk the night before, will be less likely to act rationally or be fully attentive than someone who smoked some pot the night before. And it is really easy to steal things from work without getting caught even if they do random searches.

I've found that treating employees like respected people does way more to achieve these goals than all the coercive intrusions imaginable.


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Subject: RE: Searching Staff....Is this right?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 12:56 PM

I would suggest that if this is true then the person cinduction the search has laid themselves open to a charge of assault.


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Subject: RE: Searching Staff....Is this right?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 12:56 PM

That should be "conducting" of course.


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Subject: RE: Searching Staff....Is this right?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 01:06 PM

It is TRUE, Dave...so please, just for once, would you back off from trying to get people to see me in *your* light.

Thank you very much.


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Subject: RE: Searching Staff....Is this right?
From: gnu
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 01:14 PM

1... "You First.", followed by a hearty laugh.

2... "Only on camera, with police present."

3... "Go fuck yerself."


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Subject: RE: Searching Staff....Is this right?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 01:32 PM

Lizzie. It is not a case of trying get people to see you in my light. On a number of occasions you have posted things which turn out not to be true, or not to say what you have claimed they say. Therefore I check very carefully on anything you post that can be checked. If it cannot be checked then I am very wary of anything you write. I suggest other people do the same.

The examination of bags - as you have suggested happens at Laura Ashley is "normal" nowadays. It happens at football grounds too. I suspect body searches as you have described it are illegal and I am currently looking on the internet to see.

Have you looked? Certainly search by one person of another person of the opposite sex is against the ECHR and is therefore illegal. Since you have suggested there were two people of the opposite sex searched together and if only one person was searching then somewhere there was an illegal search. If there were two people doing the searching it would be useful to establish this and their gender.

Finally instead of posting on here - do you not thing it would be sensible to

a) fully establish the facts and

b) once you have done so advise the person to join USDAW or see a solicitor as soon as possible? I am not sure why you think posting this on Mudcat helps anyone except allows you to show your usual moral outrage.

In answer to your questions: it is not morally right; it is not ethically right; and I doubt it is legally right too. I doubt anyone would disagree with that.

This is a legal problem.

Wages and meal breaks and the way people (especially young people) are treated in the labour market is an entirely separate issue.


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Subject: RE: Searching Staff....Is this right?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 01:32 PM

Sadly The Blessed Margaret so emasculated the Trade Unions that too many young people dont think being in a Union matters !


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Subject: RE: Searching Staff....Is this right?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 01:53 PM

Lizzie -I suggest you tell the person involved to look at this.

http://www.personneltoday.com/articles/2007/07/03/41297/legal-q.html

Once they have read and understood that - or had it explained to them, they can decide what steps to take next.

This might include seeing a solicitor.


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Subject: RE: Searching Staff....Is this right?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 01:56 PM

Maybe being groped by the management in this way might change their minds.

Having a union with access to legal expertise is very handy when someone above you in the work hierarchy is misusing their authority. An individual making a fusss is very isolated.

People often think of unions exclusively in terms of pay negotiations and so forth. Providing help and support in cases of harassment of one sort or another, or helping ensure that these don't ever arise, is liable to be a more important benefit of a good union for most people.


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Subject: RE: Searching Staff....Is this right?
From: GUEST,PeterC
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 02:00 PM

[quote]
In all he jobs I had, I had a paid lunch hour
[/quote]

In 40 years I have never worked anywhere that gave a paid lunch break. I can't think of anybody wanting one, dividing a week's basic pay across an extra five hours would just cut the overtime rate.


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Subject: RE: Searching Staff....Is this right?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 02:02 PM

And some peeple do not believe in overtime. Me for example.


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Subject: RE: Searching Staff....Is this right?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 02:32 PM

Rapaire -

It is true that the laws regarding employee classification do not mention that a specific salary is sufficient to classify an employee as "salaried exempt." Those laws are the "many words" to which I made reference.

For many businesses, however, the regulations created by the federal oversight agencies to implement the laws do include those provisions. The oversight agents are free to write "interpretations" specific to individual kinds of businesses, and there is much variation from one "industy" to another.

Since this method of classification is frequently used to "skirt the law" it is quite likely that a smaller organization, or one supervised by a different government agency, might not be permitted to use salary alone for the classification; but in the industries where I worked the salary alone is applied in company policy, generally accepted and quoted in union contracts (as a non-negotiable article), and is supported by regulations governing the classification of employees for those industries.

As a former executive committee member for my union, I can assure you that I have been carefully and thoroughly versed in the regulations applicable to my own (former) industry; and I agree with you that this particular item is not stated in the underlying statutes. I would expect that the agency with which you may have dealt may have had an "interpretation of the law" that differs from what was applied where I have worked, but the "salary exempt" classification based on salary alone is common in most of the larger industries.

(Comparison of one's own contract with "similar employees in other companies" is part of the job of the union executive committee - where I was.)

John


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Subject: RE: Searching Staff....Is this right?
From: Bainbo
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 02:48 PM

I work for a company - not retail - which now has tentacles right across the UK. Anybody who's signed a new contract over the last couple of years- including me - has new a clause in it:

It is a condition of your employment that you may be required to comply with any request by an authorised person to conduct a personal search. This will be done by a memberof the same sex in the presence of a manager.

There's only me who's ever kicked up about this. It doesn't seem to bother anyone else. I signed, on the grounds that you're deemed to have accepted the contract anyway, simply by turning up for work, even if you haven't signed it.

But I wrote out a separate sheet and signed it, to go on my file, laying out my objection to this clause - namely, that it it doesn't compel the company to justify making such a search, and it doesn't even say the request has to be reasonable. No "If we have reason to suspect ..." or any other qualification.

Taken to its illogical conclusion, it means the company could make me strip to my underpants every time I left the building, and not even have to explain why. I know that wouldn't happen, but I was still being asked to sign a bit of paper saying I agreed that they could if they wanted to.

Now, whether that sheet of paper lying on my file actually carries any weight remains to be tested ...


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Subject: RE: Searching Staff....Is this right?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 03:35 PM

IF you haven't looked at that link I offered Lizzie:

Subject: RE: Searching Staff....Is this right?
From: Folkiedave - PM
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 01:53 PM

then you might take a look. Such a situation is covered.


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Subject: RE: Searching Staff....Is this right?
From: Bainbo
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 03:49 PM

Thanks Dave. I hadn't looked - but I see that the advice says that any clause "should set out the reasons why a search may be made." Mine clearly doesn't.

I might bear that in mind for the future - or I might raise it with them now, before it comes to a head. I'll have a think.


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Subject: RE: Searching Staff....Is this right?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 04:51 PM

>>>>>Finally instead of posting on here - do you not thing it would be sensible to

a) fully establish the facts and

b) once you have done so advise the person to join USDAW or see a solicitor as soon as possible? I am not sure why you think posting this on Mudcat helps anyone except allows you to show your usual moral outrage. <<<<<<<


I choose to write here on Mudcat. If you have a problem with that, I politely suggest you desist from reading my posts, particularly as they seem to bore the pants off you.

Failing that,

"why head don't arse you up your stick it'

...are always excellent words to try and rearrange when you bore of doing your crosswords.


>>>>In answer to your questions: it is not morally right; it is not ethically right; and I doubt it is legally right too. I doubt anyone would disagree with that.

This is a legal problem.

Wages and meal breaks and the way people (especially young people) are treated in the labour market is an entirely separate issue.<<<<<

No it is not. Not to me. It is all inextricably linked by the crap way that Corporate Crap Companies choose to mistreat their staff.

Any company that thinks they have the right to search their staff should be put on the next rocket to Mars and left on the planet, permanently.

Yes, Villan...I know....'Lizzie, don't be silly...'


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Subject: RE: Searching Staff....Is this right?
From: The Villan
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 05:27 PM

Lizzie
The working conditions should not be confused with the severity of this persons action against 2 employees. This person has gone beyond what is acceptable, and I dare say could be in a lot of trouble, if it can be proven.
There is only one issue and that is to do with innaproprite behaviour by a senior member of staff.
I think it would be better if you didn't post on here about this. These 2 people need to seek legal advice and if there is a case, go for the jugular. They need to play their cards close to their chests and not give this person any idea of what is going on until a case is brought forward.
This person who seems to have offended, could well be reading this thread for all you know. Do you want to provide that person with ammunition to get out of this.
Les


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Subject: RE: Searching Staff....Is this right?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 07:13 PM

I choose to write here on Mudcat. If you have a problem with that, I politely suggest you desist from reading my posts, particularly as they seem to bore the pants off you.

Lizzie you have totally the wrong end of the stick (and not for the first time).

I don't find your posts boring at all - just the opposite in fact. As works of fiction I find them most entertaining.

And I mean that most sincerely. And when you start posting abuse........hilarious.

Do keep it up!


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Subject: RE: Searching Staff....Is this right?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 04 Nov 09 - 02:42 AM

It has been assumed thruout this thread that this is a new situation. It is not. I had a job in my first Long Vacation in my university days, in 1953, at the Carreras cigarette factory in N London. Cigarettes were obviously easy things for employees to steal; so we were all required, & when taken on verbally & in writing warned of this, to agree to submit to random personal searches as we left work [which as it happened never happened to me], & to our lockers being searched during the day by security staff with master-keys [which did]. As I knew I wasn't a thief, and had no objection to reasonable frisking, loosening of waistbands &c, I accepted these conditions. So did everyone else who worked there, or they wouldn't have been working there. The same seems to apply to Lizzie's relative, who I gather voluntarily signed the contract specifying this on starting work. BUT, I reiterate — this was 55 years ago. This is not a new thing — it might be at Boots; but not as a requirement by some employers. Why the sudden fuss?


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Subject: RE: Searching Staff....Is this right?
From: Fossil
Date: 04 Nov 09 - 03:13 AM

I am a pharmacist.

I trained - did my apprenticeship, in the days when that meant something - with Boots the Chemist. Like many other large companies, Boots has changed over the 40 years or so, since then, when their employees were genuinely valued and appreciated - into a huge faceless, heartless retail-based consortium where staff loyalty is neither expected, nor accounted for.

This sorry, value-less, inhumane approach to personnel, who are treated not like human beings, but as replaceable cogs in a money-making profit-driven machine administered by (themselves replaceable) middle-level management flunkies is just a part of contemporary British culture.

It's one of the many reasons I don't live in the UK any more, and never will again. Very sad story. I have no easy solution to the problem, except to encourage the lady concerned to jump up and down, scream violation and sue the bastards for every penny she can get!

And of course, to join the union and get their power (however degraded by the Thatcher beast) - on her side. Good luck, but not expecting much...


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Subject: RE: Searching Staff....Is this right?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 04 Nov 09 - 03:56 AM

Thank you, Fossil, for your eloquent and interesting post.

I too have fond and happy memories of a respected company who respected their employees.

We have lost so many very precious things in this country.


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Subject: RE: Searching Staff....Is this right?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 04 Nov 09 - 04:04 AM

MtheGM is right - my experience is a bit more recent, but when I first started having Saturday jobs almost 30 years ago, it was well known that some shops would, at the very least, have a supervisor go through your bag at the end of your shift. One place where a friend worked, a factory that made novelties, even issued their female staff with clear plastic handbags, which was the only kind of bag you were allowed to take to work with you. These bags were still subject to search on demand, and male staff had to turn out their pockets.

I always assumed that these things were a response to a problem, rather than being an attempt to persecute and de-humanise staff. If people are regularly stealing and costing a company lots of money, what are they meant to do? To be honest, if you've ever worked somewhere that someone IS stealing, but the management haven't figured out yet who it is, you'll know how awful it is: the atmosphere is very uncomfortable as everyone is under suspicion and you don't know who to trust.

I once worked in a busy pub where someone had their hand in the till over a prolonged period, and it was horrible - it made for a far worse atmosphere and environment than random searches. The owner eventually had a camera installed without the knowledge of the staff, and that's how the culprit was caught. Far from objecting to the fact that we'd been secretly filmed, we could scarcely disguise our delight when the police were called in to have the thieving git removed from the premises, because his actions had brought us all under suspicion and put all of our jobs on the line. I also don't buy the idea that the terrible practice of people working six hours without a break makes stealing justifiable. What's the big deal? Six hours straight is hardly Guantanamo Bay.

I also haven't come across this paid lunch hour culture in any place where I've worked over the past 20 years in the UK, from shops and pubs to council-run arts venues. Even in my last management job I had to fill in a timesheet - taking a daily lunch break of at least 30 mins was compulsory, but it wasn't counted within the 37.5 hours a week we were required to work. To be honest, no one really ever took a full half hour anyway, even though we wrote it down, and just eating a sandwich at your desk was quite common. Again, hardly being sent up the chimneys or down the pits...


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Subject: RE: Searching Staff....Is this right?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 04 Nov 09 - 04:36 AM

Lizzie is this another thread you start and then let die into some deep black hole - or are we ging to find out a result?

Apart from posting on Mudcat and building up a phone bill, have you passed any of this advice on to the people concerned? And what have they done about it?


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Subject: RE: Searching Staff....Is this right?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 04 Nov 09 - 04:52 AM

Thanks for your support, Ruth Archer. From Lizzie's OP, which I have just reread, it appears that her young relative sensibly accepted the procedure as part of the contract she had voluntarily signed. It was Lizzie herself who started jumping up & down screaming blue murder, & this is all new, and an infallible sign of our moral degeneracy, & shoot {or electrocute} tyhe bastards! [a bandwagon on which the usual boobies have leapt to prove it was all Maggie Thatcher's fault — is there a single adverse part of our current culture for which that poor woman is not responsible?]

As I demonstrated above, and say again, it is NOT a new phenomenon; nor is it, as Ruth agrees, an unreasonable expectation.

Now, all you doctrinaire, card-carrying, professionally captious TU anti-Thatcherite activists, why not cool it & find some sort of real abuses to turn the energy of your boundless animus against?


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Subject: RE: Searching Staff....Is this right?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 04 Nov 09 - 05:44 AM

Actually, MtheGM, I'm as pro-union and anti-Thatcher as anyone. But I do think one needs to choose one's battles rather more carefully. Businesses have to somehow respond to the fact that some staff steal stuff. As long as you understand the policy before you sign your contract, and those policies do not contravene employment law, what's the problem? If you don't like an employer's policies, don't work for them.


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Subject: RE: Searching Staff....Is this right?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 04 Nov 09 - 06:02 AM

Ruth: I am far from pro-Thatcher myself - esp at end of her time when she became absolutely impossible to control, tho she might have started out with best of intentions. But I have always thought there was an awful yah-boo element to this tendency to blame her for absolutely everything that has ever gone wrong in the last 30 years. I'm not anti-union either — they are clearly essential as everyone who knows any history from Tolpuddle on will appreciate: but like Maggie they have a tendency to get out of control if not monitored, esp if led by one of those charismatic egomaniacs like Scargill, & do not possess all the answers to everything as they & she both seemed to think — Scargill v Maggie - oppo sides of same coin, it might be argued?


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Subject: RE: Searching Staff....Is this right?
From: GUEST,Mr Red
Date: 04 Nov 09 - 06:37 AM

I would expect the legality has been researched.

AFAIK an 8 hour shift requires a lunch break, and for a 10 hour shift it must be 1 hour. Not sure about 6 hours, but the Citizens Advice Bureau would know.

In the current economic climate the alternative to Boots is the boot. Right now the boot is on the other .............


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