Employees that rejected ‘forced move’ to monthly pay have won key Employment Tribunal

Philip Gower and Julie Donnelly have won a ‘landmark’ victory at an Employment Tribunal against their employers, Post Office, who tried to move over 1200 employees from weekly pay to a monthly scheme.

The tribunal found that Post Office was unable to force workers to accept a change in their pay schedule from weekly to monthly, without their permission.

In 2016, Post Office announced an intention to switch over 1200 employees from weekly pay to monthly pay, with this move being rejected by a number of Post Office employees. Philip Gower and Julie Donnelly took the Post Office to an Employment Tribunal through their union (The Communication Workers Union). During the tribunal, both Gower and Donnelly stated that they had rejected the new contractual terms before the date that they came into effect. The Post Office claimed that the employees hadn’t made clear their problems and continued to come to work, thereby accepting their new terms. The Post Office also added that Gower and Donnelly had taken loans from their employer which, in the Post Office’s opinion, meant that they had now implicitly agreed to their terms.

The Employment Tribunal however rejected this and ruled that by not paying the worker’s salary weekly was now an ‘unlawful deduction in salary’. The tribunal also found that Gower and Donnelly were entitled to weekly pay and for every Friday they didn’t receive pay, wold be considered a breach of contract.

A spokesperson for the CWU stressed that the Post Office needed to obtain permission for change, rather than forcing staff to take the change unilaterally and also pay any compensation that may have occurred.

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