RCC » Pearl Restaurant London » Letter of Complain

This letter have been received by Renaissance Chancery Court - Pearl Restaurant London in April 2008.

Citizens Advice Bureau

Contracts of employment

If part of the contract is broken. If your employer breaches a right that you have by law, for example, your employer does not pay you for the work you have done and so makes an illegal deduction from your wages, you should try to sort the matter out informally with them first. If this does not work, you should follow the special three-step grievance procedure which all employers are required to have by law. This means you must:

  1. send your employer a written statement, setting out your grievance, and give them at least 28 days to respond
  2. meet with your employer to discuss your grievance
  3. appeal against your employer's decision if you are not happy with it.

If you have followed this procedure and are still not happy with the outcome, you can take your case to an employment tribunal. You should bear in mind that if you haven't followed the grievance procedure properly first, the employment tribunal may decide to reduce any compensation it awards you.

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing to complain about my payment of service charge, tips and overtime in Pearl Restaurant during last year. I asked already my manager about this matter. To make matter worse, his answer was misleading in several ways.

1. Service charge – December 2007

In December 2007 have been I and my colleagues working really hard. We did more hours than usually and we have been working often in two persons for whole day shifts which are normally for minimum three persons. We agreed with this situation because we knew it will bring more money for us.

We should get service charges from December 2007 in our payment in January 2008. We were told by our management we will get half of these service charges in January and half in February. January was very busy month as well. When we add service charges from January payslip and February payslip, we didn’t get amount seems to be right.

Associates suspect management that they divided December service charge just to make thinks confusing. Associates suspect management they use part of December service charge for making budget better or for themselves. From this reasons manager have been asked by associates on our last department meeting to make thinks clear. He explains who have which coefficient but nothing else. Question number one is: How much from service charge which restaurant gets in December 2007 has been really divided among associates? Question number two is: They used for this dividing same coefficients for each position like in other months?

2. Service charge and tips – pro rata

I had contract based on casual basis from February 2007 to September 2007. In this time I did up to 285 hours per month, partly in other departments. I had associate full-time contract from October 2007 through December 2007. I change my contract back to casual from January 2008. From January I am working usually four days per week instead five and I make around 130 hours in both January and February, because I took one week off in February and one week was Pearl closed in January.

2.1 Cash tips

In March our cash tips have been divided. They have tried getting me one half of common amount. I complained it and they gave me same tips as for other associates. I thought it was wrong in both cases.

From this reason I have contacted my manager, explained him what happen and asked him how is it with my service charges, because I am afraid it will be same like with these cash tips. I do not want get amount which is depend on someone’s mood. My manager ensures me that they count everything very carefully and everything is all right. It was told me that is not true that they simply change my coefficient for service charge from 1 to 0.5 when I started working four days instead five.

2.2. Service charge

I have checked my last payslip and I have compared it with payslips of my colleagues on same position. I have found my manager was lying me about this. I get exactly one half and I think it is not fair!

Before, when I was working more then others I never get more, it was not fair as well.

2.3. Tips

Same situation like with service charges.

3. Overtime

3.1 Extra days paid as lieu days

In October and November I was working four times six days per week. One of these days was cross training, other three days was extra and my list of lieu was updated. This is alright. I asked my manager to take my lieu days in December 2007, because I finished my contract and switch back to casual. It was not possible to take it because we were under staff, so my manager decided to pay me for these three extra days in my December payment.

I was paid for these three extra days like for 22.5 hours in normal pay rate. It seems to be right if I was supposed to work 40 hours per week. My contract in point 6 really said: “You are expected to work for at least 40 hours per five day working week”.

3.2 Extra hours

According to point 4.3 in UK Associate Handbook 2007 I would like ask Head of Human Resources Department for details of overtime arrangements.

When I was regular associate in between September 2007 and December 2007 I was forced by my manager to work minimum 48 hours per week and I never get extra money for overtime. As I wrote earlier I was supposed to work at least 40 hours per week according to my contract. Not at least 48 hours.

I never protest to work 48 hours or more. I know that in my contract I agreed to waive my right under the Working Time Regulations 1998 not to work on average in excess of 48 hours per week averaged over a period of 17 weeks.

But I do not understand why I never get money or lieu days for my overtime, which I did every week.

I would be grateful if you could check how it was with service charges from December 2007 divided in January and February 2008; why I every time get less percentage of service charges than I should; why I never get payment or lieu days for extra hours which I did every week when I was regular associate. I would be delighted if you could sort this problem and give me money which I should get. I hope we have enough internal mechanism which enables us together to find solution inside our company.

I am look forward to hearing from you soon.

Yours sincerely,

Vladislav Jankových