Important Banded Hours Update
Date: 5th March 2020
To: All Dunnes Stores Members
From: Gerry Light, Assistant General Secretary
To date Dunnes management have refused to respond to the union’s request to provide clarity and security to those placed in a band of weekly working hours regarding their intentions going forward. See link for a copy of the original union letter sent to Dunnes management in February (see letter attached).
As previously stated, our understanding and position on the new law is that once a worker is placed in a band of hours, they will continue indefinitely in their band of hours. Indeed almost every other employer bar Dunnes has permanently changed workers’ contracts of employment to reflect their band of hours providing the security that was intended in the new law. Dunnes management have remained silent.
Guidance for those already in a band of weekly hours
Based on the current situation we recommend that members already in a band of weekly hours do the following based on your situation:
· If your weekly working hours have remained in your band over the last 12 months, make sure to keep a close eye on your 4-week advance roster. If your rostered hours are dropped below your band, you should
1) raise a grievance with your manager
2) notify your shop steward or Mandate official
3) submit a new banded hour request as a backup position
Dunnes will have to comply with your banded hour request within 4 weeks. The internal form “Employee Request for Banded Hours” that was used by Dunnes last year can be requested from and submitted to the store manager. Alternatively you can use the template form attached here. Make sure to keep a copy or a photo of your request form for your records.
· If your average weekly working hours over the last 12 months is higher than your current band than you can submit a new request to the store manager which should result in you securing a higher weekly band. Again the form “Employee Request for Banded Hours” that was used by Dunnes last year can be requested from and submitted to the store manager. Make sure to keep a copy or a photo of your request form for your records.
· Note under no circumstances should you be dropped below your current weekly band – unless it is something you agree to do. Also note that days you may have been out sick, on maternity, on holiday should not be included in calculating your weekly average hours.
· Based on the situation that unfolds in the coming weeks the union may also be initiating appropriate proceedings against the company for what we consider to be an incorrect application of the legislation by Dunnes on banded hours.
· If you have any queries or issues that arise make sure to contact your shop steward or local Mandate office for assistance.
Those not currently in a band of weekly hours
Any members not currently in a band of weekly hours who are considering making a request for the first time are entitled to do so at any time provided you have been employed for at least 12 months. Click for instructions
Getting a better banded hours agreement
Finally, it is important that members realise that the banded hours provisions in Dunnes are really only the bare minimum required by law. Mandate members in other retailers have better and more secure banded hour agreements. For example there are agreements that ensure that additional hours are distributed to existing staff before new staff are hired. Also agreements provide shorter time periods between moving to a higher band. But a better banded hour agreement is something which can only really be achieved with a strong and active union in every store. If a better banded hour agreement is something you and fellow members want then you need to make sure the majority of the colleagues in your store are union members.