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networkn

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#157160 21-Nov-2014 13:54
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So according to news reports, apparently a Gull Service station has been docking staff's pay when someone does a petrol drive off. 

Boy has this got kiwi's rabbid, it's amazing. 

 

What I haven't seen anything indicating yet, is whether there was a policy of prepay at these service stations which said staff were ignoring for either "customer" convenience, or "staff convenience".

If there was a policy in place, and to be fair I've yet to be to a service station this year where a sign isn't clearly posted saying pumps were on pre-pay, when why should the owner of the service station be subject to all this vitrol?

I go to my regular station and because I am there often, the people who work there, will often unlock the pumps for me, at their discretion, but it's COMPANY policy that I would have to pay beforehand.

It raises some interesting points I think. I wonder from time to time, where if a staff has ignored a documented policy, what rights the employer should have of financial recourse in the event of financial loss? It's all well and good to say that because staff are salaried they should be exempt, but
it's hardly reasonable in my opinion to apply such a blanket rule to every situation. Financial loss potentially affects other staff, and the owners and the investment made, not to mention the ongoing financial security of their families. 

Possibly if policy was in place, and recovery of funds from the thieves had a direct cost, then perhaps the staff should be subject to those costs instead?

The full facts aren't known, and I am not necessarily defending the owner of these actions, but I do believe the possibility exists that the owner isn't 100% in the wrong here. 

Unfortunately, because of the bad publicity, I suspect regardless of the outcome of an investigation, these people will be repaid the money they were docked, and Gull will issue an apology. For once though, it would be nice to see that publicity and the court of public opinion wasn't the deciding factor, 
and rather the legal interpretation was considered satisfactory.

I guess time will tell. 


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meesham
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  #1180766 21-Nov-2014 14:00
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According to the following article the station doesn't have prepay:

http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/63399273/more-staff-pay-up-for-petrol-thieves.html

 

Lucas did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

 

A letter from him to employees in May, which encouraged them to "up-sell", explained why he did not make customers pay before filling up, to avoid drive-offs. "Every time someone purchases just petrol from the store, we actually lose money," his letter said.

 


networkn

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  #1180768 21-Nov-2014 14:03
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meesham: According to the following article the station doesn't have prepay:

http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/63399273/more-staff-pay-up-for-petrol-thieves.html

Lucas did not respond to repeated requests for comment. A letter from him to employees in May, which encouraged them to "up-sell", explained why he did not make customers pay before filling up, to avoid drive-offs. "Every time someone purchases just petrol from the store, we actually lose money," his letter said.


Well, if this is indeed the case, then I feel it's not justified to dock a staff members pay.  If procedures are in place, to minimize theft, and those have been followed, Employer is in the wrong here. 

I wonder however, if their was prepay, where people would stand on the issue?


 
 
 
 


gzt

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  #1180769 21-Nov-2014 14:04
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networkn: I go to my regular station and because I am there often, the people who work there, will often unlock the pumps for me, at their discretion, but it's COMPANY policy that I would have to pay beforehand.

In the case you identify it is highly likely that the 'discretion' you speak of - is also a company policy.

meesham
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  #1180770 21-Nov-2014 14:07
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In a busy place it's pretty easy for an employee to make a mistake, especially if it's understaffed. I think an employee sometimes making mistakes is just a part of business, it sucks but there are many risks when running a business (however I'm speaking as an owner of a company consisting of one person!)

In a place without prepay I'm not sure what the staff are meant to do about stopping prepays other than going out and standing in front of the car, when I was in the service industry (many years ago) my boss told me to never put myself or other people in danger and that the money's not worth risking injury.

ckc

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  #1180771 21-Nov-2014 14:09
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It's totally right and fair that public outrage should influence this decision. It's completely reprehensible to dock people earning minimum wage for the actions of criminals. We have the right to know how staff are treated, and make buying decisions according to that.

To have a policy in place that forbids prepay because then people might not buy a Coke and a Mars in the forecourt shop, and then make employees bear all the risk for theft, is an awful way to treat people. I'm glad that public outrage has a bearing on these things. The low wage earners at those petrol stations getting docked are caught between two forms of scumbags. A lot of the time, morality isn't relative, and having the general public draw a line under what's ethical or not is great to see.

coffeebaron
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  #1180776 21-Nov-2014 14:16
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If they want prepay, they should have POS at the pumps. I never prepay at any BP.





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MickeyD
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  #1180777 21-Nov-2014 14:17
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In one of the articles the owner states they don't have prepay because they lose money each time a customer only buys petrol (i.e. they make their profit from what they sell in the shop).

This was certainly the case when I worked on a forecourt about 15 years ago.

I don't see how you can make the employee pay for theft by a customer. A drive off is no different from shop lifting - both are theft. Do you think we need a legal interpretation as to whether the employee should have to pay for that as well?

 
 
 
 


networkn

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  #1180778 21-Nov-2014 14:18
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meesham: In a busy place it's pretty easy for an employee to make a mistake, especially if it's understaffed. I think an employee sometimes making mistakes is just a part of business, it sucks but there are many risks when running a business (however I'm speaking as an owner of a company consisting of one person!)

In a place without prepay I'm not sure what the staff are meant to do about stopping prepays other than going out and standing in front of the car, when I was in the service industry (many years ago) my boss told me to never put myself or other people in danger and that the money's not worth risking injury.


I agree that this is the correct interpretation. 

networkn

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  #1180788 21-Nov-2014 14:27
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ckc: It's totally right and fair that public outrage should influence this decision. It's completely reprehensible to dock people earning minimum wage for the actions of criminals. We have the right to know how staff are treated, and make buying decisions according to that.


100000000000% Disagree. You have zero right to the information. It's covered by the privacy act. It's between the employer, employee and any representatives they choose to include.

The fact you would boycott a company based on your uninformed interpretation of the situation (No-one knows all the facts yet, and an investigation and it's conclusion are not ready), says more about you than them. By all means if they are found to be truly in the wrong, vote with your feet, but essentially you have elected yourself as judge and jury. I wonder how you would like to be treated if accused of a wrong doing? Make no mistake about it, it's for ad sales that the media are making as much of those as possible, and stuff for example, hardly has the most stellar history of fact accuracy in it's reporting.

There are employment laws in place to protect people. It's the involved parties respective responsibility to know their rights AND responsibilities. There is no shortage of information about employment rights. Cost isn't a factor either since most of those resources are FREE.

It's also completely irrelevant to the situation, what these people were paid. It's either LEGAL, or not. 

To have a policy in place that forbids prepay because then people might not buy a Coke and a Mars in the forecourt shop, and then make employees bear all the risk for theft, is an awful way to treat people.


If this is indeed what has happened (and I'll await the results of the investigation as you should too, then I'd agree.

I'm glad that public outrage has a bearing on these things. The low wage earners at those petrol stations getting docked are caught between two forms of scumbags. A lot of the time, morality isn't relative, and having the general public draw a line under what's ethical or not is great to see.


Well I'd agree, after the investigation (Independent) has been concluded. Again, what people are paid isn't relevant as it's a LEGAL matter. What you are essentially inferring is that well paid workers should have less rights.



networkn

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  #1180789 21-Nov-2014 14:29
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MickeyD: In one of the articles the owner states they don't have prepay because they lose money each time a customer only buys petrol (i.e. they make their profit from what they sell in the shop).

This was certainly the case when I worked on a forecourt about 15 years ago.

I don't see how you can make the employee pay for theft by a customer. A drive off is no different from shop lifting - both are theft. Do you think we need a legal interpretation as to whether the employee should have to pay for that as well?


Well prepay would only affect them in a positive light if that prepay was at the pump, which very few stations have. I hate that fact, since I want my petrol as fast as I can get it. 

Most prepay stations require you to go to the attendant inside and pay in advance. 


joff_nz
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  #1180793 21-Nov-2014 14:33
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Networkn, I wish I could give your posts more than a lonely +1

meesham
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  #1180796 21-Nov-2014 14:35
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networkn: 
I'm glad that public outrage has a bearing on these things. The low wage earners at those petrol stations getting docked are caught between two forms of scumbags. A lot of the time, morality isn't relative, and having the general public draw a line under what's ethical or not is great to see.


Well I'd agree, after the investigation (Independent) has been concluded. Again, what people are paid isn't relevant as it's a LEGAL matter. What you are essentially inferring is that well paid workers should have less rights.


I don't think he's inferring that well paid works should have less rights, he's saying that lower paid positions are more vulnerable to be treated poorly by employers. I agree with this for a couple of reasons, they don't tend to need much/any qualifications so there's much more competition for the position and a lot of them are casual positions so it's easy for the employer to just reduce/eliminate the hours for any trouble makers (ie someone standing up for their rights). 

ckc

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  #1180809 21-Nov-2014 14:50
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networkn:
ckc: It's totally right and fair that public outrage should influence this decision. It's completely reprehensible to dock people earning minimum wage for the actions of criminals. We have the right to know how staff are treated, and make buying decisions according to that.


100000000000% Disagree. You have zero right to the information. It's covered by the privacy act. It's between the employer, employee and any representatives they choose to include.

The fact you would boycott a company based on your uninformed interpretation of the situation (No-one knows all the facts yet, and an investigation and it's conclusion are not ready), says more about you than them. By all means if they are found to be truly in the wrong, vote with your feet, but essentially you have elected yourself as judge and jury. I wonder how you would like to be treated if accused of a wrong doing? Make no mistake about it, it's for ad sales that the media are making as much of those as possible, and stuff for example, hardly has the most stellar history of fact accuracy in it's reporting.

There are employment laws in place to protect people. It's the involved parties respective responsibility to know their rights AND responsibilities. There is no shortage of information about employment rights. Cost isn't a factor either since most of those resources are FREE.

It's also completely irrelevant to the situation, what these people were paid. It's either LEGAL, or not. 

To have a policy in place that forbids prepay because then people might not buy a Coke and a Mars in the forecourt shop, and then make employees bear all the risk for theft, is an awful way to treat people.


If this is indeed what has happened (and I'll await the results of the investigation as you should too, then I'd agree.

I'm glad that public outrage has a bearing on these things. The low wage earners at those petrol stations getting docked are caught between two forms of scumbags. A lot of the time, morality isn't relative, and having the general public draw a line under what's ethical or not is great to see.


Well I'd agree, after the investigation (Independent) has been concluded. Again, what people are paid isn't relevant as it's a LEGAL matter. What you are essentially inferring is that well paid workers should have less rights.




No, because the Privacy Act doesn't apply to information about companies. The Privacy Act protects natural persons with regard to personal information, not body corporates. An employee who is treated badly can voluntarily waive their right to privacy and take their case public, as they do when they end up in the Employment Tribunal. The individuals concerned are talking about the policy of a company who are represented by an individual. And as this is to do with a company, the Privacy Act only applies to the disclosures about the employee. There are, of course, other laws that protect the company, but they do not prevent disclosure of company policy with regard to employment.

Fact is, anyone who docks wages because someone steals from them doesn't deserve my money. It's an informed interpretation because more than one employee has said that their wages are being docked for drive offs. But the reality is that low paid workers are the least able to afford to pay for the consequences of drive offs. They assume all the risk of company policy and none of the benefits, save to say the 'security' of a job that they could easily take home less than minimum wage for full time hours. One woman on Campbell Live last night who worked out at Greymouth said sometimes she took home less than $100 for a 15 hour week due to drive offs.

It's also true that low paid workers are least likely to know their rights or understand their rights. Which means it's especially important that employers - the powerful ones in the relationship - make employees aware of their rights. This is why so many companies end up losing at tribunal: it's because they have a significant power advantage in the relationship, and they are supposed to know what their responsibilities are. Failure to follow a proper process or keep the employee fully informed are a result of the imbalance of power in that relationship, where the onus falls on the employer to do the right thing.

I am not implying (imply/infer) that well paid workers should have less rights. I am outright saying that it is morally reprehensible to take money from low paid workers for a perceived fault, playing judge and jury, to use your terms.

But the reality is that I have every right to do what I want with my money. I have the right to act as judge and jury when it comes to my money. If a company doesn't want to lose money, you know what they could do? They could not treat employees and customers like crap. They could not see the former as the enemy and the latter as a cash cow. Probably a better way to go to keep business than punishing low paid workers for the actions of scumbags who do fill and runs.

Z clearly know that.

Bee

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  #1180810 21-Nov-2014 14:50
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The argument against prepay doesn't stack up to me.  Prepay means you have to go into the store before you get petrol, and queue and grab that pie and a v while you wait = Profit...

I would love to know how it is the staffs fault when someone steals petrol otherwise, and is the store owner willing to supply a high powered rifle to their staff to prevent these thefts???

MikeB4
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  #1180816 21-Nov-2014 15:03
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The first thing that came to mind was does the BNZ, ANZ, KiwiBank make the CSR's repay any hold ups while they are on duty?

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