The Guinness Trust and Christmas Pay

Well here’s one for people. (From the ThisIsExeter website)

“The owner of eight city care homes is refusing to pay staff extra for working on Christmas Day and Boxing Day – because it said it cannot recognise one religious festival over others.

Guinness Care and Support said it had an “ethical belief in equality” which meant it did not favour Christmas over other religious celebrations and cannot pay staff extra for working them.

It said it only paid bonuses for bank holidays, which rules out Christmas Day and Boxing Day this year because they fall at the weekend.”

“One member of staff, who asked not to be named, said they were stunned by the announcement: “We have learnt that senior head office management have decided that all staff who work on Christmas Day and Boxing Day will be paid standard flat rate wages with no bonuses whatsoever.

“The management themselves are on two weeks’ annual leave. It has come as a shock and left us all stunned.””

Mick Green, senior human resources manager for Guinness Care and Support, said he appreciated the hard work of staff who will keep the homes running throughout the festive period.

But he said: “We would like to make our position on pay clear – we have a strong ethical belief in equality and diversity and are unable to recognise one religious festival over others.

“Our policy is not to pay extra when staff work during a religious festival.”

Many many questions here:

  • Is this a case of people wanting a Christian Religious holiday recognised, or do they just want to be paid more?
  • Are there going to be any Christmas decorations up anywhere?
  • If someone belonging to another faith wanted to take a day for religious reasons, would that be refused?
  • Is there anyone involved with Guinness Care who feels pressured to work on Christmas day?
  • Or is this case of management (who will be on holiday) not wanting to spend any extra money on staff, and not simply coming out and saying so?

UPDATE: The Bishop of Exeter has realised a statement following up on the above.