The Smell of Bullshit, part 55: merry Christmas, temps!

A couple of quick questions for those of you who have worked as Christmas temps for Lush.

1) Were you told that you were accruing holiday/annual leave during the time you worked for Lush?

2) Were you given the opportunity to take the annual leave you accrued during the time you worked for Lush?

3) Lush contracts specifically forbid taking holiday during November and December because it’s so busy – so if you were only employed during November and December, and you were accruing annual leave during that time, and you were forbidden to take your holiday during the time you worked – how does that work?

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9 thoughts on “The Smell of Bullshit, part 55: merry Christmas, temps!

  1. It’s been a long time and I don’t know how much or even if anything has changed (I was a Christmas temp in 2007), but…
    1) No
    2) No
    3) I was employed from late September to Christmas Eve and didn’t accrue any holiday at all during that time, so again, no.

    To be honest, I wasn’t nearly as savvy about this as I should have been – I was 16 years old, had just started my A levels and it was my first ever job so I was just grateful to be earning money to buy Christmas presents for the first time!

  2. It is paid when you leave. If you stay, it forms part of your annual entitlement. It is accrued on hours worked.

    Why would you allow holiday for people working in retail at Christmas? Especially seasonal temporary staff when they are only employed for 3 months? There is nothing unusual or sinister about this and is standard practice throughout retail.

    • I’m not saying people should be allowed to take the accrued holiday. I’m asking if people were told they were accruing holiday and how that accrued holiday was given to them, if indeed it was.

    • It is (or should be) paid when you leave but I have known shops to not put through holiday pay for Christmas temps because it makes their bottom line look bad. Sad but true.

      • We were told by payroll that if we could get away with not paying holiday to not pay it. (Ie if the temp didn’t ask then don’t pay them). However I did pay them and missed out on bonus as my bottom line was not as good as it could have been. I soon left lush as I thought it was a horrible cut throat place which cared far more about profit than people.

  3. Yes, so interesting how they manage to get these ‘ethical’ awards. IMO, Constantine is about as ethical as Tony bloody Blair.

    • Foxtrot Oscar that is absolute nonsense and you know it.

      I worked as a manager for LUSH and NEVER was I told by anyone, let alone payroll, to not put holiday through if you could ‘get away with it’. You have no control over whether a leaver gets their holiday pay – it is paid automatically. As for not getting bonus because of it, that is also nonsense. Staffing costs can be astronomical and you would still get bonus if you hit your target. You certainly would not be penalised for holiday that was accrued and paid to a leaver as it is something you have no control over.

      How absolutely ridiculous.

      • Retail worker, I was also a manager at Lush for 8 years. I am going back 4 years to the conversation I had privately with a member of payroll. Back then holiday wasn’t put through ‘automatically’ you had to work it out yourself. Also bonus and bottom line was affected directly by staffing costs and store performance. It’s a lot easier nowadays by all accounts where it’s all done for you.

        You may NEVER have been told what I was told but I was and that’s a fact. You may not want to believe that these sort of things could happen at Lush but they did and they do and they will again.

        You only have to read the other 54 parts of this blog to see that Lush is not all it claims to be; that it’s not ethical; it’s not principled; it’s not green; it’s not fair; it’s not what anyone thinks it is.

        Lush is a fat cat big business where if they can get away with something they will. Whether it be paying a living wage or paying holiday to temps or using azo dyes or exploiting its staff. It’s all here in the last 54 parts and it goes on every day.

        So wake up and smell the bullshit. Lush stinks.

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