Marks & Spencer Dundrum St. Stephens Day 2020

To: All Mandate Members – Marks & Spencer Dundrum

From: Barbara Anderson, Industrial Officer – Dublin South & Wicklow Division

Re: St. Stephen’s Day 2020

24th November 2020 

Dear Member

Further to numerous queries from members in the M&S Dundrum Store with regard to St. Stephens Day 2020, Mandate wrote to the Company by way of correspondence dated 18th of November. A copy of this correspondence is outlined below.

Mandate are now in receipt of a response from Ms. Caroline Burns, HR Manager which has also been included below. If you have any questions or queries with regard to the contents of either piece of correspondence please do not hesitate to contact your Shop Steward or member of the Mandate House Committee.

Yours fraternally
For Mandate Trade Union

Barbara Anderson
Industrial Officer
Mandate Trade Union

Ms. Caroline Burns
HR Manager
Marks & Spencer
Dundrum Shopping Centre
Dublin 16

18th November 2020
By Post and Email: 

Re: Stephens Day Rostering

Dear Ms. Burns,

As we are entering the Christmas period, once again I have been contacted by our Members who are extemely frustrated with Management, regarding the rostering of Staff for Stephens Day.

In line with previous years when you had given a guarantee that in the first instance the Company would ask for volunteers to work and only if there was a shortfall in the required numbers, normal Public Holiday arrangements would apply.

Despite this issue reoccurring each year and the fact that the Company are very much aware of the anxiety this causes many of our Members, it would appear that Rosters have already been displayed assigning Staff to work Stephens Day without any consultation.

This issue has been raised locally with the Store Manager and yourself at the most recent Forum Meeting, notwithstanding this, no reassurance was given to the Shop Steward from the Company that this issue would be rectified.

To date there has been no requests for volunteers to cover this day in the first instance, which is common practice and it would appear that the Manager reponsible for these rosters is now on Annual Leave.

As the roster is not required to be finalised until 1st December, our Members are requesting that the Company seek volunteers and amend the roster accordingly.

I would be obliged if you could confirm, by return, that this practice will take place to allow for some of our Members to avail, if possible, of not working Stephens Day.

Yours sincerely,

Barbara Anderson

Industrial Officer

Ms Barbara Anderson
Industrial Officer
O’Lehane house
9 Cavendish Row
Dublin 1

24th November 2020

Re: Christmas Working Arrangements

Dear Ms Anderson

I refer to your letter dated 18th November, and would confirm the following;

You state that colleagues are extremely frustrated with Management regarding rostering for St Stephen’s Day and that in previous years there was a guarantee that in the first instance the Company would ask for volunteers to work and only if there was a shortfall in the required numbers, normal Public Holiday arrangements would apply.

You believe that this has not happened in the Store and that the issue was raised locally at the recent Store Forum.

You ask if some of our colleagues can avail of the option of not working on Stephens Day.

I would advise that it is accurate to say that we do ask staff, in the first instance, to volunteer for the 26th, however where there is a shortfall in the required numbers, normal public holiday arrangements will apply.

I would confirm that I have now spoken to Eileen Armstrong, Store Manager and the Management team in the Dundrum Store. They have confirmed that there were a small number of colleagues who whilst understood they were contracted to work the 26th December, were not happy that they were required to work. I would confirm that outside of those few colleagues, there have been no issues or concerns raised with regard to working on the 26th December.

Notwithstanding, I have now asked the management team to go back to all colleagues who have been asked to work on the 26th December to address any concerns that they have raised with you.

Lastly, I would also confirm that whilst Section Managers in the Store may support with staffing rosters outside of their own area, the responsibility for rosters does not sit with one Manager.

Yours sincerely

Caroline Burns
HR Manager

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