Naughty, Naughty Pret! Not paying staff … AGAIN!

I’m actually surprised that this Tory Government has investigated, and now names and shames companies for not paying staff. I am so disheartened with the Tory Govt. for how they squeezed the UK for years, especially the NHS, and mishandled the pandemic. So, the publication of this list of companies is a pleasant surprise!

Our usual suspect of course is Pret A Manger. And as usual, many people are surprised, especially business people. But why? Business people should know best how companies cheat to get and keep money!

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Pret has been stealing wages for years and settled TWO class action suits in the USA having had to repay 4000 workers close to a combined $1 million. In the USA people quickly sue and get results, while in the UK the legal system is very different. Even if you win in court, the effort and price you pay compared to the rewards is not worth ruining your mental health and finances. It needs class actions as well as individual lawsuits.

Pret’s wage theft, detail here: Pret A Manger Wage Theft

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Link to Government list of companies

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I worked at Pret A Manger and survived systemic workplace bullying during bereavement that involved HR, the top leadership, HQ and even the now “retired” former CEO Clive Schlee. I declined 4 settlement offers if I am silent about my ordeal. But I rather speak out to help others. For an overview of important blog entries of my experience with Pret, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The little arrow to the right next to each heading will lead directly to the post.
An incomplete list on what other Pret staff say about Pret’s bullying environment: Caught in the Act Bullying at Pret.
I tell my story for the first time verbally in below audio player interview on a podcast by The Adam Paradox, and wrote two articles in the Scottish Left Review.

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of expret.org, poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.
©2017 – Present: expret.org, poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Pret A Manger Overtime Not Paid

Here I list only a few of the many Pret staff reviews and complaints about being pressured and pushed for time. How they are pushed to work so fast they HAVE TO cut corners like on hand-washing, hygiene, cross contamination etc.

I witnessed this time and time again, having to prompt staff to wash their hands in-between production of different items (from meat to veggie) and after the toilet etc. Pret does have standards in place and a book to tick boxes of duties, incl. hand washing done. But these boxes are mostly just ticked and the jobs are not done because time is money… as usual. Doing all the duties expected will slow the teams down and get them in trouble. It’s a lose-lose situation which some of the below reviews show so clearly. And I have witnessed this countless times. As staff are not paid overtime, they stop caring. Period. The public is fooled by the shiny PR[et] facade, not matter how many customers die, they want to believe the fairy tale that is Pret A Manger.

Illusion

I let the reviews speak for itself.

LackStaff

Link Barista 2019

Unpaid

Link 2018

Unpaid2017

Link 2017 NY

Unpaid2

Link 2015

Unpaid2014b

Link 2014

Unpaid2011

Link 2011 NY

“It is clear they have little to know training and have absolutely no training or experience in employee relations or even customer relations for that matter. Every manager I have worked with – I have worked with 6 – will immediately try to belittle you. Not sure exactly why this is such a common practice among managers but it is an intrinsic behavior within the company itself. …Very, very sad reality of Pret. -Company culture….”

Unpaid2014

Link 2014 “Manager at my shop treated everyone really poorly. Expect you to stay longer to complete your job for free when not enough time is given. Constantly missing hours from extra shifts taken. Have to ask every week to see if they have repaid those hours and in some cases takes months to chase back.”

NOTE: The “for some reason” is more systemic than this and many other TMs realize. I had to chase my money CONSTANTLY.

25 Staff complain in Twitter not paid HR

Link

03-wages2-1-e1554218697911.jpg

Link

Pret had to settle two class action lawsuits in NY within 4 years on wage issues. In the UK people never do a Class Action, but it would be high time for Pret staff to go to court on wage issues!

Wgae Lawsuit

Link

Customer observations:

2018-10-20 Staff cry

Link

2019-03-22 Customer Noticing busyness Pret1

Link

2019-03-22 customer kings cross emma observation stress

Link

The 1 minute rule to serve customers which the weekly Mystery Shopper probes. If even ONE staff member takes too long, the whole team loses the bonus.

Mystery Shopper excerpt:

1 Minute Smile

The kitchen have targets of doing a certain amount of sandwiches/items per hour. The above reviews explain the system how they are pushed with little time given and then expected to stay longer, unpaid. UK Pret workers should file a class action like their colleagues did in the U.S.

More extensive writing about this in “The Truth behind the Pret A Manger Smile” and “How Emotional Labour Harms us all

More general complaints:

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The above slideshow is just a selection, the list goes on in —> Pret Staff Complaints

Article: Why is Pret A Manger not being Investigated on Two recent Staff Deaths?


I worked at Pret A Manger and survived systemic workplace bullying during bereavement that involved HR, the top leadership, HQ and even the now “retired” former CEO Clive Schlee. I declined 4 settlement offers if I am silent about my ordeal. But I rather starve and speak out to help others. For an overview of important blog entries of my experience with Pret, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The little arrow to the right next to each heading will lead directly to the post.
I tell my story for the first time verbally in below audio player interview on a podcast by
The Adam Paradox, and wrote two articles in the Scottish Left Review: 1. “Late Night Girl’s” Story with Pret and 2. Pushing Back Against Pret.
Thank you for reading/listening.


Interview:

©2019 expret.org


Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of expret.org, poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.
©2017 – Present: expret.org, poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Darkness, Trauma, Work without Pay

 

always_smile

 

There is a British company that named itself “Ready To Eat”, or better known for its foreign branding term: Pret A Manger.

British food is not known to be the most culinary experience one can lick their fingers to, especially in the 1980s. So, a French name had to help to draw to its “cuisine”.

Many PR(et) slogans later the facade keeps shining, as the slogans are so many and offensive to their hard working people.

Over three years ago on 12. January 2015 I learned through an ice cold email that my brother has been found dead in his flat on 15. December 2014. He lay in his apartment for approximately 6 days before the neighbours smelled the odour of his corpse.

Police supposedly tried to find next of kin, but weren’t successful in the efficient country of Germany! They then just cremated my brother and all the other nightmare things they have done. They did NO autopsy, finding no clear cause of death. The city council sent his urn from his city via the POSTAL SERVICE to the city council in the town where my mum lives. They destroyed his belongings that had no value and sold the things that had value because he was in debt…

I could look at this as if this was a twisted Hollywood script that no producer wants to finance. But if that nightmare wasn’t enough I had to go into Alice Wonderlandish-nightmare…

UPDATE: Only recently I stumbled on a YouTube video where a similar thing happened to an American family. Son/brother died unbeknown to them and was cremated without their consent. I am still in search of legal advise myself how to proceed even while friends say I should let it go … But I am torn and not sure how I can cope mentally without much support to investigate myself further, without just putting my own puzzle together and if the police can be made responsible …

 

From the get go I was an inconvenience in Pret for which I worked 7 years at the time, 10 years altogether. The first 5 months during bereavement I was put on mainly late shifts which kept me from seeing friends during a nightmare I cannot describe!

I was then transferred at my request to a shop to have rotating shifts, but there the bullying really started.

In May 2015 I approached Pret’s HR department informally to make suggestions on how to support bereaved employees. What I didn’t realize then was that I put a bulls eye target on my back, as the People Business Partner who was present at the meeting, was involved in targeting me later on. I only understand now that People Business Partners are there for business, nothing else.

 

What staff really think.

 

I am tired to explain what went on for three years. Really really tired.
@Pret, your silence won’t help you.

I started my website initially as poetrasblok.com which is still running under this name and was solely for my brother. But the trauma I have been through in Pret and being patronized and labelled by Clive Schlee, CEO of Pret as his “late night girl” made me decide to speak openly about what I’ve been through.

My site will eventually turn back again on my brother, my father who died in March, my family, friends and passions I have with writing and music. But for now, as the public is lulled in by the PR[et] facade and I almost lost my life in Pret, after being bullied during the worst time of my life. I cannot be silent.

 


 

UPDATE 15.10.2018

A staff member confronted Pret on Twitter openly, this is only one example happen to become public and the cut & paste response from the Pret-Tweet employee (probably HR). I gave my own responses and suggested for him to join a Union. I know exactly how it is when managers “forget” to pay you, happened so frequently, at times putting me into rent arrears and other stressful situations having to raise this with HR which in turn put a target on my back with the line manager. No matter how you turned, you were at the losing end. And Clive Schlee is counting his £30 Million + and the £1000 “Pay Rise” for all staff that they are still waiting for is exactly what it is, PR.

 

2018-10-15 No pay for 4 weeks3

 

 

2018-10-15 No pay for 4 weeks1

 

Link to Tweet

 


 

I worked at Pret A Manger and survived systemic workplace bullying during bereavement that involved HR, the top leadership, HQ and even the now “retired” former CEO Clive Schlee. I declined 4 settlement offers if I am silent about my ordeal. But I rather starve and speak out to help others. For an overview of important blog entries of my experience with Pret, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The little arrow to the right next to each heading will lead directly to the post.
I tell my story for the first time verbally in below audio player interview on a podcast by The Adam Paradox, and wrote an article in the
Scottish Left Review.
Thank you for reading/listening.

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission are prohibited.

©2017 – 2019 poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

 

Quote of the Day #36 – Pret A Unpaid

 

Hand pexels-photo-167964

 

Quote of the Day:

If you don’t want a lot of stress in your life, avoid this place. Unorganized management always pushes you to finish in time and a lot of time they forget to pay you out. … A lot of dumb and disrespectful employees. Very unfair company

 

2018-08-04 Quote #36 Pret A Unpaid

Former Team Member

 


 

I worked at Pret A Manger and survived systemic workplace bullying during bereavement that involved HR, the top leadership, HQ and even the now “retired” former CEO Clive Schlee. I declined 4 settlement offers if I am silent about my ordeal. But I rather speak out to help others. For an overview of important blog entries of my experience with Pret, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The little arrow to the right next to each heading will lead directly to the post.
An incomplete list on what other Pret staff say about Pret’s bullying environment:
Caught in the Act Bullying at Pret.
I tell my story for the first time verbally in below audio player interview on a podcast by
The Adam Paradox, and wrote two articles in the Scottish Left Review.
Thank you for reading/listening.


Interview:

 

©2018 expret.org


Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of expret.org, poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.
©2017 – Present: expret.org, poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Quote of the Day #18 – Pret A MissingPay

. Full Quote: (Highlights by me) “Doesn’t Recommend
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Pros: I have arrived in the UK to study last fall, and so far it’s the best paid job I had (if you count the mystery sh bonus). Everything is extremelly clean, and the food is indeed as they say, fresh and healthy. The paid 30 mins break with free lunch is also a great nice perk. You also get 50% off on all Pret food, anywhere.

Cons: Pret seems perfect if you throw it a quick look. Great pay, great food, great team mates, everyone’s so happy and friendly all the time… did you know that we have to? The “perfect Pret” standards state that the Pret employee is happy all the time, never drepressed. Not kidding, it’s printed in our locker. Sometimes it can be challenging maintaining a natural smile on my face for 8 hours straight.

Now, I should mention I’m only two months old in this job, so my views are limited. However, I have noticed some things that I can assure you they are true. Pret will do anything not to pay you. They will bend the law and the contract in any way they can, and there is nothing you can do about it (unless smile). 1. I recently had to call in sick, and it led to 2 days off work. When I logged in online on the website, it showed me someone put two different illnesses for those 2 days, and most oddly, both very wrong. I have already spoken to the managers about it, so how could they have gotten it wrong, as they wrote it down on the form in front of me? Intrigued, I looked into it a bit more (I have also realized, there is no one colleague of mine that bothered going into such depth researching). There is a very small subsection of a subsection on the website that states, in summary, you get paid, as a part-time worker, from the second day of illness, and as a full-time worker, from the third. I am part-time. I should have been paid for my second day. But what did Pret do? They put two different illnesses, so they don’t have to pay me (it counts as the first day of illness, for both days). I have talked to some colleagues, they never got paid, no matter how long they have been working there for (the little subsection also states that if you’re more than 12 months older in the company, you’ll get wellness pay. For more information, please visit this website – followed by a broken link. That’s a lot of weird coincidences, isn’t it? 2. Holiday pay. I’m new, and as most things around here at Pret, holiday pay was never explained to me. At the beginning of March, a noted was posted in the locker, that you have to apply 6 weeks before the date for the holiday. After this, I quickly found out the holiday year ends on the 31st of March… in less than 4 weeks after the note appeared. How funny – this note now denied anyone in my huge team to get holiday for the remaining time, and if you don’t use the days you get, they are erased on the 31st, and you never get paid for them. Funnily enough, I am extremely behind with uni work, and exams are fast approaching. Why am I behind, if my contract is only part-time? Mostly because for my entire employment, I hve worked many extra shifts, after my manager insisted – sometimes confirmed me for a shift during lecture time without even asking me before. Yesterday I got up at 4.30 to start my 6 am shift. After 8 hours, I was asked to stay 2 more, because the shop is, as always, not able to cope with the number of clients. After barely being able to get back home, I found my requested holiday was denied (there’s also no alarm for that, if you want to check if it’s still pending or denied, you have to constantly check). I want to be as loud as possible here – PRET DOESN’T CARE. If you show up 1 minute late ready to work, you lose the mystery sh bonus. The 50% discount on all food? Been here for 2 months and still haven’t received my card for it, althought legally I am entitled to it from day 1. I was also told by the actually trainer that the managers hate it when you use the discount, so I should be careful using it (if I ever get it, that is). I once asked the manager if I can quickly go to the toilet, when the shop was quite empty – she stared in shock at me for a few long seconds before agreeing. Not everyone is like that though, there are some nice people, who don’t deserve to be associated with what I wrote. I am not discontinuing my contract with them because of these things either (mostly because I just need to make rent). I just feel very strongly that the general public view of this company is very far off from the truth, and I believe in using my voice.”
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Quote of the Day:

I just feel very strongly that the general public view of this company is very far off from the truth, and I believe in using my voice. . Your voice is heard! You are smart in doing this anonymous, I will get into trouble soon, once a certain confirmation from the Tribunal has been received. But I have lost everything and am still suffering, there is nothing Pret can do to me anymore, no matter what they try! And my time of trying to help them improve is over. It is my turn to give Pret a note of concern, a disciplinary and “dismissing” them for their conduct. I survived but almost didn’t make it. So, I too, believe in using my voice!
This typical management behaviour, where management is “foolish” enough to bend the rules to achieve more targets and bonus taking the already small wages and peanuts from hardworking staff, which the upper management then benefit from because it adds up in numbers. And if the lower management gets caught, they are in trouble IF CAUGHT. In the meantime everyone closes their eyes, except the Team Members who suffer the loss.
This reviewer was more lucky than I in having had their manager sit down and go through the “return to work interview” sheet WITH them. I oftentimes was handed the sheet of paper having to fill it in myself, even after I returned from a three-months sick leave where I was in bereavement, depression and panic attack. My then line manager didn’t believe that I was so unwell and said that I returned to work on the day when my sick leave would turn long term, implying that I was planning this. I remember sitting there in silent shock that this management behaviour was just not stopping. I remember telling this boss that I thought that I was already on long term sick leave, that I assumed that long term is anything after 4 or 6 weeks. In hindsight I should not have even defended myself, but just looked for a way to raise the issue of this incapable and uncaring manager. I even tried for the manager to do the “return to work interview” properly but was too exhausted and depressed to pursue this further. Everything is done in such a way that the staff and management are always at fault if they are caught as they have to sign a gazillion rules to be made responsible, no matter how poor and non-existent the training is. I have had countless times where hours I worked were missing, with one line manager one CHRISTMAS EVE when I worked a short day, had the audacity to tell me that he supposedly missed the deadline to pay the wages as it was Christmas Eve on a Thursday where the pay is send to HQ. He told me he missed the deadline time even though another leader double checked my hours with me and was about to send my hours for pay to HQ when the line manager walked in and must have stopped her. He then had the audacity to ask me to remind him the following Monday (Christmas Bank-holiday!) to pay me. I passed this on to an HR advisor who was dealing with my situation already, and because I was already in the middle of a grievance hearing against the line managers who kept rebuking me in front of my team where I broke down, I didn’t have the strength to pursue this and was clouded up in grief anyway. But I still have all those payslips where I made notes on where 1 or 2 and even more hours were missing to show it to line mangers. So yes, I have had countless missing pays, missing holiday pays etc. and had to investigate many times for my team when they came to me with the complaint that the line manager didn’t pay them correctly. I checked my pay slips for 10 years and often managed to get my pay, but I am sure at times it also slipped me. This is such a “normal” occurrence in Pret with wages not being correctly paid. In Australia they now criminalized “wage theft”. It’s time the UK follows suit. I am not alleging wage theft at Pret A Manger, but having to chase my and my team members missing hours for 10 years speaks its own language. Wage theft to be a crime in Victoria . 2018-07-14 The Good and the bad re Sickpay FULL LINK Featured on Pret Staff Complaints. A compilation. .
. I worked at Pret A Manger and survived systemic workplace bullying during bereavement that involved HR, the top leadership, HQ and even the now “retired” former CEO Clive Schlee. I declined 4 settlement offers if I am silent about my ordeal. But I rather speak out to help others. For an overview of important blog entries of my experience with Pret, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The little arrow to the right next to each heading will lead directly to the post. An incomplete list on what other Pret staff say about Pret’s bullying environment: Caught in the Act Bullying at Pret. I tell my story for the first time verbally in below audio player interview on a podcast by The Adam Paradox, and wrote two articles in the Scottish Left Review. Thank you for reading/listening. Interview: . . . ©2018 expret.org Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of expret.org, poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited. ©2017 – Present: expret.org, poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.