Bosses will not stand for any more 'lift allowance'

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Council workers are being given more than two days' pay per year for standing in a lift.

Local authority staff at Rochdale Municipal Council are given between two and five minutes each day for travelling from the building's entrance to their desks.

The time is deducted from their weekly working hours for which they are paid.

Those on the 10th and 11th floor at the town centre building, known as the "black box", are given a five minute "lift allowance" each day.

During a standard 36-hour week staff are given 25 minutes "lift time", meaning they only spend 35 hours and 35 minutes working.

Over 12 months it totals almost 20 hours - well over two working days - when they are being paid for using the lift.

But the perk is set to be stopped as bosses look to cut costs.

The system was introduced more than 20 years ago when antiquated technology meant staff waited up to 10 minutes to catch a lift.

Workers believed they were being unfairly penalised after they got to work on time and were then delayed by the wait for a lift in getting to their desks where they clocked in.

Under the scheme, second-floor staff get two minutes per day - adding up to just over a working day per year.

Employees on floors three to six get three minutes. Those on floors seven, nine and 12 get four minutes per day.

But the lifts have been improved and a pay review means the allowance could be abolished.

Stephen Harper, the council's head of human resources, said: "The allowance was introduced many years ago because poor lift facilities in the municipal offices meant that staff often had to wait 10-15 minutes for a lift during the morning and afternoon peak times.

"Workers argued that their 'clock-in time' should be when they arrive at their workplace, rather than at their desk.

"Flexible working and faster, more reliable lifts mean it's no longer as relevant - so as part of our recent pay and grading review, we've proposed that this lift allowance is withdrawn.

"This will be decided during a meeting later this month."