Retail company Wibra is allowed to let staff make up for the hours they have not worked due to the corona pandemic. According to the judge, the retail chain complies with the agreements from the collective labor agreement and the FNV trade union wrongly accuses Wibra of not acting as a good employer. The case revolves around the arrangement with regard to so-called plus and minus hours.
Wibra pays its staff a fixed salary per month for an agreed number of hours per week. The actual number of hours worked may deviate slightly from this, both higher and lower. As a result of the corona measures, Wibra stores remained closed and less work could be done. For some employees, the number of hours missed due to store closures is higher than normal.
FNV is blunt in court in case about missed hours of Wibra employees
FNV wanted to prevent staff from having to make up for hours because shops had to remain closed due to corona measures. Furthermore, according to the union, Wibra would abuse government corona support by letting employees make up for the missed hours “for free”. According to the judge, the subsidies were used to pay the employees who were forced to stay at home their full wages.
Application of the collective labor agreement does not mean that employees have to keep themselves available indefinitely to make up for the minus hours. “The scheduling is done in good consultation with the employee and there are limits to the maximum number of hours that must be made up,” said the judge. “By the way, it is only 40 minutes per employee in the remaining 35 weeks of 2021. That is not unacceptable.”
In a response, Wibra indicated that it was pleased that the court has now confirmed that the policy it has pursued is correct and, moreover, not in conflict with the law. Wibra does say that it will enter into discussions with the employees to waive part of the accrued minus hours after all. “This will be done in close consultation with the works council. We don’t need FNV or summary proceedings to do that.”