Maternity Hang-Up

at

Vodafone-APP

A Vodafone staff member writes:

In March of this year Vodafone announced that it would offer Vodafone employees 16 weeks paid leave and reduced working hours, 30 hours a week for six months with full pay once they returned after maternity leave. A lot of mothers in Ireland commended Vodafone on their new maternity policy

Little do people know that the retail staff – the faces of the company, who many customers come face to face with –  do not receive the same benefits of having paid maternity.

We the staff,  many whom love working for Vodafone,  have little or none of the same entitlements that staff at head office receive.

I would love the general public to see this and express there feelings on the matter as it seems the publicity Vodafone Ireland received in march and April from the general public was amazing…

Anyone?

52 thoughts on “Maternity Hang-Up

  1. Barry

    Bloody typical, big PR con. Is there no depths to which the big capitalists will not stoop?

  2. Cean

    I thought most retail staff don’t work for Vodafone themselves but a 3rd party essentially? Could be completely wrong though,

    1. Jay

      Not a third party afaik, but a subsidiary or something. Not the same legal entity as Vodafone corporate though.

      Though the branding is the same they actually work for a different company. It was the same structure for o2 I believe. O2 retail was a different company.

    2. Peter

      Nope. We are employed by vodafone. Its meteor that hire through 3rd party. Brompton i think they are called

  3. Scraib

    I’d like to see the details of how their benefits differ from the other Vodafone employees

  4. Mick

    I’m sure this benefits Vodafone somehow like savings on the recruitment and training of new staff vs the cost of paying those on maternity ?

    1. Wayne.F

      Badly? They most certainly get legally required min maternity leave. The difference here is the ability to hire, train and replace staff for a retail store versus say a higher level position in HQ.

      1. Clampers Outside!

        They wouldn’t have that issue if they were taken care of. The “legally required min” is just that minimum. Like minimum wage is not a “living wage”, you cannot live on it. Just because it’s the legally required minimum does not make a good thing. And that’s my point.

        The retail staff are dead right to raise it. Vodafone announce it in a PR exercise to say “aren’t we great employers” while they ignore their frontline staff… fupp Vodafone’s PR bullcrap.

  5. Jonotti

    They work for an hourly wage in a retail concession. It’s hardly comparable to salaried corporate staff.

    Why work there if conditions are so bad? I’m guessing because you have little options and are entirely replaceable.

      1. Wayne.F

        So you have a business, and you offer all staff the same salary and conditions regardless of their qualification or experience. Let me know how that works out for you

        1. Clampers Outside!

          No one is asking for all the benefits of head office. Vodafone meanwhile are spinning this like they are some sort of generous employer…. while ignoring their front line staff.

          And no, it does not matter whether it is Vodafone or someone else contracted to run retail, it’s all under the Vodafone banner, so it’s Vodafone who are ultimately responsible.

          Fair play to these workers for raising it and shining a light on Vodafones bullcrap.

        2. Milk Teeth

          Most company’s do give everyone the same non-monetary benefits. E.g. most people get the same amount of days holiday (though this often increases with loyalty), if you work in retail or somewhere that attracts discounts its normally the same.

    1. J

      Vodafone Retail staff do not work in a concession, they are employed by Vodafone through a wholly owned subsidiary called Vodafone Ireland Retail Ltd, and do not get any benefits apart from a pension and of course a salary.

    2. Lee. M

      No actually they are also salaried and on contract the same as other employees in head office. They just have different terms and conditions many of which should be questioned legally as I believe terms of contracts have been violated by getting rid of any paid sick leave also amoung other things

      Also, you are extremely rude to say they are replaceable. Would love to see you work in the front line in a retail store for a week and see how you get on.

    1. Abercorn

      The retail staff do work directly for Vodafone and the vast majority are unionised

      Wayne it’s not a case of offering the same salary, but the same conditions. ie, paid maternity leave
      Vodafone also recently awarded a payrise to their head office staff through collective bargaining with the union although failed to give it to the retail staff.

      Personally I don’t buy the argument that because they are less skilled they deserve less condition, as the face of the company to the vast public it’s a pretty important role, they after all are the people direction retaining and signing up the majority of customers.

      1. Rob_G

        People who work in the Apple Store don’t get the same conditions as the developers in Cupertino, and the lad working on the forecourt in Topaz doesn’t have the same pension entitlements as [REDACTED] – that, as they say, is life.

        1. Clampers Outside!

          No one is saying they should.

          But according to some commenters above they deserve the minimum and nothing else.

          Minimums in this country, and many others, are below real ‘living’ standards. Just accepting the minimum, and saying, ‘you should be happy with what you got’ is not a fair society / treatment of Vodafone staff. No one is saying frontline staff should get access to the bosses private jet, they’re asking to be treated fairly.

          And remember, statutory maternity leave is supposed to be there to protect families from poverty. It’s not intended as their living wage, which is what many employers do. Employers are supposed to provide that, but they are too used to the government subsidising their desire to pay fupp all to staff. The whole set up is wrong.

          Check government subsidised wages in the USA… the worst offender.

          1. Wayne.F

            26 weeks paid leave and the option of 16 unpaid is the entitlement and what most companies offer regardless of role or salary. The fact that they offer something better than that for a portion of their staff is a good thing

          2. Rob_G

            The statutory maternity leave is 26 weeks, with an option for an extra 16 weeks unpaid – that’s not bad.

            The state pays maternity benefit, that is what employees pay their stamps for; why would employers pay full salaries to employees that won’t be turning up to work for 6 months(?)

          3. maccers

            Just so we are all completely clear here, the statutory is 26 weeks paid and 16 weeks unpaid. This is what you are entitled to by legislation.
            But the “paid” part is a government payment of 230 euro a week; not your full wage from your employer, there is no cost to them except your absence.

            Which means most women I know do return after the 26 weeks or even before because they cannot afford to be on a reduced wage for six months, followed by a completely unpaid time for another 3+ months.

            You only get the 230 a week topped up to your full wage if this is offered by your employer as a benefit / nicety. And a large portion of Irish employers do not, or are not in a position to offer this. The ones that do are banking on reduced staff turnover for positions that require experience, skill sets and knowledge important to them, and want to keep you in the job.

  6. fluffybiscuits

    Thanks Abercorn! Any union should have an industrial relations mechanism where they can discuss these issues. If there are different unions (one could be CWU other could be MANDATE?) they should be working together. Hopefully this get resolved speedily…

    1. Iano

      The CWU has been actively involved in discussions with Vodafone management on this matter for some time. We believe that, after intensive discussions, this matter will be brought to a positive conclusion very soon.

      The majority of Vodafone retail staff are members of the Communications Workers’ Union (CWU) though not all Vodafone shops that you see around the country are owned and run by Vodafone.

      CWU retail members in Vodafone are very active and strongly believe that they should not be treated less favourably than their colleagues in other areas of the business.

  7. Spot on, No bother

    Paid maternity leave isn’t all that common any more in the private sector. Plenty of people have to make do with the state benefit, which Mr Noonan so kindly reduced in amount last year. I work for a well respected multinational and people in senior roles don’t get paid maternity leave. I would imagine many in the retail sector don’t get paid maternity leave either.

    1. Lee. M

      The problem in this situation is that employees of the same company are being treated differently

  8. Paolo

    I wouldn’t give full benefits to staff who cannot spell-check their|there|they’re correspondence.

  9. Alfred Beit

    Vodafone staff looking for OUR help??? I’ll just put you on hold while I consider whether I want to help you or not … Actually, you’ll have to talk to the technical team who are on a different number. By the way you entered into a contract and you can’t get out of it. See you now, have a nice day. Oh, almost forgot, is there anything else I can help you with?

  10. LOL

    Corporate staff always get better conditions than front of house / shop staff because the corporate staff make those decisions.

    You can thank the MBA culture for it, where retail staff are treated as disposable and to be kept to a minimum, in weakened positions and always in fear of losing their jobs.

    It’s a business model.

  11. Avon Barksdale

    See this would be a non-issue if abortion was legal. And free. And done in Centras

  12. Retailworkerirl

    Shame on all of you posting negative comments regarding this article! Here is a retail employee requesting support for equality in her workplace… As offered by her company!!!!
    She did not ask Vodafone to issue a statement stating they would support mothers during the time in their lives where they bring our future into the world! What this woman is asking for is the same rights as her fellow colleagues so that she can give her children the best start in their lives! The state maternity pay is NOT sufficient for people to survive on and not have to worry about their financial state during this time. An already an extremely taxing time for families as it is! These are not women asking for nothing, these are women who pay taxes and contribute to our economy, they are asking for what the company offered!
    The most important time in a child’s development is their first year, as a country we do not offer this time off to women, we do not offer proper financial support during this time and then to add to that, when we expect women to go back to work we offer no support for them to do that!
    Vodafone publicly offered that support to their employees and they were heavily commended for doing that! Left out from that publicity was that they were to decide they would pick and choose who that would apply to!
    Also as a fellow retail worker, does it matter if I have twenty degrees or a broad skill set if the country’s economy does not allow me to get work in those areas? Of I have no degrees but am a retail worker, does this also mean I have less entitlements that I am not entitled to equality in my work place??
    Stand together and support your fellow countrymen, not only for asking for what has been publicly offered, but for what should be state law!
    Do you not want the children of our future to have mothers who are not stressed out about finances and able to offer their undivided attention to their child?

  13. Retailworkerirl

    Shame on those posting negative comments regarding this article! Here is a retail employee requesting support for equality in her workplace… As offered by her company!!!!
    She did not ask Vodafone to issue a statement stating they would support mothers during the time in their lives where they bring our future into the world! What this woman is asking for is the same rights as her fellow colleagues so that she can give her children the best start in their lives! The state maternity pay is NOT sufficient for people to survive on and not have to worry about their financial state during this time. An already an extremely taxing time for families as it is! These are not women asking for nothing, these are women who pay taxes and contribute to our economy, they are asking for what the company offered!
    The most important time in a child’s development is their first year, as a country we do not offer this time off to women, we do not offer proper financial support during this time and then to add to that, when we expect women to go back to work we offer no support for them to do that!
    Vodafone publicly offered that to their employees and they were heavily commended for doing that! Left out from that publicity was that they were to decide they would pick and choose who that would apply to!
    Stand together and support your fellow countrymen, not only for asking for what has been publicly offered, but for what should be state law!
    Do you not want the children of our future to have mothers who are not stressed out about finances and able to offer their undivided attention to their child?

  14. retailworker

    I work for Vodafone and in the retail store , I am hired by Vodafone no one else.

    I have worked with Vodafone for over 3 years
    Why is it that a member of head office who is only employed a few months be paid maternity leave from Vodafone and return to work on reduced hours, This is unfair all staff should receive the same benefits esp staff who have worked over a year in the company it’s a disgrace!!

    1. Anne

      Does head office include customer care? Because they’re brutal.
      I called vodafone recently and not one of them had comprehensible English.. I had to go into the store.

      1. Anne

        And no word of a lie.. 5 times I called, hung up and each time I got back through to someone with worse English. I don’t like being a c*** to people, so I just hang up.
        But what were the chances? 5 times.. Velllllloo veeeeeeelcuuuuum to Vooooodeeefone, ca I av vuuuur birthday, address where live, evail.. thank vu, von voment.

  15. Nice Anne (Dammit)

    The inability to be able to be able to relate to and sympatise with other people is a wonderful gift for a human being to have as it leads to empathy and kindness.

    I hope the perch that you look down on these people from has very strong foundation least one day you find yourself in their position.

    Go to the journal if you want to act like a trolly – knooby.

  16. Captain sam

    So sad to see any negative comments here. For anyone that has worked in a retail I hope will back the girl in the article. Let’s get behind our fellow colleagues. Vodafone made an announcement to the company about maternity leave benefits and they should honour that.
    To think people believe that the people standing behind the counter are not as important or deserving is very sad. Any customer facing job can be very rewarding but also quite difficult. We are the face of the brand. We are what makes money. We are the ones in direct dealings on a day to day basis with the customers. Maybe some people in the shop have degrees or maybe they don’t. Some on salary contracts and some on hourly wage contracts. It shouldn’t matter. We should get equal benefits especially when the company offers them. I’m sure this isn’t the only benefit that retail staff aren’t receiving and head office are.

  17. Anne

    @ Rob_ G.
    “why would employers pay full salaries to employees that won’t be turning up to work for 6 months(?)”

    It’s great you turned up at work and all to be flutting around online.. aren’t you a great fella altogether.

    It’s in the article linked to above, why –

    “Recruiting and training new employees to replace women who leave the workforce after having a baby costs $47bn – far higher than the $28bn cost of the extra benefits, it found.

    Colao said: “Too many talented women leave working life because they face a difficult choice between either caring for a newborn baby or maintaining their careers.

    “Women account for 35% of our employees worldwide, but only 21% of our international senior leadership team. We believe our new maternity policy will play an important role in helping to bridge that gap.”

    Not that everything should boil down to the $ benefit.. but there ya go.

  18. Frilly Keane

    This is the story with girls on maternity leave everywhere in Ireland.

    Some get paid top ups to their statutory.
    Most don’t.

    The fact that Corporate employees of an entity do while operational staff don’t is no surprise to me.

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