Pay blunder leaves HR in the soup at catering firm

HR managers at food service company 3663 have been left embarrassed after some of its lorry drivers were mistakenly overpaid for several months.

Drivers at the company’s Banbury depot have been paid for 51 hours a week even when they have worked considerably shorter shifts, the firm has admitted.

Andrew Selley, managing director of 3663’s logistics division, said the mistake had been occurring for several months although he declined to say how much it has cost the company.

He added that 3663 had a good relationship with the GMB union and that because the over-payments had been continuing for some time, the company had decided to consult with the union about putting drivers back on agreed rates.

In a letter to drivers, 3663 said that “the company can no longer economically sustain payment of this amount to drivers”.

The letter also said that drivers at another 3663 depot had expressed concerns that “some Banbury drivers and mates are receiving money that they are not entitled to”.

The GMB said the overpayments began in February and would continue while it negotiates with the company.

GMB national officer, Jude Brimble, said: “The company is being quite generous about this and not heavy-handed at all. There is no question of trying to reclaim the money because the company admits the mistake was its own, but it is a bit delicate. The difficulty is that the drivers have got used to receiving the money and they now think it’s part of their last deal.”

The GMB is also negotiating a new national pay deal with 3663 after members rejected a 3.2% increase in wages.

The company appointed a new HR director in May this year. Heather Angus was promoted after seven years with 3663 in the HR department.

Angus said at the time that one of the key duties in her new role would be to ensure the HR department was proactive and responsive to the changing needs of the business.

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