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Nandos cleaning scandal shows the importance of effective workforce management

The chain restaurant was accused by staff of making employees work after they had clocked out

Over the recent weeks the story of Nandos staff being forced to clean kitchens and toilets after they had clocked off, meaning that they were not entitled to pay, broke. It adds to multiple stories in 2019 of other chains allegedly taking advantage of staff, not paying for entitled leave or for overtime.

The Nandos story in particular highlights the need for comprehensive and accurate clocking in and out processes. Inaccuracies in this process causes upset for employees and management and regulatory issues for the employers.   

It seems in this case that closing shifts were ended when the manager signed off the restaurant as ready for the next day. This means that the system automatically clocks off all staff. However, in a few cases it seems after managers clocked staff off, they then asked the team to complete the cleaning of the entire restaurant (Nandos does not hire a separate cleaning team). As the staff had been clocked off this meant that they weren’t getting paid, with some not leaving the restaurant until the early hours of the morning.

This has led, understandably, to unsettled and somewhat disgruntled staff. At a time when firms are under more scrutiny than ever from the media, especially when it comes to workforce management and conditions, ensuring that organisations have the solutions that accurately reflect working hours, can save huge amounts of reputational damage, as Bryce Davies, General Manager UK at explains:

“This story is a great example of where a company has a clocking in/clocking out solution that does not seem to fit with the way the organisation works. Employees are more aware than ever of their rights and organisations need to reflect this in the solutions they implement.

“With the press eager to find stories on ‘unscrupulous’ employers, organisations have to ensure that they have the right processes in place and that any changes are effectively communicated to the staff. Social media has meant that employees now have direct access to the press meaning that very quickly a situation can get out of hand and turn into a damaging story.

“Organisations should be looking to replace outdated or inappropriate systems with technology that better reflects the culture and working practice of the organisation. It seems that have a clocking out process that encompasses all staff members as a group just cannot work for Nandos. There is technology available that allows for individual clocking in and out with a photo-verified system. Each member of staff also has a unique passcode so ensures that individuals are accurately compensated for their time at work.

“We are likely to see in 2020 a real shift to ‘employee experience’ where the emphasis is on organisations trying to reduce staff churn and build better reputations for employee engagement. Ensuring that you have solutions in place that work for both staff and managers, whilst accurately recording actual hours work, will be crucial over the coming months,” concluded Davies.

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