Managing cash and being sound – the facts…

So, it seems there is a lot of interest in our cash shortage policy after some unfounded comments by others on social media.  Boojum will never dodge an issue and so here are the absolute facts. 

In 2013 Boojum introduced handbooks with the following policy:

“Any cash shortages at the end of the shift/day will be the responsibility of the individual/shift on duty and must be made good by that individual/shift. Any such shortages will/may be deducted from wages/salary. You will be given a written statement of the amount of the deduction, date when the error occurred and the reason for such a deduction. This is an express written term of your contract of employment in compliance with current legislation.”

At the time Boojum was a small employer and was attempting to protect against cash leaving the business.  In 5 years not a single deduction of wages occurred as a result of this policy.  Nor were there ever any plans to start.  A practice did develop in stores whereby tips were used to make good shortages.  6 weeks ago, the practice was raised as an issue by some staff members.  Once this issue was raised, we met with our staff and subsequently agreed to amend the legacy policy, replace it with a new policy and end the practice of using tips to offset shortages.  In the meantime staff present in the meeting requested to revert to the above policy written in 2013 which states shortages MAY be deducted from wages.  This was agreed by all.  The absolute operative word is MAY and we clearly outlined in a post to our staff how we would enforce this policy after more unfounded comments by others on social media. It’s also important to understand that the amounts involved were very small, we feel the need to highlight this as it seems like this has been sensationalised by some parties.  The practice was ended on the first occasion it was raised as an issue by staff.

It was disappointing to see some inaccurate coverage of the issue on social media which also used selected extracts of an internal communication outlining how we may use the existing policy.  Our new policy will be introduced soon with input from staff and managers.

In summary, Boojum has not and will not deduct shortages from wages (unless due to theft or fraudulent activity) and a tips practice that developed years ago was ended weeks ago in a positive move between staff and management.

Unfortunately when others can write what they want about your business, they will only write what promotes their agenda.  Here is the reality.  Boojum has grown quickly over the last 2 years and every year we have made improvements and updated policies.  We still have work to do and always will, we must continually evolve to best support our staff.  Boojum will spend €340,000/£300,000 feeding and providing refreshments to staff members in 2018 when other brands have removed this benefit or asked for a cash contribution eg staff pay 25%, citing wage increases as a key reason.  We have extended maternity pay, we have invested in employee assistance programmes, we have invested in programmes that entitle staff to discounts, we fund cycle to work schemes, we celebrate together, we promote from within, we pay under 18’s above industry standards, we pay 100% of all uniform costs (FOH and chef), and when weather hit hard in March we paid every single staff member for every single scheduled hour when staff could not make it to work due to snow at a cost of £50,000+ because that is what being sound is all about.  

For the last 2 years, Boojum has been listed as a Great Place to work, #1 in hospitality.  This is the one achievement we really pride ourselves on as it is based on staff feedback.  We have invested 10’s of thousands to give all of our teams a voice and we act on that feedback.  Every year we aim to make improvements, that is our commitment.

Boojum is sound.

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