No harsh or inhumane treatment - Case study - Workers who cannot reach performance requirement

Workers who cannot reach performance requirements

“I find myself in a moral dilemma: I have a number of workers who cannot meet performance requirements on piece rate so I end up making up their wages all the time which I cannot afford to do (it is financially unviable and it de-motivates my other pickers). I don’t want to sack these workers as they have paid a lot of money to get here but I don’t know what else I can do.”

All workers should be paid at least the minimum wage for every hour that they work. It is often problematic when you have workers who are working on a piece rate, and are not picking enough to make the minimum wage on the piece rate.

One solution is to have all workers working on minimum wage at all times. This ensures that you know all workers are being paid the correct amount. Then implement a system of bonuses in order to give workers the incentive to work at a higher productivity rate. This should be established in bands, based on the average pick rate for the product that your workers are picking.

For example; if the average pick rate was 10 kg per hour, then workers who are achieving 11-15kg per hour would get a piece rate bonus. This should of course be less than a normal piece rate, as they will already have earned the minimum wage for that hour. A basic system could look like this:

0-10 kg per hour - £5.73 per hour

10-11kg per hour - £6.23 per hour

11-12kg per hour - £6.73 per hour

Etc etc.

You should also ensure that people are put into teams that reflect their work rate, where teams are paid by the piece for the whole groups work. This will prevent workers becoming upset with each other if they feel that someone is being paid an inflated rate when they are not contributing sufficiently

Another solution is to re-assign the workers who are not able to make the minimum wage to roles where there is no piece rate, and they are more likely to be able to work at the average pace.

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