Saturday, October 21, 2006

Temporary Xmas Jobs

Did you get an advert through your door in the past week or
so, advertising these jobs at M&S? The advert reads,
"Friendly teams and great pay. No wonder everyone looks
forward to Christmas at M&S."

In case some of my readers haven’t heard who M&S are, Marks
and Spencer is one of the leading clothing retailers in the
UK, and has diversified into selling good quality food and
drink and other things.

Well, on the back of the card from M&S, is the information
that they are seeking temporary customer assistants, and are
offering pay at £5.60 per hour, (plus a range of other job
opportunities with competitive salaries and generous staff

When one of my daughters saw this rate of pay, she laughed out
loud. “That’s only sightly above the minimum wage,” she said.
“Is that what they call a great rate of pay?”

I looked up the statutory minimum wage on the internet –
here’s a link to the current rates, which depend on the
employee’s age. The Government has just raised this rate by
the princely sum of 30 pence an hour to £5.35 per hour for
workers aged 22 and over. Wow, an extra 30 pence – that will
help enormously towards paying for some extra food this Xmas
and for some extra pressies too.

Now , what could I buy for 30 pence? I know ... I could buy
a packet of Tesco’s Value Ginger Biscuits for 25 pence – some
of the best-tasting biscuits available.

And do you know what? School-leavers aged 16-17 will be
getting £3.30 per hour. That sounds far too much, doesn’t it?
No wonder they don’t wish to stay on at school or college, with
such fab wages available. Still the shop-owners seem keen to
take them on – there are always a lot of young people working
in the City Centre shops.

Oh, by the way, if I were to catch a bus into the town centre
instead of walking for 15-20 mins, that would cost me £1.30 or
£2.50 for the return ticket ... and a medium sized cappuccino
in Costas would cost me around £2.45.

So I wonder who will be applying for the temporary Xmas
vacancies in the retail trade and for the Post Office?
Students, housewives/husbands, pensioners, perhaps? I doubt
anyone on state benefits would be applying, unless they’re
hoping to get a more permanent job with the firm, as for every
£1 earned, I gather that £1 would be deducted from state
benefits such as housing benefit. I believe this is still the

At the other end of the pay scale are solicitors – of course
you all know this. Doctors are not badly off either. I hear
it’s now common for solicitors to charge £180 to £200 an hour
(correct me if I’m wrong) – but then they have to pay for
premises and staff, and to pay for costly mortgages, school
fees for their kids, expensive cars and for holidays abroad.
It’s hard for them, isn't it?


Blogger steve said...

It is sad but true Justin, they want people to work, and work hard for nothing.
I would'nt get out of bed for that money.
A man who works for nowt and a woman who s**gs for nowt is never out of work.

8:38 AM  
Blogger justin said...

Very true, Steve. I'm retired, but busy myself working for a charity, for nowt -- there's always plenty to be done, but equally you can do as much as you like -- without a boss telling you, "You should be doing this and that ... or else!"
I could just say, "Do it yourself then, I'm off" (or use much fruitier language to say so).

10:09 PM  
Anonymous Katt said...

Well, the Pound is much stronger than the SA Rand so in my terms that is a lot of money. But it still seems very low... Or maybe I am just being blonde here.

11:44 AM  
Blogger justin said...

Yes, Katt, it is low for the cost of living here. One of my daughters is about to move into an unfurnished one-bedroomed house (a converted Tudor dairy) on outskirts of Nottingham. The bedroom upstairs measures 16 feet square, the downstairs space has been split into a bedroom, kitchen, toilet and shower. She has to put in her own equipment (fridge, bed, etc). She'll be paying £350 a month rental and she's on a fairly low income. She runs a car too. The rental for a place like that in London would be more than double that cost.
She couldn't afford to live there on a minimum wage, and obviously couldn't run a car. My car servicing bills are £100 plus, and Road Tax and insurance are loads more. It costs £2000 - £3000 to run a car here, if you don't do your own maintenance, and more with depreciation if you buy a car from new.

7:28 AM  

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