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Does it really all come down to health care?
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Old 11-13-2019, 08:35 AM
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jackfaire jackfaire is offline
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Default Does it really all come down to health care?

I found out recently that my store only allows (x) amount of employees to be full time employees. I'm used to this from other retail locations I've worked. The thing is that retail is the only industry where I've been forced to work Part Time.

I've been wondering lately why. Other employers worked me full time and gave me health insurance. The store I work at is working us all more hours than usual because they lost a large chunk of employees.

Instead of ensuring most of us that just got hired or were brought on to replace them want to stick around they are forcing us to be part time. It makes no sense to me that a store that's part of a national brand wouldn't want to ensure they have loyal steady employees. Some of my co-workers absolutely want to be part time.

Some of us want to be full-time. Some of them are with people who also work and thus share the bills. Me I have to live with family to make ends meet.

It just boggles my mind. They need cashiers full-time but they don't want full-time cashiers.
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Old 11-13-2019, 11:51 AM
mjr mjr is offline
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I don't know for sure about the health insurance thing, but I think I may be able to clear up some things.

I don't know which retail location you work at, but I can tell you my experiences from working in food service.

Some of it has to do with labor costs and "traffic patterns", if you will. Ages ago, when I worked at a Burger King, I learned a little bit about management (I was an assistant manager for a bit). Places like that are sticklers for "labor cost". And they're usually open weird hours. For example, the Burger King where I worked was open from 6AM to 11PM Sunday through Thursday, and was open until midnight on Friday and Saturday.

Also, you have to have enough staff so that you can give people days off and cover call-outs, too. Further, you also don't want to have "too many" people on shift if it's a slow period (caveat: unless you're ramping up for a busy period).

There's also a flexibility aspect. Part-time cashiers allow for flexibility. If you have, say, 10 cash registers, and all ten are staffed, but you could really do with 5, you're basically paying 5 people to just stand around (unless you find other things for them to do, or start training them up on something else, or something). Sometimes part time employees (as you note) want to be part time, or can only work certain hours.

So I don't think it's all about health insurance, although that may play a role.

Have you asked about going full time? What did they tell you?
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Old 11-14-2019, 01:08 AM
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Originally Posted by mjr View Post
Have you asked about going full time? What did they tell you?
I have I've made it clear I'm interested. People sitting around waiting to work is an accepted cost of doing business in most fields. There are many higher paying (more than I make) office jobs where people show up 8 hours a day because Salary and do like 2 hours of actual work.

I think PT/FT should be the choice of the employees. Many of our employees are fine with part time especially those in couples where their joint paychecks allow them comfortable lives.

They have most of us part timers working nearly fulltime hours right now to cover all of the shifts as they hire back up to where they want to have staffing levels.

I think it would be smarter if they kept a core base of us as Full time and then plugged the gaps with part time. Have flexibility and yet a dependable workforce that won't vanish.

During my interview they made it clear my willingness to be there for years was important. How do they think they could get me to do that at part time? Arranged marriage with a co-worker? Ignoring health insurance alone I can't reliably pay rent on an apartment on part time hours.

I feel like this all comes back to the difference between financially healthy companies and Let's make a profit companies. If a company focuses on making sure they're still around in sixty years they will be more stable than if they focus on how much money can they suck out without an immediate collapse while ignoring the collapses this will cause later on.
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Last edited by jackfaire; 11-14-2019 at 01:18 AM.
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Old 11-14-2019, 09:40 AM
Gravekeeper Gravekeeper is offline
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It's cheaper. That's pretty much all that it comes down to.

Speaking from the salt mine I use to work in there can be any number of things that they technically have to give a full time employee vs a part time employee. And/or they brag about giving to full time employees then hire part time.

Health insurance is one of course. But then there's things like vacation days, breaks, etc. Your loyalty and happiness are irrelevant because you can always be replaced. The place I worked, from which I have written many a tale, had an absurdly high turn over rate. We had a lot of staff who wanted full time but could only get part time hours.

Management would say it was because they were staffing for the work volume. That was partially true. The other part was simply that it was cheaper to have 2 people that worked 4 hours than 1 person that worked 8. The two people didn't qualify for health insurance, vacation pay, etc and if they quit oh well they could be replaced in a few days.

Did our level of client service suffer? For farking sure. But that didn't seem to matter much in the face of penny pinching on labour costs.
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Old 11-14-2019, 11:42 AM
mjr mjr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gravekeeper View Post
Management would say it was because they were staffing for the work volume. That was partially true.
This sometimes makes me wonder (and not just in retail) how many managers have been "Peter Principled".

Quote:
The other part was simply that it was cheaper to have 2 people that worked 4 hours than 1 person that worked 8.
Your general premise here is true, but my very minor quibble is that generally "full time" (at least here in the U.S.) is based upon a pay period, not hours per day, if I'm not mistaken. When I worked foodservice, we were on "two week" pay periods, so their goal was to keep those of us that wanted FT-type hours under or right around 80 in the two-week period. So even if you had erratic hours, you might end up with a couple of days off each week just so they don't go over. I've even seen people sent home mid-shift because they were getting close to the 80 hours, and working that shift would put them over.

At one point in my early 20's, working foodservice, I was salaried in a manager position (it didn't pay well, either), and worked 21 consecutive days.
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