Shifts & Multipliers

AIW’s & MULTIPLIERS

From: @kier.co.uk
26 February 2016 13:12
To:<@cmaclaims.co.uk
Subject: RE: Your ref GC/021797, our ref T03A573 T03A572

I have told you multiple times I am not emailing about this anymore as its getting absolutely nowhere. I do not have any idea why you do not accept that out of hours requires overtime payment when the team are on fixed hours its quite a simple concept. If the incident is out of the hours of manned shifts which we have provided to you, then we have to call someone out and then we have to pay them for it. Why is this confusing in anyway.

I said you could call me but other than that you will receive no more responses from me on this as you have had more than enough;

  • Insurers leaflet containing the working hours
  • Notional rate breakdown and allowable components
  • Explanation on the fact we only use the multiplier to cover overtime on the specific incidents as opposed to proportioning an element of overtime to all incidents as this would not be fair

Regards,


KHL charge a ‘multiplier’ claiming that their AIW staff work shifts and that outside of their hours, overtime is paid. To date we have been provided contradictory accounts of these shifts by KHL and suspect that the multiplier (enhancements) are NOT all applicable i.e. not all paid to AIW staff. These ‘multipliers’ can be found in a document produced by KHL – click here. But …

  • what if AIW’s do work shifts, are contracted (and paid) to do so of weekdays?
  • what if AIW’s receive no more for working outside ‘core hours’ (8am to 5pm);

Who benefits from charging a multiplier to the AIW’s hourly rate?  Already charged at a whopping £70.32 / hour, who receives the 50% uplift per hour simply because an incident happens after 5pm?

Highways England operatives, the  staff who patrol our motorways, are paid a little over £20,000 / annum.  An AIW, apparently more than £40,000 / annum … is it not reasonable to believe these AIW’s are paid more because they are engaged to work shifts and that the salary reflects the anti-social hours to be completed as part of the job?  Appernelty not, as according to Ms. Granville of Kier:

“Now there was a question around overtime, but after a discussion with our client they agreed that our stance is fairer than just bleeding an overtime amount against every single claim. So there’s a couple of different ways you can deal with overtime. You can reconcile overtime for last year against this year’s rates. You can do things like that, but if we do that you end up in a blanket scenario as opposed to, ‘Do you know what, this claim actually happened at 3 o’clock in the morning, so therefore it costs more.’ Now we’ve gone out to the major insurers, we sat down with them and we said, ‘We don’t care which way we do it, but we’re only doing it one way for all of you. What is your preference?’ And they’ve turned around and said they would rather pay for it on a case-by-case basis because they said that they feel that that’s going to benefit them more now. They may have answered that on the basis of, you know, the experience they’ve got of claims at the moment, I don’t know, but the reality is that is how we do it. So instead of charging just a fixed rate we charge an uplift against the rate to cover the overtime payments, and we took the overtime element out of the notional rate components.”

Aside of some (many) insurers not being involved in the discussions having the process forced upon them, despite there being no evidence that this was even agreed, IF the AIW’s  work shifts and receive no more from doing so, the uplifts (multipliers) are wrong, an exaggeration.

We have received many accounts of ‘shifts’ (or not) from Kier Highways to date … not all can be correct i.e. some are false … which are to believed and why should we be expected to sort the wheat from the chaff.  Why would we be provided false accounts … ?

The accounts to date are:


Account 1 – SHIFT HOURS

On 27/10/2015, we met KHL staff. We learned that the AIW’s worked shifts, that  they are treated more like staff, so they work on a staff based contract, three shift rotas:

  1. an early morning into the afternoon,
  2. a later morning that goes into the evening and
  3. then an evening shift that goes into the night

Based upon the above, AIW’s work from early morning to late at night.  KHL reinforced their statement by adding:

138. CMA: “These AIWs, are they working shifts then?”
139.KHL: “Yeah, they do a pattern of… They’re treated now because, I mean they used to be treated as an operative, operatives basically. Now the role really still is very operational but they’re treated more like staff, so they work on a staff based contract, they work on three shift rotas, they work an early morning into the afternoon, then there’s a later morning that goes into the evening, and then an evening shift that goes into the night, and then there’s a cut-off point where there’s a period of, I think it’s about six or seven hours where it’s all based on standby rotas. Weekends are all done on standby rotas now, so we don’t have… So where you used to have an ISU sat in the depot, you don’t anymore, you have to call somebody out every time, so we have to pay for an initial standby rota and a secondary stand…”

Therefore, a shift pattern exists with rota cover and it appears that for this to be 6 or 7 hours, based on the above shift pattern (‘a’ to ‘c’), AIW’s likely work until about 11pm and start again at 6am (7 hour gap).  Or, to put KHL’s statement another way, of the 24 hour day, over 20 hours are covered by AIW shifts.

As AIW staff worked from 6am to 11pm, it appeared reasonable to conclude that outside of those hours, staff would be paid a multiplier either

  1. they would work beyond their 9 hour day or
  2. they would be called in to work on a rest day or
  3. their scheduled day fell on a Bank Holiday

Account 2 – SHIFT HOURS

On 10/11/2015, we emailed KHL and asked a question:

Q (CMA):         AIW duties

We note an AIW ‘also carries out other duties regarding incidents on the road’. Please:

  • Advise the other duties undertaken, what functions they perform, and the work they undertake when not attending damage to roadside property matters.
  • Approximately, how much of their time is associated with attending the incidents (1153) per week?

A (KHL)

“Our AIW’s are on the roads 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.  Roughly 60% of the AIW’s time is spent dealing with unplanned repairs/attendances and 40% carrying out routine maintenance.”

On the basis the AIW’s are on the road 24/7 we reasonably believe that the out of hours attendances form part of their contract and in turn they receive no multiplier (or not that stated).


Account 3 – SHIFT HOURS

On 27/02/2016, we were informed by KHL (the same person who advised of ‘Shift Hours 1’ – above):

‘we have three shifts a day’ and their ‘scheduled core hours are 8am to 5pm’.


18/01/2016 we emailed KHL (11:23):

Could we be provided a copy of the standard contract, or at the very least the portion that relates to the rates an AIEW is being paid for other than on a ‘day’ shift. We have been seeking this information for a while and I refer you to an email of 10/11/2015.

The information was not forthcoming.


Oon 27/02/2016, during a phone conversation with Ms Granville of Kier Highways Ltd., we were advised:

But actually, when I say three shifts a day as well, I should sort of clarify that a little bit. So in every depot, so for example in every main depot, so Area 9 has got a south, a centre and a north, they have three AIWs on a shift during every day, but they are covering their own separate routes. So each AIW gets given a designated route, so they are to basically work and maintain a specific route.

We were informed AIW’s work Monday to Friday, 8 to 17:00, 8am to 5pm and “Outside of that, then we would pay them more money”


Account 4 – SHIFT HOURS

In March 2016, we spoke with a person with we understand is an AIW for KHL.

They referred to receiving very little overtime and stated that they worked a 12 hour shift.

We have repeatedly asked KHL for contact details of an AIW, these have never been forthcoming.  KHL has on at least one occasion advised that a statement would be obtained by an AIW in respect of a claim. No statements have ever been forthcoming.


Account 5 – SHIFT HOURS

On 04/04/2016 KHL emailed (16:54):

“In relation to the AIW I have confirmed to you multiple times as has (redacted) that our teams work day time shift patterns which there are 3 of staggered by an hour and no longer work the 12-hour shifts that the ISU used to do. So I can only assume the AIW you quote works for another company as we rota all AIWs to a 45-hr week the same as a staff member and they work Monday to Friday – I cannot however talk for all other companies as they all have their own specific ways of working”

The above shift pattern contradicts those previously described. By reference to this latest explanation, AIW’s, working a 9 hour shift, staggered by an hour, provide cover for 11 hours yet 20 hours+ is explained above (27/10/2015).


Account 5a – SHIFT HOURS

On  24/03/2016 @ 15:52 hours I emailed Mr Vardon @ CMA and cc’d Kier.  Ms Granville of Kier responded by annotating my original email.  The annotations appear below, as provided in red / bold.

From: Sophie Granville [mailto:Sophie.Granville@kier.co.uk]
Sent: 24 March 2016 16:36
To: Philip Swift <pswift@cmaclaims.co.uk>; Wayne Vardon <wvardon@cmaclaims.co.uk>
Cc: Natalie Robinson <Natalie.Robinson@kier.co.uk>
Subject: RE: Your ref GC/021735, our ref T03A584

Philip,
See responses below.
Regards,
Sophie Granville
 Kier Services I Highways I Bridgewater House, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG22 4BS
M: 07920 272672 I  www.kier.co.uk

From: Philip Swift [mailto:pswift@cmaclaims.co.uk]
Sent: 24 March 2016 15:52
To: Wayne Vardon <wvardon@cmaclaims.co.uk>
Cc: Natalie Robinson <Natalie.Robinson@kier.emhighways.co.uk>; Sophie Granville <Sophie.Granville@kier.emhighways.co.uk>
Subject: RE: Your ref GC/021735, our ref T03A584

Wayne

Sophie has not sent us all we have asked for – as examples:

  • we await the extract from the contract that confirms an AIW is paid overtime.  On the one hand Sophie advises that AIW’s work shifts, on another, they do not.
  • I have always said they work shifts but they are day time shifts. Nights and weekends are covered on a standby roster and the crew would be paid overtime as appropriate. I have said this same thing over and over again the only differing point is your interpretation. I have told you more than once to call me for clarity. The only way I can evidence this is by giving a payslip which I am not allowed to do and I have told you this before. I have asked HR to extract the relevant paragraph but at the moment they are busy with consultations relating to redundancies. When they have had time I will copy and paste it into an email. This is very standard though Philip if someone works over their core hours they would expect overtime – I am sure your team would be the same. 
  • Sophie will tell us HE are charged the same rates as we / insurers, we provide evidence this does not appear to be correct and my email is ignored, treated in a dismissive fashion. This despite my advising Sophie (26/02/2016) I will review matters.
  • Sophie doesn’t tell you Sophie can factualise it and has done by giving you the notional rate breakdown. The base notional rate is the same I know this as I have worked for months to achieve this. The only differing point are the contract overhead percentages as they are different for above and below the threshold claims although the HE is looking to make this consistent in the future. If you are still unclear please pick up the phone.

It is evident KHL are selective in their responses.  The silence on some issues speaks volumes.

There is no silence unless you have asked the question multiple times before and when you do it becomes unproductive to keep saying the same thing. Its like point one above not only have I written to you but I have spoken to you and still you have a differing interpretation of what was said. My stance has been consistent throughout on this point.

Our behaviour has been constant, we act as we always have; we seek corroboration of information where available, we seek to make an appropriate payment for appropriate claims. s with the 1153 methodology, we will not agree an unsubstantiated demand.

Unfortunately you keep raising this 1153 despite us not working to it and despite both us and the HE telling you that was a tender model. I have no idea why you keep raising it, it has no relevance at all. The model back then averaged out rates which again wasn’t wrong we however have chosen to now use a specific incident model that charges on individual merits. Although I will say this is difficult however as you still seem to think you can knock charges down. Nat has priced based on the packs and there is no meat to negotiate however we still have allowed it and have lost money as a business. But you still fail to accept this even though you have seen it first hand.

KHL’s behaviour is unnecessarily aggressive, obstructive and unreasonable. It appears they consider we can be bullied into submission.

We have never been aggressive and the word bully is offensive. Unfortunately Philip it was you and your team that has caused staff to be Physically upset and as a result yes we have had to play a firm line but otherwise the behaviour we receive becomes worse. Now I have called you and I have met you to try and ask you to be more mindful of the staff’s perception when you approach them. We do not bully anyone we however also will not bicker and argue so where something starts getting into email tennis nobody benefits and in fact people just get frustrated so we would at that point make a decision to refer a case to stop the argument and the pedantic emails we receive. If you read some back even this one you will see what I mean.

 The sum presented appears high.  We should be able to re-cost and instruct our clients what to pay.

We have re costed and provided a breakdown. So no you cannot re cost then for us. You can however ask questions about a claim which we would be happy to answer but we can do nothing with these broad unsubstantiated statements. So yes if there was an item on a claim you wanted to query we would be more than happy to discuss.

 I have attached a copy of HE’s audit and you will not that they expect reasonable costs, documentation and will monitor the situation. 

I have a copy thanks Philip and they were satisfied and confirmed we are not making a profit on claims and actually neither are they Philip. If you do call I will relay some statistics to you and then perhaps you will see nobody is profiting here we are making a massive loss mainly because people drive off after damage or then we receive the no negligence dispute when there is.

Please keep me updated about this claim.  in the absence of the information we have sought by close of business next Friday (a reasonable period), we will escalate the file within Kier and HE.

 Progress is halted by your side Philip. But if we do not hear back by Wednesday we will hand the case over to Shakespeare Martineau too. I have already escalated this case as an example within Kier as the costs are completely correct but still we receive no reasonable offer, it’s a shame.

Many thanks

Philip


Account 6 – SHIFT HOURS

We subsequently managed to speak with an AIW, or so we thought.  This person was recorded as an AIW on KHL’s correspondence but explained they were not!  Whilst the person had been charged as an AIW, they were a KHL employee (who we see charged at less than half the AIW rate) who likely happened to be in the yard when an AIW was called out and wanted someone to accompany them.  This at-hand person was however charged out at the an AIW £70/hour rate.  The gentleman explained that he  thought an AIW – one week may do earlies, which is the five o’clock shift, but next week he may do lates, which could be the night shift, or the late shift which is 11 ‘til half eight, and then the night shift which is nights; eight at night ‘til half past five in the morning. However, he was uncertain.

However, we have since managed to speak to an AIW who has stated, with regard to their shifts and ‘from the horse’s mouth’ these are:

  • 05:00hrs to 14:30hrs      9.5 hours
  • 11:00hrs to 20:30hrs      9.5 hours
  • 20:00hrs to 05:30hrs     9.5 hours

that is to say, there is 24/7 cover, at least for week days.


If AIW staff are working 24/7, as part of their contract, paid a wage for doing so:

  • why are KHL charging drivers, fleets and insurers more for incidents that occur outside what KHL refer to as ‘core hours’ i.e. 8am to 5pm or 7am to 6pm – subject to which account is correct?
  • why are Highways England, who receive and address invoices over £10,000, not charged the multipliers?
  • why do Highways England believe the process is appropriate, they are aware of it, they have been provided a copy of KHL ‘Insurer Guide’: Click Here to view a copy.

The guide states, at page 10:

Our operations are provided 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and involve different bands of charges. By way of example, the table opposite sets out the bands that we use for our AIWs on the Highways England contracts, together with an explanation of the multiplying factors that would be applicable. Similar arrangements are applied on other contracts, and details will be provided of these, as appropriate.  Clearly, the timing of an incident will incur these charges, as appropriate.

But when are the multipliers appropriate, if at all? KHL have been specific about AIW’s:

  • they’re working Monday to Friday, 08:00 to 17:00, 8am to 5pm.
  • outside of that, then we would pay them more money, yes.

But according to an AIW, their hours are very different.


Account 7 – SHIFT HOURS

Whilst Kier would have us believe their AIW’s work 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, on 30/01/2017 at Baisingstoke Count Court Ms Granville, Kier’s claims manager stated to the Judge when asked why Kier no longer use ISO’s (Incident Support Operatives): 

“Because it was part of an efficiency drive with Highways England and it was, I think it goes back, like I said, between two and three years ago there were discussions about how we can make the overall service more effective and also make sure that it’s targeting the safety elements of it for the road users, which is where the inspection element came about because they, these individuals are on the network every single day and know their routes inside out, but obviously we still need responders for accidents so we just added that on to a duty, because it’s unrealistic to have somebody on 24 hour shift patterns just waiting for accidents to happen.” (362)

It appears AIW’s work ‘every single day’ i.e. weekends. 


Account 8 – SHIFT HOURS

Following an incident on 29/07/2016 giving rise to a claim for about £14,000 (U04B286) we wrote to Highways England

We note from the IMF that 2 AIW’s attended, Mr ******** and Mr *******.  Please confirm The shift that they were working on the day in question

In May 2017, the response received was:

Nights 20.00 – 05.30

See ‘Shift Hours 6′ above’ – just who are we / you to believe? It appears AIW’s work shifts, that these are 9.5 hours and that they are not on duty during ‘core hours’ only i.e. but from 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday … so why would we be advised to the contrary and why are Kier Highways Ltd charging Third Parties an uplift, a ‘multiplier’?


Account 9 – SHIFT HOURS

09/2016 –  In response to an FoIA request, Highways England advised – FOI_743173___FOI_738807__redacted_

“Keir (sic) – 24/7 cover facility from 6am on Monday to 6am on a Saturday.

From 6am on a Saturday to 6am on a Monday Kier operate a call out basis cover system”

A further FoIA request, Highways England reference 740,142 returned the response, 02/08/2016:

“Highways England Traffic Officers (HATO) – work 6am – 2pm; 2pm – 10pm and
10pm – 6am. 24/7 – 365 days a year
Keir – 24/7 cover facility from 6am on Monday to 6am on a Saturday.
From 6am on a Saturday to 6am on a Monday Kier operate a call out basis cover system”

But just 2 months later, 25/10/2016, in response to a querry about their 09/2016 reply, (their reference FOI 743,153 above), Highways England wrote:

The Asset Incident Watchman (AIW) service is not a 24/7 patrolling service. Under the
ASC this function is now facilitated by Highway England traffic officers. The AIW service
has full coverage during daytime, weekday hours. Outside of this, Kier operates a
standby rota in line with its maintenance requirement plan. Details of how the AIW
service operates, in relation to incidents, are covered within the Kier Insurance Guide
leaflet which is included for reference.

Kier’s Insurer’s Guide indicates the AIW’s work 8am to 5pm – khl-insurers-guide-v1

The guide dates form 10/2015 – why are we being provided contradictory accounts by Highways England?  The FoIA request, Highways England reference 740,142 above is understood to relate to the serious collision in 02/2016 that resulted in a fatality and saw the motorway blocked for 5 hours.  This gave rise to various enquirers.  Is it really the case that Highways England were mistaken about the AIW coverage?


Account 10SHIFT HOURS

When conveying ‘core hours’ to a Court, Kier stated these were 9am to 5pm, as opposed to 8am to 5pm.  An innocent mistake or a slip because they are simply making it up?  A Judge at Baisingstoke Count Court was advised by Kier in respect of multipliers:

30/01/2017:- “It’s used to reflect the overtime paid for by the teams so, effectively, with the staff we have a contract that says out of hours and certain days it’s paid at a higher rate than obviously during the contractual hours and overtime on a weekday evening is different again.”

02/02/2017:- “Multipliers are used for staff who are called in out of hours. They cost us the same multipliers (inaudible).”


Account From Highways England (source FoI 752,875):

The Asset Incident Watchman (AIW) service is not a 24/7 patrolling service. Under the ASC this function is now facilitated by Highway England traffic officers. The AIW service has full coverage during daytime, weekday hours. Outside of this, Kier operates a standby rota in line with its maintenance requirement plan. Details of how the AIW service operates, in relation to incidents, are covered within the Kier Insurance Guide leaflet which is included for reference.

Are Highways England being misled by KHL?


Note: With regard to the ‘Insurers Guide’, the multiplier for Friday to Monday 1700 – 0800 we understand to be incorrect at 2.5x; that the rate charged for a weekend should be 2x.

The multipliers see a £70 / hour charge increase to £105 / hour for work outside ‘core hours’, £140 / hour of a weekend and £175 / hour of a Public holiday.  Yet it appears KHL do not incur any additional charge … nor that the staff are paid these funds. additionally, that HE are provided the staff at less than £30 / hour.

We have waited in excess of 5 months for the information relating to the contract / shifts / multipliers. We were advised it would be provided. It appears it is not to be supplied but is required to substantiate claims. What else are we to conclude other than that our concerns are well-founded; that the ‘multiplier’ system represents a further means by which KHL exaggerate an invoice?

If the multipliers are not paid to staff we question how the actions of the contractor are, other than a knowingly, making a false representation intending, by making the representation, to gain for themselves or KHL, or to cause loss to a driver, fleet or insurer or to expose them to a risk of loss.

  • Are the representations made by your KHL about ‘multipliers’ true i.e. are staff paid these?
  • Which representations are true – surely they cannot all be!