An Update For Members Offered Team Leader/COM Positions At William Hill
Further to our newsletter on Friday, William Hill has yet to explain satisfactorily:
1. Why the Personal Management Licence (PML) clause has been included when there’s no current requirement for it to be in there for the vast majority of staff; and
2. Why the matter cannot be addressed if/when the Gambling Commission introduce the requirement.
William Hill says that the clause has been in contracts since 2019: the fact that it may have been in contracts does not mean it should be in contracts.
As we have pointed out to the company, most people would not consider themselves experts in contract law and have probably not considered the full implications of the clause until now. William Hill has clearly not explained the consequences to staff either!
The application fee alone for a PML is currently £370. If the Gambling Commission changes its rules so that Team Leaders are covered by the requirement to hold a licence, William Hill are expecting you to agree now, to obtain and pay for the licence in the future. £370 (it could be more in the future) is a significant amount of money for staff to find to remain in employment.
As we said previously, if the Gambling Commission changes its rules, that’s the point at which William Hill should address the obligations imposed by its regulator. It should explain the changes properly and cover the cost of the licence rather than expecting staff to pay. That’s the fair and reasonable way to behave.
We’ve looked at the contracts of staff working in other betting shop chains; those contracts are generally silent on the matter of PMLs. One contract does cover the issue and says:
“If you hold a Personal Management Licence (PML) and if it is removed, revoked or suspended for any reason by the licensing authorities, the Company will be obliged to take appropriate action including which could include transfer, demotion or dismissal.”
That’s a far more reasonable clause. But it would seem William Hill have sought to tie staff down to a much greater extent than the other chains.
The PML clause may already have been inserted in your contact by William Hill. If it hasn’t, we strongly advise you not to accept a contract which has the clause in it, unless you’re happy to be bound by the terms in future.
If you already have the clause in your contract, which may well be the case, then you will be bound by its terms unless:
1. You find a job elsewhere in a new company – there are plenty of vacant positions in the betting industry, particularly for experienced staff!
2. William Hill decide to change contracts to remove the clause.
Now that the matter has been brought to the company’s attention, we hope that it will do the right thing and remove the clause. In the meantime, we’re writing to both MPs and the Gambling Commission about the matter.
If you don’t have a copy of your contract and you’re not sure how to obtain one, the Advice Team can help you with that and any other questions you may have. They can be contacted on 01234 716005.
Finally, please do share our newsletters with your colleagues – some may not be aware of our campaign to improve the working lives of betting shop staff. If they are not already members of Affinity, they should join us now because we cannot help and advise them if they aren’t in the Union.