Page last updated at 09:05 GMT, Saturday, 11 April 2009 10:05 UK

CPS bonus for turning up in snow

Snow at London Victoria
Buses, Tubes and mainline trains were hit by February's heavy snow

A £250 bonus has been paid to Crown Prosecution Service staff in London who turned up for work during heavy snow.

Only 224 out of 1,400 CPS employees in the capital made it to work on Monday 2 February, when the city saw its heaviest snow in nearly 18 years.

A spokeswoman said the money from public funds was to reward members of staff who went the "extra mile".

The Taxpayers' Alliance said it was absurd public money should be used to reward staff just for doing their jobs.

'Extreme conditions'

As a result of the bad weather, all London buses were cancelled and many tube and train services were severely disrupted.

The CPS spokeswoman said: "They didn't know they were going to get the money before then so they made it into work not thinking they were getting any reward for it.

"CPS London decided these staff who struggled into work in extreme conditions should be rewarded for doing so."

It doesn't reward hard work, it rewards having a bus route that works, that runs near your house
Mark Wallace, Taxpayers' Alliance

But Mark Wallace from the Taxpayers' Alliance said the public should not have to fund bonuses for people who simply turn up to work.

Mr Wallace told the BBC: "Only 16% of CPS staff compared to 70% or more of staff around the rest of the country actually turned up on the day that it was snowy.

"Have a look at what this really rewards - it doesn't reward hard work, it rewards having a bus route that works, that runs near your house."

The CPS spokeswoman said the money was paid out of a special fund set aside to recognise those who came up with innovative ideas or made a special effort. It was added to employees' March pay packet.

The fund was created in 2006 and each area was given a set sum to spend as it wished.

There will be no payments to CPS staff outside London.


Your emails:

Whilst you shouldn't have to be rewarded for simply doing the right thing, I think this is a good idea in that it makes a distinction between those who tried, and those who didn't. On one of the worst days of the snow, when apparently nobody could get anywhere, I travelled from home in Yorkshire to a meeting in Brighton. I had to vary my route a little, as few trains were running from London, but I still made it to my meeting an undramatic half an hour early. On the train from London I sat at a table with three others, all freelancers or small business owners, whose income depends on our own efforts. We all agreed that, looking at our clients, we could almost predict which people would make it through the snow to the office, and which ones wouldn't.
Brian , Middleton, Yorkshire, UK

How dare they! This is utter stupidity and shows what a namby-pamby race we have become, to reward people for getting to work in the snow its a complete nonsense of course they got to work why else wouldn't they? It's weather. Lots of countries have snow and it would not cross their minds not to go to work. Grow up and get a grip and pay back the money.
Ruth Watin-Jones, London, UK

I work for a Local Education Authority and I was unable to get into work during the snow. My employer took the days from my leave entitlement. I was also having to look after my children as the schools were shut. The teachers did not get any leave withdrawn neither did they have a cut in pay. One rule for one and one rule for another with the same employer! So I am not surprised by this.
Geraint Edwards, Nelson, UK

This is an appalling waste and setting a bad example to others. People should make every effort to work because their customers expect it. In my work (since the mid 70s) we have always made the effort to provide service regardless of weather, power cuts or anything else.
David Valentine, Ollerton, Notts, UK

My wife who works at an NHS hospital 12 miles from home took two hours to get to work across country on poor roads and all the staff were sent a curt e-mail with no thanks for those who got in and and instructed that if they had not got into work, they had to take any days they did not get in, out of their annual leave.
John Tigg, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, UK

This culture of we pay you to work but we then pay you a bonus to actually turn up to work and also pay a bonus to work efficiently is barking.

This is tax payers' money taken or stolen from their wages rewarded for their hard work. The CPS or any other lazy good for nothing government public sector sponge has no right to it. Let's get back to the insensitive of "if you turn up for work you get paid and if you don't then you don't get paid".
Richard Mornington-Sanford, Ecton, Northants, UK

That's the whole thing about going to work - turn up and you get paid. When the snow was at its deepest up here in Leeds, many of my colleagues were unable to get into work at all, those who did brave the elements and turned up late after battling through blizzards and snow drifts were told: "thanks for coming but you're late and you will have to make up those hours you have missed." Now that's what you call rewarding your staff!
Jack Howard, Leeds West Yorkshire, UK

Only in England.
Ian Wickison, Peterborough, Cambs, UK

I used to drive 45 miles come rain or snow to Reading for six years to get to work and got nothing from my employer. The reward for the [CPS] staff seems a bit large and really £100 pounds fits the bill - a nice thank you token but not enough to make the tax payer think: "Help yourself you might as well you're all at it."
Andy, Chiddingfold, UK

We also had pretty exceptional weather down here in Devon. I had to travel along untreated lanes to collect milk from farms to keep people in their daily cuppa for no extra payment. If recognition is to be given to these CPS staff (who then sat in a centrally-heated office) then why such an excessive amount and why should every member of their staff who turned up not be treated in a like manner?
David Hill, Paignton, Devon, UK

I had to battle through the snow was for over an hour only one of two who had managed to get to work so instead of getting on with my job had to race round answering phones and sorting out bosses' appointments etc - I didn't even get a thank you. Money could be spent on better things - like making sure next time it snows we are better prepared so all can get to work!
Anne Weightman, Kings Lynn, UK

What a joke. NHS staff turn up for work in all extreme weather conditions at near full capacity with no extra cash bonus simply for doing so. Why create one rule for public sector workers and not across the board. Could you image if 16% of hospital workers turned up for a shift, they would be a public outcry not a £250 bonus.
Michael Livingston, Liverpool, UK

No way! I bet they didn't do any useful work that they couldn't have done from home. If there was a payment to get in during heavy snow it would make matters worse as those trying would probably have to abandon cars on the only road we have to work and make it worse for the clear up afterwards and having to be rescued themselves. Last time it happened here it was the reverse: chaos caused by people trying to get away before the snow got worse.
Dick Beddows, Cumbria, UK

I've heard it all now. People getting a bonus for turning up for work. What about all the thousands of other essential staff that made it to work. Most of them would be lucky to get a thank you.
Jim Wilson, UK



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