Annual Balance 1947 -
Overtime Payments

Until the introduction of mechanisation, and later, computerisation, the annual task of capitalising interest and calculating the starting interest figure for the new financial year was a huge manual task, as described in:

All by Hand!

and the

Annual Balance

For about a week, the Bank's staff worked very long hours to complete the necessary work. But, until 1947, the only recompense for all the extra hours worked was the grant of a lump sum, authorised by the Committee of Management, and distributed to the staff at the discretion of the General Manager. The amount of the grant was fixed at 800 in 1935, and was not increased (to 850) until 1941. The typical number of additional hours worked in these years was 6,500 - payment was therefore about 12-pence per hour. Frank Jones recalls that individual payments amounted to 2 or 3, or 5 for the Branch Manager.

In 1947, Birmingham Corporation adopted the National Charter relating to the introduction of overtime payments for officers earning no more than 435 per annum. Officers earning more than this sum were entitled to subsistence payments. Details of this new arrangement were reported to the Committee of Management by the General Manager in May 1947:

I am pleased to record my appreciation of the excellent services rendered by the Staff in carrying through the work of the Annual Balance.

As in previous years, every endeavour was made to bring the work forward as far as possible to facilitate the Annual Balance. Preparatory work was commenced on Thursday, March 27th, when the staff worked until approximately 8pm. On Friday, March 28th, the staff worked until between 9 and 10pm, and on Saturday (which is normally a half-holiday) work was continued until 10pm. The following morning, Sunday, March 30th, work was resumed at 9am and continued until 9pm, by which time the actual Balance was completed.

On the next day, Monday, March 31st, the Bank was closed to the public, but the staff worked from 9am until 8pm. On April 1st and 2nd, the staff worked until about 6pm each day, in order to make as much progress as possible with the work of adding interest for the current year. On Thursday, April 3rd, the day before the Easter Holiday, the staff made a successful endeavour and left about 5pm. After the Easter Holiday, pressure of business was very heavy.

The Committee have for some years authorised a grant to be divided amongst the staff for this extra work, and below I give the number of open Savings Bank accounts for the last five financial years, and the amounts granted:



Number of Accounts

Amount of Grant ()




















In addition to 598,034 Savings Bank accounts, balances of 5,194 House Purchase accounts were extracted.

Now it would appear that, according to the National Charter, recompense for this extra work should be by way of overtime payment.

I have discussed the question with Mr Allen, the Establishment Officer, who expresses the opinion that there may be some difficulty in obtaining the approval of the Salaries, Wages and Labour Committee to a continuance of the bonus system. According to the National Charter, officers with basic salaries of not more than 435 shall be paid overtime on the following basis, excluding meal times:

(a) Normal weekly salary shall be divided by 38 to ascertain hourly rate of overtime

(b) For each of the first 10 hours of overtime in any week, payment shall be made at  plain time rates of salary

(c) For each hour of overtime in excess of 10, payment shall be at the rate of 1 plain time rates of salary

For officers with basic salary in excess of 435, subsistence allowances are provided in lieu of overtime payments as follows:

                                               Lunch        4/-d

                                               Tea            2/6d

                                               Dinner        6/-d

The non-manual staff worked a total of 10,397 hours, and after meal times etc, have been deducted, the cost to the Bank for overtime and subsistence payments would be as follows:


            Officers                                                                                                                              s    d

               175   overtime 27th March to 3rd April                 }

                  28  overtime 27th March to 31st March            }                                         1,029    5   3


                  28  above-mentioned in view of salaries                    }

                                   being increased above 435 eligible        }

                                   only for subsistence allowances in lieu     }                                 182  18   0

                                   from 1st - 3rd April                                       }

                  62  subsistence allowance in lieu                               }

                                   27th March to 3rd April                               }


                                                                                                                                            1,212    3   3


In addition, there is the cost of the following:


                  94        Comptometer Operators                         843 hours                131   15  3                  

                      19         Former members of the staff who

                                       helped for average of 2 days         467 hours                56   15    3


The maximum number of regular staff away was 7.


I should like to express my appreciation of the assistance given by various firms in loaning comptometers.


It is not known when the overtime rules adopted in 1947 were discontinued, but eventually, overtime payments were made to all staff for the additional hours worked at the Annual Balance.