T + 62 The Treacle Stick

I had the usual quiet weekend watching a couple of films back at the flat ( Starship Troopers and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. Quite contrasting but both good fun in their own way) and popping to Mom and Dad's for lunch on Sunday.

The only real "highlight" was receiving my payslip in the post from CEVA. ( We get paid of the 15th of the month in a two weeks in advance, two weeks in arrears arrangement. ) I've now used up all 60 of my full pay sick days and about to, as my Dad would say, go onto the "Treacle Stick" namely standard Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) of £75.40 a week.

This latest payslip came in at about half my normal rate as I tipped over the 60 days. I don't quite follow how they have worked out the amount, but given I was expecting a lot less, far be it from me to question my elders and betters in the payroll department. I put it down to that two weeks in arrears, two in advance, it always confuses things like this. Next month I'm expecting it to be just the SSP of £301.60 or thereabouts.

Now £300 a month is not a lot to live on but I have been planning for this day over the last twelve months and making overpayments on my mortgage so I can use the surplus to cover that and generally trying to save more money where I can to tide me over. So don't worry folks I won't be tossed out into the street on Christmas Eve by some top hat wearing, moustache twirling villain from the building society.

Hopefully I'll be back working from home again in the New Year and earning a full wage so the damage won't be too great.

As for the phrase "treacle stick" well it's something my Dad uses for any sort of benefit payment and it seems to be something of a Midlands phrase. Here is a link to a definition of it in a dictionary of jargon which puts it down to being from market traders. Other google searches for it turn up various entries in the letters pages of local newspapers from the Midlands and Worcester.

I've come across two possible derivations, one is that the treacle stick is sticky so you never get off it, the other is that treacle was sold by scraping it out of a barrel using a stick, at the end of the day the stick would be given to a small child as a freebie. The second derivation is more appealing but I suspect the former is more accurate.


Andy H said…
I always thought the 'treacle stick' derivation came from how miners or factory workers sweetened their tea... a stick being dipped into treacle then stirred into many (tin) mugs of tea at the end of the shift.

It's best not to get too obsessed about these I guess.

Andy (four days into his sick pay, a while to go yet to catch up with you!)

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