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Can I do anything about it?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
OK, I'm a bit pissed off with work.

Head office have made a decision to not let any the stores in the company I work for give any over-time out, or even cover sick-leave unless really really nessassery. We are ALWAYS short staffed and it's getting rediculous. I am often on the upstairs floor completly by myself for the whole day - it is stupidly understaffed.

I've tried looking up what my rights are and stuff but I can't find the right thing.

Over the passed couple of weeks I've missed two of my 15 minute breaks - I know it doesn't sound a lot but when you're on your feet all the time these breaks can be a blessed relief. We just haven't had enough staff to be able to cover breaks, but these breaks are paid ones so technically I've worked an extra 30 minutes for nothing recently.
Also, I'm contracted to work 40 hours a week. I work 9-6 five days a week. However, as we're short staffed we never get the days work finished on time and we always end up leaving 5, 10, 15 or 20 minutes late.
We've had to start signing in and out at work recently, so I was looking through the sign in book today and made a note of all the times I've been leaving work in the last two months. It adds up to me having done 1 hour and 20 minutes extra.

We had this problem before, around Christmas when it was busy and a few of us got really fed up about it and were moaning. One of the supervisors told the manager who got in a right mood with us all and argued that we leave early on some occasions so it always evens out. This is not true. I can't remember the last time I left work early... It's been about a year since that happened.

Also, my managers regulally take off from work early themselves as they are often suposed to finish at 4... One of them finished at 3 today, I asked her why and she said it was because of the over-time she'd done... when I was having a moan to her a few days ago when we left 10 mintues late from work she was saying that it was just the same for her and that she got paid hourly too. (Not convinced about this - I'm sure she's salaried as she gets sickpay and stuff?)

Another thing - we HAVE to get to work 10 minutes before our shift officially begins (or we get into trouble), so that they can deliver the 'team talk' before we go onto the shop floor... I don't know if this counts as working, but surely if we're not getting paid then those ten minutes before the shift starts are technically our own time... I'm sure they're on dodgy ground with that one as well.

Anyway... sorry for the long ramble... but basically I get paid hourly and I'm doing more work than what I'm being paid for. I can't find out if what they're doing is legal or not. I don't want to kick up a huge stink at work and make things awkward for myself, but I am getting reaaaaaaaaaaally pissed off.
Anyone got any advise?

Comments

  • Olly_BOlly_B Mod-u-like Posts: 222 Settling in
    Hi Lu_C,

    There are a number of issues here, so it's quite a complicated issue.

    Your employer would be breaking the law if they made you work more than 48 hours (and you hadn't opted out of the working time directive), or the number of hours they expected to work (including unpaid overtime) divided by your salary meant you were earning less than the minimum wage. Your employer is also legally required to give you a 20 minute rest break if you work for six hours.

    If you are a member of a union, this is a really good time to get them involved. They can talk to your employers and raise the issues on your behalf.

    You said you previously "moaned" about this, to little effect. Managers sadly often won't take action unless they can see the benefits to them/their company, so what you probably need to do is go and present the issues and say that it is really affecting morale and your performance. If you can relate the fact that you constantly being expected to work over your hours / miss out on breaks is actually reducing your ability to sell then there is an incentive for the company to do something about it.

    If you want further advice, try your local Citizens Advice bureau or the ACAS helpline on 08457 47 47 47.

    Hope this helps,


    Olly
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    That is shit, and well annoying, but I don't think I've ever had a retail job that was any different. I've worked in many shops over the years, and it was exactly the same in every one - understaffed, always too busy to take breaks, always staying 15 minutes late that I wasn't being paid for, etc.

    In my experience, it'll never get fixed, no matter how much you complain. Just know that any other shop you work in will be the same, so if you want to continue working in retail it's just part of the deal, shitty though it is.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    jamelia wrote: »
    In my experience, it'll never get fixed, no matter how much you complain. Just know that any other shop you work in will be the same, so if you want to continue working in retail it's just part of the deal, shitty though it is.

    The thing is I've worked there for over two years and for the first year and a half it was fine. :banghead:

    Thanks for the replies.
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