to speak to my boss about colleague abusing flexible working

(305 Posts)
hatgirl Wed 23-Jan-13 22:47:59

argh... let me say first of all I am not a clock watcher, I work in a stressful job and people frequently work over their hours and there is a general agreement that a few minutes here or there or a slightly longer lunch occasionally is more than deserved pay back. We are a good, supportive team and there is pretty much no bad feeling other than the occasional niggle which is always resolved openly and professionally (yey for us!)

Essentially we are very much trusted by our manger who knows how hard we all work and various members of staff have different flexible working patterns in place which works well.

Myself and another colleague have recently started working 'compressed hours' essentially we work 10 days worth of hours over 9 days and have the 10th day off. For this to work we take shorter lunches, and work an extra bit at the start and end of each day... or at least I do, my colleague is working normal hours but still taking the 10th day off. At first I thought she didn't understand the system (I requested it first and she piggybacked her own request on the back of mine) so had a chat with her about it explaining the system again.

A few months down the line and she is still basically taking the piss. She is close to retirement and was recently refused voluntary redundancy - she is annoyed with the organisation and when I have reiterated to her the importance of us doing 10 days over 9 (again this is not done in a horrible way just in a general discussion way)she basically laughs at me and says that the organisation owes her after years of service (which is probably a fair point but doesn't change the fact that she is getting a paid day off every 2 weeks).

I'm now in two minds whether or not to now go to my manager as I am getting nowhere discussing with her directly, or if I should just wind my neck in and let her get on with it after all it doesn't exactly directly impact on me.

My boss will come down on her like a ton of bricks as him trusting us not to abuse flexible working is a big thing when he could be a complete arse about it if he wanted to be and he will be really disappointed that she is doing this. I actually really like my colleague and don't want her to get into trouble but a) her wages come out of public money

and

b) I am absolutely shattered doing the longer days (a lot of this is also because I have a longish commute - she lives 10 mins away from work) but value the day off in return and don't feel it fair she is getting the same benefit without putting in the work - also other colleagues not formally doing compressed hours are working the same hours if not more than her and are not getting a day off at all!

As much as I like her I just think her attitude on this issue stinks.

Would I be unreasonable in having a word with my boss and creating bad feeling in the team?

Or am I being petty and it is my bosses job to notice this and sort it out? Its literally as little as coming in 10 mins late, taking an extra 30 mins for lunch and leaving 10 mins early but it all adds up to the extra 50 minutes we work extra each day to get the 10th day off.

DamnBamboo Wed 23-Jan-13 22:53:00

You do want to get her into trouble and personally, I don't think you give a shit if it's public money or not.

She is getting a paid day off every two weeks (albeit wrongly) and you don't like it and you want to shop her for it. Nothing actually wrong with that I suppose if you want to tell on her, but just say it like it is, don't dress it up

public money my arse

MrsKeithRichards Wed 23-Jan-13 22:53:16

Is what she is doing affecting your work load?

Icelollycraving Wed 23-Jan-13 22:58:51

Ok,I think her being paid out of the publics money is irrelevant frankly.
Be aware you will probably lose this perk if you highlight it to your manager.
I personally would say that the perk works well for you & you don't want to jeopardise it being in place once she sails off into retirement ( to the colleague) but she is taking the piss & it is building resentment. Perhaps threaten that if she continues you will complain about it to hr.

MrsKeithRichards Wed 23-Jan-13 23:00:37

It's your managers job to make sure it's working.

ClumsyClumberson Wed 23-Jan-13 23:00:51

In my organisation, abuse of the flexi system is treated as fraud and staff who are found to have abused the system are asked to pay back the monetary value of the hours they have 'stolen'. They are also usually dismissed.

As a manager, I would want to know if a staff member is suspected of flexi abuse.

SamSmalaidh Wed 23-Jan-13 23:04:20

If it's not actually effecting you, then you are just being nasty and petty trying to get someone else into trouble.

CalamityJ Wed 23-Jan-13 23:05:19

I'm with you on YANBU by virtue of the bit about fairness. Others are working 10 days in 10 days, you are working 10 days in 9 days and getting 1 day off, she is working 9 days and getting paid 10 days. Sounds unfair to me. Sounds like you've tried raising it a few times with her. You don't want her slackness at not doing her hours potentially reflecting on you and having your arrangement denied because of her abusing the trust. As someone who works in the public sector too I do get more annoyed with people abusing trust because it is public money being wasted. Businesses will make the books balance and if that means getting rid of people who aren't pulling their weight they will eventually get their comeupppance. Sacking someone slack in the public sector seems virtually impossible. These people always seem to justify it as that they're 'owed' something by their employer but TBH that's a load of bull as they also 'owe' it to their colleagues not to be a slacker. Someone will be picking up the work she isn't doing on the day she's not in and hasn't built up the time to take. It's attitudes like that which start the slippery slope of collective decisions not to pull their weight in order to even things out. Then everyone slacks off and the public pays for people to not be working at capacity. Shop her by saying she's abusing her line manager's trust (the other info commute, retirement, voluntary redundancy is I think going to cloud the issue).

13Iggis Wed 23-Jan-13 23:09:42

Maybe she things over the years she's worked there she has worked enough unpaid overtime to deserve the time.
Maybe she has.
I can see why it annoys you, but there will always be people who work harder/less hard than we do. It annoys me when managers get paid twice as much as me for noting doing much, but that's another matter!

Whiteshoes Wed 23-Jan-13 23:11:03

I don't see why a reasonable manager would scrap the scheme if one person said that they weren't sure that x was doing the appropriate hours. I wouldn't. I'd be grateful, and wouldn't punish the whistleblower. But at work we have a handy spreadsheet that allows everyone to record their hours and which can be seen by senior managers. Plus we trust each other too.

hatgirl Wed 23-Jan-13 23:11:06

I really don't want to get her into trouble and I'm fully aware saying something about it will probably affect me also. I'm the only one that is really aware its happening as we are supposed to be in earlier/ later than everyone else so as far as anyone else is concerned she is doing the hours she is supposed to. I'm worried that if she does get found out and i've been keeping schtum that i will get into trouble as well in being complicit in it. I appreciate my bosses trust in us and hate that its being taken advantage of. I have tried to address this with her myself and got nowhere.

It is affecting my workload but only because she is completely hopeless with computers and I have to give her a lot of help with the basics (creating folders/ saving word documents). One of the reasons we are allowed to do the same hours was so that we we would have some peace and quiet for me to go through things with her without distraction and help her get things organised - because that isn't happening she is taking up a lot of my time at other parts of the day instead. I don't mind helping her and she is always lovely to me and grateful for the help.

HollyBerryBush Wed 23-Jan-13 23:11:26

She wants to leave. She applied for VR and was refused. She's had enough. You'd really fuck her pension over for the sake of a long lunch?

it doesn't exactly directly impact on me

I really cant wait till we're all working till we drop with some snippity bitch on our heels.

Report if you will and you'll find your work load goes back 9-5 with clocking in and out.

KatherinaMinola Wed 23-Jan-13 23:13:18

What DamnBamboo and MrsKeithRichards said. Worry about what you're doing, not what everyone else is doing.

deleted203 Wed 23-Jan-13 23:13:47

I don't think YABU to be pissed off that you are working your backside off for the extra day off and she isn't bothering to pull her weight, but is getting the benefits anyway. I think my initial thought would be to speak to her about it. I would be blunt and say to her that you've mentioned it to her a couple of times because you thought she didn't understand how the system worked, but that she hasn't taken the hint. I would tell her now that you are thoroughly pissed off about the fact that you are playing the game and she isn't. Tell her that she piggy backed into this on the back of your request and that you are furious to think that her piss taking may mean that when it comes to light the boss decides that NO ONE is getting to work flexi hours. Tell her that you are not prepared to continue like this and that either she starts doing the extra hours or that you will go to the boss and complain about it. That puts the ball in her court and if she doesn't shape up you have done her the courtesy of warning her that you are going to make a complaint about it.

ceeveebee Wed 23-Jan-13 23:16:41

Unless there is a direct impact on you ie you having to pickup the slack and do her work for her, then its none of your business

mugglebert Wed 23-Jan-13 23:17:17

At my company it would also be treated as fraud and any employees hat were aware fraud was being commited and did not report it would also be disciplined... You should discuss it with your manager, they're unlikely to change your arrangement as there's no reason his affects it.

MikeFlowersPops Wed 23-Jan-13 23:17:17

I don't know the right answer, but I'm in a similar position.

allthegoodnamesweretaken Wed 23-Jan-13 23:17:52

www.pcaw.org.uk/

This is a whistleblowing charity, you'd get good advice here

cerealqueen Wed 23-Jan-13 23:19:20

Just don't do it, you will create bad feeling and everybody will suffer and, sorry to say, you will be the bad guy, who snitched to the boss and nobody will like you or trust you again.

hatgirl Wed 23-Jan-13 23:20:41

sorry when I said it doesn't directly impact on me I was meaning in the sense that she isn't affecting my overall working hours/ level of work, I'm just having to break off what I am doing through other times in the day.

I knew I was being petty I suppose which is why i've not said anything about it to anyone yet and using here to vent a bit. Its her problem not mine, It just gets to me that she is so comfortable doing it.

Its hard because I have a good relationship with this woman despite the above and I'm a bit sad that she thinks putting me/her in this position is ok.

DamnBamboo Wed 23-Jan-13 23:22:35

Oh please hatgirl

Worried that keeping schtum will get you in trouble? How old are you?

Are you expected to monitor each others arrival, lunch break, and departure? If not, then why on earth would you get into trouble.

IF she asks for help, say you can't and tell her to ask your manager for some extra support in that area.

Wind your neck in or tell, but please don't pretend it's for any other reason than you're pig-sick that she's getting an extra day paid

DamnBamboo Wed 23-Jan-13 23:23:17

What position exactly is she putting you in?

NatashaBee Wed 23-Jan-13 23:26:25

I think if you tell your boss, he will feel obliged to stop flexible working for everyone, not just your colleague, because its something he clearly wasn't able to police sufficiently. If you wait for it to come to his attention at least you won't lose the trust of your co-workers and can continue to make sure you cover your ass and are seen to be doing the correct hours. If you tell on your colleague she'll probably realise its you who told and try and drag you down with her.

mirpuppet Wed 23-Jan-13 23:27:48

you are being petty -- you are not the police

cerealqueen Wed 23-Jan-13 23:30:32

YOur boss should have some sense if what is going on himself. He can't be totally clueless?

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