…to think that my work should cut me a bit of slack over this

(133 Posts)
alltoomuchrightnow Sun 03-Jul-16 23:05:43

I'm not sure, I may well be U so I'll accept general consensus here.

I am, on average, late for work about once a month but never more than five or ten minutes, apart from the week before last I had a mini crisis (won't go into detail as don't want to out self) and was 25 minutes late.

Rang boss as soon as I got in and she was fine about it.. totally understanding. However roll on a few days and she changed her tune and started grilling others as to why I was late (even though she knew why I was - I was upset as was obviously trying to catch me out? as to my reasons? ) which surprised me. It's a shop and I'm the one opening so I can understand her reaction but as she said..it's extremely quiet first thing (and I opened late to make up for lost time..) and not like I do this all the time (her words)

Re being occasionally 5-10 minutes late is because I come a very rural way and there's often roads closed/diversions , bad accidents (cars speeding and crashing on long lanes), hold ups with horses, tractors, cyclists etc. I always give myself longer than I need to get in (because of aforementioned) but some things can't be predicted for the 20 mile journey, no matter how early I leave

Re cutting me some slack… I don't get any breaks at work whatsoever. I don't get paid for an hour's lunch I'm meant to have each day. Boss fully aware of this (its the same for my job share, whom I don't work with). I am not allowed to leave shop or to leave colleagues alone. I have been told that there's no reason for me to ever leave the shop in opening hours. It can be stressful if I need to nip to bank/shops whatever or to make a phone call (as I get no signal at work) as I can't, but most of the time I just suck it up as I have no choice (I can't just sneak out..am on camera and boss will often watch..she works from home) . I wouldn't mind if I was paid for the full day as I'm used to, in my employment history of retail, usually not having breaks. If I had an unpaid break (or was paid for the full day without a break) then I guess I wouldn't be asking this… I would agree I was being unreasonable and being late (for whatever reason) is unprofessional and annoying

I also stay late nearly every night as there's so much to do after closing, including cleaning which I do all myself (don't get paid for after hours but it has to be done…I'm used to this as a manager though as pretty much the norm everywhere I've worked)

The last few weeks I've also not been getting in early , reason being because of not wanting to be away from home any longer than have to (DP having had a massive bereavement, also having a sick pet) but I still leave late each night. I should stress that this isn't me making a stand (not getting in early) because of the no breaks. They would like me in every day 15 -20 minutes early BEFORE I open up but I get everything done and ready the night before. Given what's going on at home and the no breaks situation I guess I justified it to myself to get in dead on time (or a few minutes early usually) rather than early. Nothing's been said about this though I'm sure it will be soon (and from this week I'll start coming in early again but that's the choice I've made for myself)

But the main issue being she is angry over me being 25 minutes late (and also if it comes up that I've been in mainly on time each day rather than early) when initially she was fine about it. So..should she cut me some slack because a/ I had good reason to be late that day and b/ because I work through my break, unpaid, every day ??

I'm not trying to be difficult and say, well if I'm late just call it my lunch break! I'm just wishing there'd be some balance. Of course I want the shop to open on time each day as it will reflect badly on me. But sometimes things happen and re the breaks they are being illegal

alltoomuchrightnow Sun 03-Jul-16 23:05:57

Sorry so long sad

SouperSal Sun 03-Jul-16 23:11:32

Breaks are rarely paid. You're legally entitled to 20 minutes if you work at least 6 hours, and that break shouldn't be taken at the start or end of your shift.

There isn't really any excuse for your persistent lateness. It's not your boss' fault you live 20 miles away on rural roads, or that you've had a sick pet.

alltoomuchrightnow Sun 03-Jul-16 23:14:09

I totally agree, Souper. It's my call for taking the job.
but given the fact she knows I cannot take a break (and don't get paid for that hour) and she turns a blind eye to it.. and has specifically told me I cannot leave the shop for a break (can't have one there on site as no peace and no private or staff area whatsoever) I hoped she'd cut a bit of slack

TrollTheRespawnJeremy Sun 03-Jul-16 23:14:31

RE: The no breaks thing, I work in a very small independent retail unit and we have no 'breaks either' as it's impossible to judge when we'll be busy or not in advance- as such we take a breather as of when we can find the time, ditto lunch which is usually taken in situ although we can make arrangements in advance if we want to go out, grab shopping etc.

Do you literally get no down time whatsoever- why would you work like that?

Also the lateness itself might not be the issue but I did take issue with a colleagues attitude towards her lateness. In a small environment it can be very irritating to have to wait around for another person.

Grilledaubergines Sun 03-Jul-16 23:14:32

You need to tell her all this. If it's a rare occurrence then she is unreasonable. Is it possible that it's more frequent than you realise and she's actually just concerned that everything is ok?

In an ideal world and in my opinion the best relationships between employer and employee exist where there's give and take and understanding of eachother's position.

SouperSal Sun 03-Jul-16 23:15:00

Do your extra hours after closing mean you're on the equivalent of less than NMW?

JeanSeberg Sun 03-Jul-16 23:15:14

Aim to get there an hour early then you won't be late, whatever happens en route. The shop opens at eg 9am and to open at 9:25 is unprofessional.

alltoomuchrightnow Sun 03-Jul-16 23:15:27

It's an animal charity so she was very kind re sick pet but for some reason a few days later she changed tune (one of my colleagues thought she was using me as scapegoat as they felt she was actually upset about something else)

maggiethemagpie Sun 03-Jul-16 23:16:16

The breaks issue is completely separate. You can't say that because you don't get a break you should be allowed to be in late. You have a right to a break - you need to insist on it. I work in retail and even if the shop has to close to enable the staff to have a break we will close it because it's their right.

Yes, your manager is being a bit harsh on you for the being late thing, but that's life unless its very very occasional it won't go unnoticed.

TrollTheRespawnJeremy Sun 03-Jul-16 23:16:22

Also we have no private area or staff area (apart from behind a till I suppose.) That is the nature of some small retail businesses.

SouperSal Sun 03-Jul-16 23:17:31

What does your contract say about breaks?

How long have you worked there?

alltoomuchrightnow Sun 03-Jul-16 23:17:34

Troll.. absolutely none. I take a soft drink or bottle of water and have it at the till between customers… likewise with a snack.. very rushed and I hate it if anyone catches me eating as it's embarrassing and unprofessional to be eating behind the till but I get no choice . I run to the loo between customers. That's it. I don't have till cover or at least not anyone I can leave (vulnerable people)

alltoomuchrightnow Sun 03-Jul-16 23:18:44

Been there just over a year
Contract says one hour's break , unpaid. Which she knows..and verbally admits..cannot happen.
So yes I feel a little resentment but this certainly isn't making me deliberately a bit late

I think you're missing the point about the breaks - if the OP is scheduled a paid lunch break and not getting it then it's an issue. I'm in the same situation at work. I'm there for 8 hours, paid for 7.5 but rarely get the break and if I do McCann leave the building as there's only 2 staff. If it's an unpaid break you should be able to spend it as you wish, if a company wants to manage how you spend it then they need to,schedule it as a paid break.

That aside, I do think being late so often is an issue and you need to find a way to improve that then tackle the break situation.

TendonQueen Sun 03-Jul-16 23:18:55

If I were you I'd start putting in whatever effort is needed to arrive on time every day - or in their terms, 15 minutes before opening - and then you'll have the moral high ground to tackle some of the other issues, like not having a lunch break. The never leaving colleagues alone bit sounds ridiculous - how do any of you use the loo if you stick to that? But at the moment you're in the wrong over the lateness (are you sure you're not underestimating how often this happens?) Sort that and I think you should then stop staying late unpaid and all the rest. You're not being treated like a manager, so I wouldn't feel obliged to act like one.

alltoomuchrightnow Sun 03-Jul-16 23:20:11

I also had to take sick leave as holiday and come back early from being sick… so I am getting pretty fed up. Yet she won't turn up if has a cold. I've dragged myself in when really unwell. After a medical procedure (minor op) she told me when I had to be back and that I had to take it as holiday (she did know about it months in advance)

alltoomuchrightnow Sun 03-Jul-16 23:21:20

Tendon, I do agree re moral high ground. This is what I usually practise. Until a few weeks ago, most days I got in early. But what happened week before last was a crisis… and she was great about it..but for some reason changed tune a few days later

Can you suggest shutting the shop for your break?

SouperSal Sun 03-Jul-16 23:22:34

Okay. You need to be a bit careful as you have very limited employment rights. You should raise the breaks as an issue. Breaks are required by law and your contract allows you more than the legal minimum. so you could compromise on the break length while gaining more than the legal minimum. However, that break must be able to take place off the premises, and she must ensure there are enough staff/the shop can close to enable that to happen each day.

SeraOfeliaFalfurrias Sun 03-Jul-16 23:22:56

I can't believe people are telling you to suck up not getting the break that you are legally entitled to, and suggesting that you should get in even earlier. I know times are hard and jobs can be difficult to come by, but does that mean employees should just roll over and accept illegal exploitation from their employers? You're working unpaid overtime every day, missing out on your legally mandated lunch break every day, and your employer is daring to make a fuss over a one-off lateness? Utterly unfair.

Cinnamoncookie Sun 03-Jul-16 23:23:57

Agreed that the lateness and the lack of break are two issues. You ate legally entitled to a break, doesn't matter who the employer is, charity or otherwise, they are taking the piss and more importantly, breaking the law. It wouldn't be good publicity for a charity to be found to be ignoring employment law - talk to head office if you have to.

SouperSal Sun 03-Jul-16 23:24:40

Trouble is there's no official body to enforce breaks.

alltoomuchrightnow Sun 03-Jul-16 23:25:17

Not allowed to shut the shop (unless say for five minutes like an emergency like I had diarrhoea or something and needed more than a few seconds in the loo, she said!) Also I don't want to lose trade… takings have been low last few weeks…
Sera, I don't mind unpaid overtime as that is the norm with retail managers. You do what's needed and stay behind till it's done..it makes things easier for the next morning. It's the unfairness of her changing her tune re the 25 minute late incident (when initially supportive) when she knows and fully admits I don't get any breaks, paid or unpaid.

CanadaMoose Sun 03-Jul-16 23:25:20

Why on earth are you working through your break, unpaid? You are entitled to a break, so either take it if you aren't being paid (the law says you can), or don't have a break and insist that you be paid for that time.

You don't need to arrive early if you aren't being paid for it. My boss wants me at work 15 minutes early unpaid, and I refuse - why waste my time when I am on time and ready to work?

As for the lateness, sometimes people are late. If it's a one-off, no biggie. But you shouldn't be late as often as you say you are, that's taking the piss.

It sounds like you and your boss need to have a chat about expectations.

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