Morning break taken away

(19 Posts)
10MinuteToDo Mon 19-Sep-16 18:04:55

So, I'm having a lot of irrational hormonal reactions to almost everything at the moment, ridiculously tearful at the drop of a hat. Need to get this out of my system on here so I can go to work with a big fake smile on my face tomorrow. I know I am being a little unreasonable but am still feeling mightily pissed off.
I've worked for the same company for 3 years, always had half an hour unpaid lunch break plus 10 minute morning break, this is not in my contract just something I was always told to take by management.
In a meeting today it was announced we are no longer to receive the morning break. Now, I work for minimum wage, have never been off sick, stay late on occasion and regularly cover for more senior staff without any extra pay. I do this because I've always felt it was a nice working environment where I felt appreciated.
The past few weeks lots of small niggles have been getting to me and this was just one too many.
So my aibu, I'm tempted to stop putting in the extra effort, the meeting at which I was told about the withdrawal of morning break was after work, 45 minutes of my own unpaid time. If I was being paid more I'd probably view things differently, but for what I'm on I just think they're taking the proverbial! (Goes off practicing fake smile.)

NapQueen Mon 19-Sep-16 18:07:37

If it's not in your contract then it's given as a goodwill gesture which they are now ending. Is it possible the boss who allowed it did so without permission from above and as such needs to stop it or get into trouble themselves?

Was everyone at the meeting? How do you know you aren't getting the time back?

PeachBellini123 Mon 19-Sep-16 18:08:55

You sound prettt unhappy - is it time to look for something else?

MumOnTheRunCatchingUp Mon 19-Sep-16 18:12:24

So everyone else loses the break too? And you think because you go above and beyond then you should get to keep yours?

These short breaks ( we have them) are just 'niceties' and if we have no time to fit them in (we get 2 15 mins, it says in contract if not too busy) then it shouldn't matter

The only ones who make a fuss are the smokers tbh

Was your break paid?

And on a min wage job you should not be working extra unpaid!

10MinuteToDo Mon 19-Sep-16 18:17:09

I think it's only my team that have had the 'perk' stopped. You might be right, I think a new career might be in order. Up until recently the attached photo really applied, now I feel the opposite. However, I do worry it's just my hormones playing up! Thanks for replies, have to go collect dcs now.

HobnailsandTaffeta Mon 19-Sep-16 18:19:17

Nope I'm on OPs side, I am in a fairly high level job and I give a lot more than I take but that's because it's a good working environment.

For example I will take the time to go to my DCs harvest festival soon and that's ok as They know I will work in an evening/day off if I need to hit a deadline.

You can't write goodwill into a contract, petty management can destroy it though. They aren't paying the OP for extra hours they should appreciate what they have.

However OP there is no point plastering on a fake smile you need to speak up and point out, politely and constructively the positives of a flexible goodwill working environment to them.

TheProblemOfSusan Mon 19-Sep-16 18:19:21

Are you being paid hourly at minimum wage? If so I doubt they can just not pay you for an after hours meeting. If you have a union rep I'd ask about it, or raise it with your manager.

This has happened to me before and I think it's really churlish. As if ten minutes is raking them in so much extra revenue. Instead they take it away and have annoyed employees who would just like to sit down, have a brew, nip to the loo, or whatever you can't do at your workplace.

I don't think you're being unreasonable, they're being a bit mean, and I agree with the poster upthread who suggested that it might be time to take your skills elsewhere.

alfagirl73 Mon 19-Sep-16 18:43:59

What are your hours? Why are you doing extra hours unpaid? Is that expected of you or do you do it out of your own choice? Review your contract, review your hours and make sure they're not in breach of the Working Time Regulations in relation to breaks/hours worked per week.

AnnaleeP Mon 19-Sep-16 18:49:31

You shouldn't be working unpaid if you're on minimum wage. Any future meetings after your shift need to be counted as extra working time. I'd raise it with your manager.

butterfly990 Mon 19-Sep-16 21:05:23

Extra hours may make your pay less than minimum wage and therefore be illegal. www.gov.uk/overtime-your-rights/overview
www.gov.uk/overtime-your-rights/parttime-workers

I would ask your question on Uk Business Forums regarding your employer changing your working conditions as an informal contract surely has been in place for 3 years. www.ukbusinessforums.co.uk/forums/employment-hr.147/

Griphook Mon 19-Sep-16 21:09:23

* the meeting at which I was told about the withdrawal of morning break was after work, 45 minutes of my own unpaid time*

This is illegal as it reduces your pay to lower than the minimum wage

converseandjeans Mon 19-Sep-16 21:12:24

It is probably time to work to rule - so they have taken your break off you but then you just finish on time and don't cover for management. See how they like it.

10MinuteToDo Mon 19-Sep-16 23:28:27

Thank you for responses, just back from a night at the cinema feeling much happier. Not going to make any rash decisions but I am vastly over qualified for my current job and do it mainly because it fits in so well with childcare, but I do sometimes feel a lot is expected of me, and my co-workers considering the pay (most of whom are in a similar position).
Had a talk with Dh and long term I'm going to look at retraining in what I did pre children, a career I enjoyed but didn't fit with young dcs. So actually feeling quite positive!

10MinuteToDo Mon 19-Sep-16 23:30:43

And I think I might follow your advice converseandjeans!

DesolateWaist Mon 19-Sep-16 23:37:25

I agree with the work to rule.

The problem with demanding your rights in a minimum wage job is that management tend to see it as 'stirring up trouble' and suggest there is a queue of people who will happily take your job.

JaSkel Mon 19-Sep-16 23:38:26

If you are entitled to the break or not depends on a lot of things (e.g. how long your shifts are and if you work at a computer or not). You might find that you should be getting the break.
I worked for minimum wage while I was at uni and and any time I was kept over I either got back to take off another shift, or I was paid. Agreed overtime was time and a half.

RealityCheque Mon 19-Sep-16 23:45:09

Just because something is not written in a contract does not mean it can be withdrawn. Once you have received a benefit for a substantial period of time (a couple of years?) It becomes contractual.

And why the fuck are you all attending meetings in your own time (minimum wage or not)? They sound like a shit employer.

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