AIBU to expect my staff to work overtime or more than just 9-5

(372 Posts)
TeeterTotter Mon 15-Oct-12 16:48:00

I manage a large team of 20 staff and I have two members of my team who refuse to do anything beyond the core hours in their contract. In at a set time, out the door right on the dot like clockwork.

If these staff members were junior I wouldn't expect more of them but they are both on a managerial salary of £41-£44k per year --I think at this level there is a general expectation that you're generally more engaged and committed and that you'll work at home or stay late when needed. I also feel times have changed and in these dicey financial times people are giving more to their jobs than ever. In a perfect world no one would have extra work or overtime, but that's just not the way things are in 2012!

One of the staff members is a mom to 2 kids and she says it is impossible for her to stay late (due to childcare commitments) or to do work on weekends (she's too busy with the kids); the other is a single guy who has no appetite to do more than he's contracted to do.

I find this situation very irksome, especially because I have two kids but do a lot of late nights and work from home, which I think is expected at my level.

DP thinks I need to stop imposing my protestant work ethic on everyone I work with, but I feel these staff members aren't pulling their weight. I'm not a slavedriver but I expect more. Are I reasonable or are my views skewed? I would really welcome the opinion of others.

Shakirasma Mon 15-Oct-12 16:52:18

I agree with your DH. You cannot force them to do more than their contracted hours and they have made it clear they are unable/unwilling to do so.

Accept that you can't do anything about it so you don't stress over it, but of course this will be taken into account should they wish to progress their career, or if they ever need their employer to do them any favours.

Shakirasma Mon 15-Oct-12 16:53:15

Oops I forgot. YABU to expect it, but YANBU to want them to.

ValiumQueen Mon 15-Oct-12 16:53:38

YABU. If they are contracted to work certain hours, it is their good will you are relying on to work outside those hours. Especially the lady with the kids. If you want people to work different hours, you need to write it into their contracts from the outset.

I am absolutely amazed you even need to ask.

BonVoyageCharlieBrown Mon 15-Oct-12 16:53:40

Erm... You are kinda being a bit unreasonable. If I could, I would stay late at work but if you've booked childcare and have to pick them up by a certain time its a dash to get them as it is.

I always get my work done plus more in the hours I'm contracted.

I know people who fanny about all day not doing a great deal, then stay late to claim overtime. How is that good for business?

Sassybeast Mon 15-Oct-12 16:53:41


Are you my boss? People have lives. Despite the fact that you don't wink

SlightlySuperiorPeasant Mon 15-Oct-12 16:54:30

YABU. Any work over their contracted hours is basically them working for free. Why should they work for free at the expense of their family or leisure time?

pmcblonde Mon 15-Oct-12 16:55:04

It depends on the contract you have really. Is it '38 hours a week' or 'on average 38 hours a week'?

You are being unreasonable to expect everyone to be happy with the same work/life balance that works for you.

If they are doing everything they are contracted to do then (i.e working properly and effectively during the contracted hours) then you can't expect them to do more.

porcamiseria Mon 15-Oct-12 16:55:38


thats all, yanbu

Woozley Mon 15-Oct-12 16:56:47

I would expect them to stay if something important needed finishing, and generally not to be loafing about and not finishing their work during the time they are meant to be working, but just because it is a recession is not a reason to exploit people and it should not be a regular thing, they should be able to do their jobs in their contracted hours.

I also feel times have changed and in these dicey financial times people are giving more to their jobs than ever.

Yes, many many people are flogging their guts out for employers, to the detriment of their health and family life or life in general outside work. It is not a healthy thing for society, especially when so many people are unemployed. If more work needs doing, employ more people.

ZombTEE Mon 15-Oct-12 16:56:49

YABU if their job can't be done in their contracted hours, there is something wrong with the structure of the job.

So I have always believed, no matter my level.

PinkFairyDust Mon 15-Oct-12 16:57:02

Why should they work for free?

Your boss do what you like but they do thier jobs within the time frame you have given them. End of

How would you feel if your boss kept wanting you to work an extra few hours for free??!

maybenow Mon 15-Oct-12 16:57:21

YABU - some people have other things in their lives that mean they want to work when they're paid to work and not other times. It might be family in the sense of children or elderly parents or being carer for a spouse, or a serious hobby like high level sport or writing. This is absolutely their right so long as they are doing what they are paid to do when they're paid to be there. They will probably not progress and shouldn't expect promotion or pay rises but then they probably dont' expect them either.

Businesses need to staff themselves for the amount of work they take on and not rely on people doing more out of sense of duty or desire to get ahead and certainly not out of guilt.

catgirl1976 Mon 15-Oct-12 16:57:22


You get paid a manager salary and the expecatation is you work when needed

I used to work double my contracted 35 hours pre DS for no extra pay and now work maybe 50 whilst still being paid for the 35

Maybe I am a mug but in my company you dont get the bonuses and the pay rises if you don't put the hours in - its just expected and if you don't want to do it there are plenty of people who do and will

NatashaBee Mon 15-Oct-12 16:57:54

What extra hours are you expecting from them? A couple of hours in the run up to an important deadline is OK (but childcare closing times are probably a big issue - do they have the ability to work from home? laptop, blackberry, remote connection). Expecting them to work additional hours as a matter of course, just because you do, is unreasonable.

Rilson Mon 15-Oct-12 16:58:29

YABU to be so expectant. If they only want to do their contracted hours then you can't force them to do anymore than that if they don't want to.

Some people work to live,others live to work.

ExitPursuedByAaaaaarGhoul Mon 15-Oct-12 16:58:35

I can fully appreciate what you are saying, but if the work cannot be done in the contracted hours then either the contract needs to be changed or you need to employ more people.

When I worked in advertising/pr there was a competition every day as to who could be last in the office. In my view, being in the office does not mean you are working in any useful way.

If they are achieving their targets then who are you to expect them to do more?


McHappyPants2012 Mon 15-Oct-12 17:01:01

Yabu, if you want them to work extra pay for the overtime.

girlynut Mon 15-Oct-12 17:01:03

It's reasonable to expect them to put the hours in when expected, assuming that you are offering flexible working and there will be some short days abd some longs days.

However, if you're expecting them to regularly work beyond their contracted hours out of loyalty to the company, then YABU.

Their priorities obviously changed when they had kids - it happens!

Woozley Mon 15-Oct-12 17:01:14

Presenteeism is bollocks anyway, it should be about how efficient and good people are IN THE TIME THEY ARE THERE.

That's who I would be promoting, the efficient parent who has to leave at 5 on the dot, but who manages their workload well, not the person who loafs about all day then completes the bare minimum of work rather carelessly at 7pm.

Absy Mon 15-Oct-12 17:01:32

Are they not completing all their work? Or getting behind on their work?

I freaking HATE this culture of "presentee-ism". If people are good, and managing their workload well, bar exceptional circumstances/instances or a team being hideously understaffed, people shouldn't have to hang around after their contractual hours appearing to do stuff, when in reality they're not. I actually was told by a family member (very successful, board member of very large, successful company by his mid thirties) that if he's managing a team and people are around for much longer than their contracted hours, it's a problem - either there's too much work and that needs to be dealt with, OR people are being inefficient and that needs to be dealt with.

MrsRajeshKoothrappali Mon 15-Oct-12 17:01:34


You can't expect people to work for free - it just isn't how things work. Maybe if you paid them extra for overtime then they'll help out. Otherwise I don't see why they should.

Your contracted hours are your contracted hours.

The mum isn't 'busy' with her kids. She's looking after them - that's what mums do. She can't shove her kids in a cupboard and come and work for no extra money, what would be the point??

Pixieonthemoor Mon 15-Oct-12 17:02:56

Goodness 9 to 5??? I thought that went out with the ark!! YANBU

Bonsoir Mon 15-Oct-12 17:03:32

Maybe you should be managing your team differently? Stop rewarding people working overtime and reward productivity instead?

LFCisTarkaDahl Mon 15-Oct-12 17:03:34

I think you have a very poor managerial style - instead of focusing on how good they are at their jobs you instead talk only about 'presenteeism' - everyone knows some twats hang around all day drinking coffee but are still there 'finishing up' at 8 - that's because they work inefficiently.

Studies show that people who work less hours like part-timers get much more done.

So do they do their work competently and professionally or are they standing around drinking tea and then fecking off at 4?

Dogsmom Mon 15-Oct-12 17:03:34

If it's not contracted or mentioned in their interview then yabu however I do agree that it's common sense to expect a well paid managerial job to sometimes overrun.

My husband is a team leader and often works over, it is paid though, he thinks it shows that he is a hard worker and flexible and would go in his favour if he ever went for promotion.

MadCap Mon 15-Oct-12 17:04:11

Yabu, as pp said, it is exploitation. If their productivity is good during their contracted working hours, you've no business complaining. It's their time, not yours.

Fairylea Mon 15-Oct-12 17:05:21


HappyHalloweenMotherFucker Mon 15-Oct-12 17:07:04


recall Mon 15-Oct-12 17:07:13


PurplePidjin Mon 15-Oct-12 17:07:18

"my protestant work ethic"

Wtf has religion got to do with someone's attitude to work?

MadCap Mon 15-Oct-12 17:07:49

It's people like you that make it necessary for strict employee rights tbh. You can't depend on businesses to do the right thing. There is no loyalty from employers these days. I don't know why you'd expect it from your employees.

DappyHays Mon 15-Oct-12 17:08:00

YABU. If they're doing their contracted hours, then they are fulfilling their obligation. If you want them to work more hours, offer them overtime pay. Or hire the correct amount of people to do the work required.

The UK is the only country where people are expected to work for free. It is disgusting.

DolomitesDonkey Mon 15-Oct-12 17:09:03


It is your job as a manager to delegate work appropriately and if your staff are unable to achieve their expected tasks then you are doing something wrong.

It's 40k, not 240k.

In my country managers can, and do, go to prison for making people to overtime. It means there's an extra job going.

Beware section 8 of the human rights act...

mrsconfuseddotcom Mon 15-Oct-12 17:09:04

Staying late does not equal higher productivity.

Unless, you are talking about the occasional late to meet a pressing deadline then YABVU.

I got so sick of this type of attitude I am now freelance and get paid for every single minute...

If you have 18 members of staff regularly doing overtime they are not paid for, then there is something wrong.

Either, you dont employ enough staff, or the staff are unable to structure their work, or they are unhappily working long hours because they are worried that their jobs are in danger if they dont. Neither is good.

And in any event, your own view is outdated. In addition, you are not setting a very good example if not even you at your level, show that you are not able to complete your tasks in the set working hours.

Yabu. I agree with your dh.

DuelingFanjo Mon 15-Oct-12 17:09:57

Your DH is correct.

HappyHalloweenMotherFucker Mon 15-Oct-12 17:10:23

Would you want to get rid of some daft woman because she got pregnant too?

ihatethecold Mon 15-Oct-12 17:10:30

Such a crappy attitude OP.
I work overtime for the extra money BUT that's my choice and its during school hours.
My DH works a 60 hour week for no extra pay.
It's shitty. And affects family life.

NellyBluth Mon 15-Oct-12 17:10:41

Of course YABU. Obviously if there is an enormous deadline once in a blue moon than it might be ok to ask people to stay late or work from home, but other than that - they are working their contracted hours.

I almost want to offer a biscuit...

Namechangeyetagain Mon 15-Oct-12 17:11:31

YABU to expect it.
They are paid for their contracted hours.

cees Mon 15-Oct-12 17:11:57

YABU, on my death bed I might look back at my life and think I wish I had spent more time with my family, under no circumstances would I even consider that I should have done more hours at work.

Spend some more time with your kids and don't worry so much about work.

Ellypoo Mon 15-Oct-12 17:12:26

YANBU - I think at that level, it's perfectly reasonable to expect a degree of flexibility in terms of hours worked, especially at busy times - that's the job! When you have a mangerial level of responsibility, I think it's absolutely fine, particularly if that is the general ethic where you work. I can't remember the last time I only worked my core hours - that's just how it works when you achieve a more senior level.
You can't make them work longer hours, but I totally understand why it frustrates you, and would certainly be taken into account in future performance reviews - it certainly is at my place. Not just working longer hours of course - the amount & quality of work that you do too, is always an emphasis on working smarter, not longer!

DeWe Mon 15-Oct-12 17:12:40

DH's firm has the attitude that if you're doing more work than you're paid for:
1. They've given you too much-please talk to management
2. or You're not doing it efficiently,

They also say that doing more than your hours (roughly 9-5:30 daily) is bad for morale and work production. The directors will quite happily tell them to go home if they think you're doing too much.

Great firm grin but also very successful and have, as far as I know never missed a deadline, and don't end up sitting around without work either.

Adversecamber Mon 15-Oct-12 17:13:18

I have been pleased to stay at my humble level within my organisation because for the promotion and extra money there is an expectation for people to stay late/take work home. I actually turned down a promotion about 5 years ago.

They are working their contracted hours so YABU.

I joked to DH once that the amount of hours he worked at one point in his career meant his genuine hourly rate was probably below NMW. He was after promotion, he got it but it was a crappy time for us as a family.

Also thinking of colleagues DH checking his blackberry while on holiday all the time and her relaying tales of him doing her head in.

ScreamingManAndGoryOn Mon 15-Oct-12 17:13:27

Where I work when you get onto that kind of salary, your contract states "Reasonable hours to do the job, minimum of 37.5" and there is an expectation that if you need to work over to get the job done that you do it.

I have a lot of sympathy for your colleague who has children as I have two small ones and sometimes it can be impossible to work over. However, I am like you and will work over and weekends if things need to get done.

It may not come as a surprise that when we started to restructure and had the first round of redundancies that seems to happen once a year now, it was the people who clockwatched for no good reason who went out of the door first.

mrsconfuseddotcom Mon 15-Oct-12 17:13:40

£40k is hardly senior though, is it?

larks35 Mon 15-Oct-12 17:14:13

YABU for all the reasons others have stated. I'm also a bit curious as to why you've posted this before 5pm. Shouldn't you be working? wink

grovel Mon 15-Oct-12 17:14:36

YANBU at that level of pay.

It is right that you should try set them tasks which average out at their contracted hours over a year but you can certainly expect some unpaid overtime when business is hectic (quarter ends etc).

LadyBeagleEyes Mon 15-Oct-12 17:14:41

I'm so glad your'e not my boss.

AllFallDown Mon 15-Oct-12 17:15:09

If you expect them to work extra hours without additional payment without any notice, are you happy for them to come in a couple of hours late or leave early without any notice when there isn't much work on?

YABU given the way you have presented it - which is all about why they should work extra because there aren't many jobs out there. I work plenty outside my contracted hours, but it is my goodwill I am giving, and I expect my employer to show me goodwill in return, which they do. Equally, I work quickly and accurately, and get irritated by being judged a slacker by people who get less done in a longer time and are therefore still at their desk when I leave.

VioletStar Mon 15-Oct-12 17:15:11

Apologies if repeating - haven't read whole thread <lazy and tired>
Do they work for a salary or by the hour? Salary = get job done in whatever time it takes, whether its longer or less hours. It's the job you do not the hours eg teaching. Hours = work to a set number of hours/time limit. What did you employ them on and does their contract say so?

DuelingFanjo Mon 15-Oct-12 17:15:25

ha ha ha ha ha - where I am (in the normal world) £40 is a lot to be earning and would be a more senior position.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Mon 15-Oct-12 17:15:28

Unless you are going to pay them extra, don't expect them to do extra.

YABU. You want more hours out of them, then pay them more. They are working the hours that you pay them for.

I detest the idea that people should work extra hours and be bloody grateful for it. As someone above said, if the work consistently cannot be done within their hours then the need extra staff, a rethink of their workloads or more money.

tethersend Mon 15-Oct-12 17:15:56

Are they not getting their work done?

Or would you be happy if they went on Facebook for an hour, as long as they are seen to be staying later?

Who looks after your DC when you work late?

You are of course completely U. But you knew that when you started the thread.

glastocat Mon 15-Oct-12 17:16:01

Yalu. Some people work to live, not live to work. If you want them to work more hours, then pay for them. I actually get paid overtime but still hate doing it as I have many other things to do with my time.

NellyBluth Mon 15-Oct-12 17:16:23

larks - grin

Woozley Mon 15-Oct-12 17:16:38

This situation is a microcosm of many of our society's problems. Overwork & exploitation leads to stress which can lead to poor mental and physical health, drinking, smoking, eating badly, sleeping badly, to mention but a few of the lovely effects...of course none of this benefits the employer either, looking at it purely from their perspective as it also makes the employee vastly less efficient. Even if they sacked that person and got someone else, the same would happen to them, and the cycle continues.

kakapo Mon 15-Oct-12 17:16:44

Definitely about productivity. I have found since I have tighter time restrictions, I am much more efficient and productive. But from the outside it probably looks like I work less!

ScreamingManAndGoryOn Mon 15-Oct-12 17:16:46

What Dueling Fanjo said. 40k around here is most definitely senior!

wanderingalbatross Mon 15-Oct-12 17:17:03

How do they do during the time they are there? Are they actually better at getting the job done during 9-5, and do those who stay late get just as much work done but in a longer time period?

If I were you I'd stop worrying about when they're in the office, and more about what they actually do when they're there. Is there any way you can help them work a bit more flexibly?

I hate presenteeism, it is demotivating for employees and not always the best indicator of performance smile But, it's obviously a problem for you if they're not doing the job properly, and that is worth taking up with them.

digerd Mon 15-Oct-12 17:17:14

Have some men not learnt yet that their wives are always right?

catwomanlikesmeatballs Mon 15-Oct-12 17:17:31

yabu, people have responsibilities outside of work, why should someone give up their already limited precious time with their children/partners/parents/friends/hobbies to appease your work obsession? Your business may be the most important thing in your life but it's obviously not in your employees, neither should it be. A job is merely a way to the bills, most people work to live, life outside work is more important.

Woozley Mon 15-Oct-12 17:18:34

Really heartened that the vast majority of the thread disagree with the OP. Sadly the OP's attitude seems more prevalent among business and government.

girlynut Mon 15-Oct-12 17:19:32

In my current role, we're expected to work overtime during end of tax year. However, insisting staff work 6am - 9pm every day just results in knackered, resentful staff.

Much better to send people home at a reasonable time and get them to be more productive during their working day.

mrsconfuseddotcom Mon 15-Oct-12 17:20:16

One enlightened soul I worked with said that her salary was based on her knowledge and experience not the requirement to work double the amount of hours.

AllFallDown Mon 15-Oct-12 17:20:26

I'd also say that in offices where there has been a culture of clockwatching, it's been a result of a martinet manager insisting that everyone be at their desk no later than the official starting time and no one leaving before. Result: everyone took him absolutely at his word.

carabos Mon 15-Oct-12 17:22:15

If I had been paid for all the extra hours I worked in my last job, I would have earned £15k more than I was actually paid. We were expected to work 8-6 on a 9-5.30 contract, which amounts to presenteeism. Our team leader worked 7 - 6 every day, every week, regardless of what projects we had in hand.

When I got a bonus of £1500 i.e. one-tenth of the value I had freely given, I stopped doing it. It didn't make any difference. The job got done, the bonus got paid.

I work for myself now.

YABU - get a life.

YABU. I'd say if they are getting their work done and meeting their targets it shouldn't be an issue.

I really detest the current attitude some companies/managers have at the mo that you should consider yourself lucky to be employed and therefore be happy to be continually shafted. When things eventually improve with the economy, I wonder how many of these people who are being treated like crap will leave at the first available opportunity and find a company who actually value them.

Just because you have children OP it doesn't mean that all your staff with kids should follow your lead. Everyone is different and will have different priorities and different family issues, which you cant always be aware of.

Annunziata Mon 15-Oct-12 17:25:45

I get what you're saying. If you're asking for an extra five minutes every now and again, YANBU, but every day, for more than a few minutes YABU.

Chocaholics Mon 15-Oct-12 17:26:34

Sorry OP but YABU! Your staff should be able to get the work done in the contracted hours and if they can't there is either not enough staff or they are having problems getting the work done and you need to find out why.

I very rarely outside my contracted hours some colleagues do but our manager does not expect it and tells people to stop looking at emails etc outside of work and enjoy life instead. If for any reason I do work extra hours I can take time of in lieu but I'd rather avoid it at all costs. I am never going to wish I worked more. You shouldn't expect people to do overtime as a routine activity.

WineOhWhy Mon 15-Oct-12 17:27:18

where i used to work contracted hours for certain roles were 9-5 or such longer hours as business needs require. hence, there was no paid overtime on the basis of a fixed amount per hour (some possibility of a bonus at the end of the year though). I think most of the large law and accounting firms and similar have these types of provisions in contracts. Is that what your staffs' contracts say, or does it just say 9-5?

MaBaya Mon 15-Oct-12 17:29:29


AllFallDown Mon 15-Oct-12 17:29:59

Even if it says "flexible working may be required" that does mean the employer must be flexible, not just the employee. It's not a catch-all to force people to work longer hours.

CookingFunt Mon 15-Oct-12 17:30:23

Is this a reverse AIBU? Otherwise op you know yabu.

MrsKeithRichards Mon 15-Oct-12 17:31:28

Sounds like you need another member of the team. If 2 people working full time are needed to, on a regular basis, work way over a normal full time week you should offer those hours to someone else and stop being so tight.

ThreeWheelsGood Mon 15-Oct-12 17:32:18

YABU - it seems like you just want them to be seen to be there! They are being paid to work hard during contracted hours, I'm with them on leaving exactly on time, I've always made sure of it and my employer takes no issue as I'm a good worker!

Jins Mon 15-Oct-12 17:32:28

I used to work for a firm like this. Very quick to tell you that you had to be at your desk by 9 and back from lunch at 1.45 but no mention of finishing time. I had to leave on the dot of 5.15 for childcare reasons and got glared at every time I put my coat on. Everyone else stayed until the office head left.

It drove me mad. My contract was clear in that I worked fixed hours and additional hours as required to meet the needs of the office. Nobody ever asked me to work additional hours, they just expected people to stay late to show committment.

Never been so glad to leave a job

Pixieonthemoor Mon 15-Oct-12 17:32:59

Well, OP, you and I seem to be in a tiny minority. The working mum has other calls on her time so, as far as I am concerned, she must leave on time, no question.

However, in general terms, leaving on the dot of 5 is a total no no and means that you will not progress career-wise as fast as someone prepared to go the extra mile. Don't get me wrong - it is totally crap and absolutely the wrong way around - work/life balance all wrong. However, I live in the real world and, as a head hunter, I can tell you that the young single man who is out of the door on the dot will do ok, just not hit any kind of heights that he hopes to. I hope he doesn't think he is going anywhere fast career-wise as he has the wrong attitude.

Frustrating for you, of course.

LtEveDallas Mon 15-Oct-12 17:33:28

If 18 of your 20 staff regularly have to work longer than the hours they are paid for then you are managing their workload badly. Either employ more staff or downgrade your expectations. If you can't do either then you are a bad manager.

flowery Mon 15-Oct-12 17:33:51

In most business management isn't a clock on clock off role, having said that I agree with others that you should focus on whether they are doing a good job/demonstrating a good committed attitude, and a good example for their staff.

It's possible to do all those things within contracted hours, however those people who turn up at 8.59 and are sat with their coat on at 4.59 ready to go are not usually those people.

More's to the point, does their contract say just their contracted hours, or does it say hours reasonably required to do the job, or something similar?

Yama Mon 15-Oct-12 17:34:15

Perhaps they would be more willing to go the extra mile if they were more inspired to do so. Sounds like morale is low in your workplace op. Wonder why that is ...

lljkk Mon 15-Oct-12 17:34:51

I'm amazed to find out there are employers who don't expect what OP expects, especially for people on salary, please say who those employers are!??

I don't expect to get a job without working extra time. It will happen at every pay level: I did some supply last week for a min. wage job & I went 15 minutes over the 1.5 hours paid for, it was obvious to me that extra was expected and I could lump it if I didn't like it.

I had one employer which pointedly did not state on the contract what full time hours meant: it was up to the employee to interpret. Many people interpreted it as 50-60 hours/week min.

expatinscotland Mon 15-Oct-12 17:34:52

YABU! So what about your 'Protestant work ethic'? You sound like the boss from Hell, tbh.

TiAAAAARGHo Mon 15-Oct-12 17:35:02

Yabu. Very yabu.

I work somewhere that pays very well and has the expectation written into contracts that we will work extra where required. Sadly this just means that staff become quickly exhausted and, frankly, can only meet the unrealistic expectations if they are male with a stay at home wife. Everyone with kids just ends up unable to meet expectations, despite their kids being in nursery for 55 hours a week, and they just burn out and quit. The situation is so bad that by the time I return from maternity leave I will know approximately 3 people in my department as everyone else has handed in their notice. If I hadn't got pregnant I would have joined them.

The most entertaining part is that the bosses then complain that they can't hire people of the right quality when they try to replace all the leavers!

If the work cannot be done in the hours you contracted for, you need to hire more staff. If you staff are wasting time during the working day, you should address it. However, your staff have made a contract with you to work x hours for y amount. They are not required to, nd should not be pressured to, work more for free. If you want to change the deal, you har to offer more for the change.

snowmummy Mon 15-Oct-12 17:36:44

YANBU - I hate the expectation of some businesses that one should regularly work longer than their contracted hours. Obviously situations are going to arise now and again that would necissiate overtime and it wouldn't be unreasonable to expect people to help out but if regular unpaid overtime is required then its unreasonable. That's my view, but then I work to live not live to work.

flowery Mon 15-Oct-12 17:37:29

I think people are being a bit hard on the OP. We don't know what hours she's expecting.

If she's expecting 60 hours a week for the sake of it, she is BU.

If she is just hoping they might be at work in time to start on time, and perhaps stay an extra hour once a month to meet a big deadline, that's a bit different.

BigBroomstickBIWI Mon 15-Oct-12 17:37:53

First poster, posting and not returning ... hmm

YABVVVU. You make no comment at all about the quality of these two people's work. Why is that?

clippityclop Mon 15-Oct-12 17:38:28

Extra hours in exceptional times yes, on a regular basis no. You need to organise your team's workload more efficiently.

McHappyPants2012 Mon 15-Oct-12 17:40:27

It doesn't matter why the person leaves dead on 5.

Chilcare, being a Carer, football, gym, going to a 2 nd job, home for a long soakin the bath. After 5 it is none of yours or anyone else's business.

NumericalMum Mon 15-Oct-12 17:43:05

YABU and I believe you are my DH's boss. I work as a manager, in a highly pressured job. I work 9-5 weekdays only. The rest of my time is for myself and my family. Bizarrely I get more done and have had more promotions than my inefficient colleagues who work 10+ hour days. If we have an important job to do I will ensure it gets done but otherwise no chance. Life is too short!

NumericalMum Mon 15-Oct-12 17:44:08

A thought OP, as you are on MN before 5 on a Monday I assume you don't count that as working?

LadyBeagleEyes Mon 15-Oct-12 17:44:42

That was your first post on MN Teetertotter.
Did you mean to be so controversialhmm

MrsMuddyPuddles Mon 15-Oct-12 17:45:24

YABU angry but maybe you'd be quite happy to see the back of them and the ones who you do think pull their weight when the economy turns around or they find bosses who are resonable?

Working unpaid overtime contributed to my current depression. I have started back at work after 3 months signed off to the dissese...

CookingFunt Mon 15-Oct-12 17:45:30

Op do you use childcare? Do you expect them to work for free if you are an hour late?

Joiningthegang Mon 15-Oct-12 17:46:50

Just in case you didn't get it from everyone else, yabu

I am a manager of 15 staff, most on mgmt band, i earn 45k, and i am out of the door when the kids need picking up.

I work hard whilst i am there and if something urgent arises i sometimes will do more, but not regularly.

As a manager, if my staff were working over expected hours i would question how well i am doing in my job

What is it that is too much to be done?
Are we prioritising correctly?
Are people working efficiently during their hours?

You do not get the best from people by expecting them to work long hours. EVERYOnE is entitled to a work life balance and not getting this will result in extra stress, bitterness and sickness.

doublecakeplease Mon 15-Oct-12 17:47:46

Yabvvvu. I have this argument all the time at work. The more you do on top of your contract the more will be expected - so people doing over and above FOR FREE devalue the work done by others. The more you do FORFREE the less people will be employed - if people in a team need to work overtime FOR FREE then the company should be employing another, additional member of staff.

Crinkle77 Mon 15-Oct-12 17:51:11

I don't really think it is fair to expect them to do overtime for nothing. If you can't pay them overtime can you offer flexi time or TOIL? Atleast then they can take the time back when it is quieter.

CouthyMowEatingBraiiiiinz Mon 15-Oct-12 17:51:36

As a Lone Parent with childcare to pick up from, and relying on public transport, I had no choice but to leave on the dot of 5pm. If I was even 5 minutes late to the Nursery, I had to pay for that whole hour. And I then missed my next bus to the after-school club, meaning that I ALSO had to pay for an extra hour for both of the children there.

So working just 5 minutes over 5pm would result in me having to pay for an extra 3 HOURS of childcare. There was and is just no WAY I will do that.

I make it plain at interview stage that unfortunately, due to being a Lone Parent, I am unable to be flexible with my hours. If I am offered the job, I expect the employer to have fully understood that this will mean I am not available to work past 5pm, and that I am unavailable to work weekends.

And if they want me to arrange it in advance, I may be able to do so, for a one off, if given two weeks notice to find alternative childcare, but I would expect to be paid AT LEAST my usual rate for those hours, if not time and a half/double time.

Tailtwister Mon 15-Oct-12 17:55:13

Sounds to me you need to work a bit harder to manage your resources or increase your head count. Maybe you need to do some more overtime yourself OP to sort out your issues. It's your problem if you can't cover the work not your team. That's what you're getting paid a managerial wage for.

Just out of interest, what do you expect the woman with 2 kids to do when you expect overtime? I used to do stuff in the evenings fairly regularly, but I certainly wouldn't have been late picking up my kids for anything. They come first and foremost, as they should. I have done my share of late nights in the office and covered for those with children too. I have never begrudged it.

Where are all the people on mn who work 70 or 80 hour weeks? I was under the impression most did. I don't thi.k it is bu to expect some commitment and some work over 9-5, most people I know work over hours to get the job done

ArthurShappey Mon 15-Oct-12 18:00:02


Can I just say that if 90% of your team need to put in overtime (paid or unpaid) on a regular basis then you are not a very good manager to said team and need to restructure workload or hire more staff.

They are working their contracted hours, if that is not good enough for you, you need to look at how you determine contracts in the future.

I frequently put it unpaid overtime for the sake of my patients, but I most certainly do not expect it of everyone I work with, particularly from those with other commitments when they're work during their contracted work hours is more than satisfactory. If they can and do, well that's great, if thy can't or won't, also fine.

aldiwhore Mon 15-Oct-12 18:01:25

The people with the largest responsibility for companies expecting you to do above and beyond as routine are those who do above and beyond as routine.

It's not good.

Staff received a (semi) fair wage for set hours, they should be paid more for more.

I do not think workaholic martyrs do the employment market and worker's rights any good at all.

For that YABU.

A good manager would find a way to achieve targets within the alloted time, or put in place process that enable those targets to be met without going above and beyond contract. A good manager would not HAVE to work 15 hour days, unless of their own free will.

ArthurShappey Mon 15-Oct-12 18:02:02

Actually OP where are you? You've not responded once to anyone since your OP as far as I can see. Maybe you're working overtime??? If so, how did you find time to Mumsnet?

MadgeHarvey Mon 15-Oct-12 18:05:57

Once, a few years ago, I might have been maybe a little sympathetic to your expectations. Then DH, who was on just such a management contract and routinely working 60 - 70 hour weeks in an incredibly high pressure job slid down the wall at work and was carted off in an ambulance with chest pains and critically high blood pressure. He was very ill. On his return he re-negotiated his contract back to a basic 38 hour week and took a bit of a pay cut. Now he won't work a anything more than an hour over his contracted hours - ever - without there being equal time off in lieu. He won't do extra days for extra money. Or cut short his holidays. Or answer the phone to work on his days off. It drives them fucking crazy but he's well again and intends to stay that way.
You being exceptionally unreasonable and I really hope it doesn't take someone getting ill to make you rethink your position.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Mon 15-Oct-12 18:09:58

All the people I know who are regularly expected work overtime are the only people I can ever get old of during the day. If I need to phone them, they answer or call me back shortly. If I email, they respond straight away. If they tell me they are going to organise something, like a night out or whatever, I know they do it when they are at work.

It's swings and roundabouts. I presume they get to do this because their bosses know they will stay until the work is done. The people I know, like DH and I, who work pretty much the hours we are officially paid for, wouldn't dream of doing anything non work related in work time. Nor would we/they be able to.

Portofino Mon 15-Oct-12 18:11:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Viperidae Mon 15-Oct-12 18:12:09

Agree with the work what you are paid for as long as getting it all done with the proviso of extra in extreme moments.

I'm always suspicious with a first poster not returning that this will either end up in the Daily Mail or on The Wright Stuff!

CookingFunt Mon 15-Oct-12 18:14:52

Madge I hope your dh is better,and these "be grateful you have a job" employers can be made responsible for stressed out employees.

shesariver Mon 15-Oct-12 18:15:32


People can be good at their jobs and committed without having to work overtime or extra hours for free.

I also feel times have changed and in these dicey financial times people are giving more to their jobs than ever. yes but this doesnt give unscrupulous employers the right to take advantage of their employees good nature nature does it...why should people work longer hours if they dont want to? Some people work to live not the other way round!

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 15-Oct-12 18:16:02


unless overtime or toil is offered.

if i had the attitude that given the current unemployment issues people are facing that ment i could treat my staff like there lives didnt matter,i would very much expect to find myself with no staff and i wouldnt be very surprised.

my staff know that i know that there personal lives and children are as important to them as mine are to me,and i respect that at all times.

its one of the reasons why i have extreamily low staff turnover.

if you have lots of left over work not being done then you dont employ enough people it really is that simple.

MadgeHarvey Mon 15-Oct-12 18:19:22

Thanks cooking - he is well and we're both convinced it's because he broke free of this insidious British work culture thing where you're not a 'team player' if you're not prepared to die for your work! It's just bullshit. It's probably going to take some high publicity court cases before people like the OP even come close to getting it. Fuckers.

cricketballs Mon 15-Oct-12 18:21:40

is this a reverse AIBU?

scottishmummy Mon 15-Oct-12 18:22:47

if staff work core hours competently then they've met contractual expectation
you can be as workaholic as you like,but can impose on others
don't expect gratitude as you overload with work,has boons or ot been offered

HawthornLantern Mon 15-Oct-12 18:23:40

I think this is one of those “it depends” answers.

Are these staff members actually producing the work required in the time they are in the office? If they are efficient then don't penalise them for it – you should be looking to make the most of this skill.

If the staff you are talking about are not producing the work needed – is this their issue because they should be able to do it or is it a lack of prioritization of work in the wider department/organisation?

And if they are not getting the work done that they should, for whatever reason, what happens? Does the load fall on someone else – maybe someone more junior? If so that’s unacceptable and it’s someone’s job (possibly yours) to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Are these staff members hoping for promotion? If they are hoping to move up but at the same time indicating that they are not prepared to be flexible about getting the work done (either through longer hours or working at home in the evening or weekend) then others who are prepared to do that will get the career advantage. That might be bad for society as a whole (personally I think it is and I also can't help but notice that the most time efficient and productive colleagues I've ever had were working mothers) but in the office workplace it’s the reality.

In the perfect world there would be roughly the amount of work that we could all complete in 9-5 and we’d all have a great work life balance. This is almost never true for the managers and senior staff and less so now by a long chalk when many firms are desperately trying to survive on fewer people than they really need.

dikkertjedap Mon 15-Oct-12 18:26:04

As others have pointed out, if the majority of your team (including yourself) are expected to work overtime on a regular basis then there is something wrong.
Either you are understaffed, or the staff don't have the required skills, or there is a (time/project/staff) management issue or a combination of these.

To expect people to work overtime as a matter of fact is very unreasonable imo. The fact that you have a skewed work/life balance doesn't mean that others have/want the same.

TiAAAAARGHo Mon 15-Oct-12 18:28:08

You're right madge. My bosses are currently not talking to one of my colleagues because they are scared - she was pressured into doing 80 hour weeks while heavily pregnant and ended up bleeding in hospital and almost lost her son. But still thy don't seem to be able to make the connection between overworking staff and their staff ending up off sick for months and burning out !

They do on the other hand adore the staff who waste time and so stay late (we charge clients by the hour). Inefficiency is rewarded hmm

Whilst I totally agree that somebody of their level should be prepared to put in the hours if there is a tight deadline and something important needs doing urgently, I don 't think it should be a regular thing. £44k isn't a fortune but it should buy you some flexibility.

On the other hand, nobody should have a job that takes more than their contracted hours on a regular basis. That is taking advantage of them. If they can't do their job in the time alloted and it is a reasonable amount of work, you really need to think about whether they are up to the job and whether you should be either helping them work more efficiently or, if they are slackers, issuing a warning.

Plus if you come to expect this, you end up with the situation we had where I used to work where several of the junior managers used to coast all day and then only start working about the time they were supposed to be going home. They looked great to the visitors to the floor and to their managers because they appeared so commited. However, in reality they were wasting a lot of time and really peeing off all those who did their jobs within their normal hours and then looked like they weren't pulling their weight when actually they were working harder than those staying late.

My DH would probably have agreed with you once, OP, but I have talked him round to the sensible way of looking at this. Unfortunately he now has his own business so sensible hours went out the window which is a shame as I think it is unhealthy for the individual and for family life if you can't keep your work to within the contracted hours most of the time.

YABU and your DP is right.

babybythesea Mon 15-Oct-12 18:31:39

In my last job we all often worked late without overtime.
But that was because we worked with animals who often refused to go where they were supposed to at the time we needed it to happen, or started to show signs of illness at home time, or gave birth 10 minutes before you wanted to leave..... under those circumstances, we stayed. We did it because we cared for the animals. Late working mostly happened in the summer as that was when it was light outside and animals wouldn't come in, or when they were breeding.
On the other hand, the employer recognised this, and everyone's contracted hours finished half an hour earlier in the winter to make up for potential overtime you'd done in the summer. Plus, my manager used to do things like let everyone go an hour earlier than normal on the day of the christmas party. If you were late, mostly, a blind eye was turned as it was assumed we were all more than capable of getting a good job done without taking the p***, and actually people were rarely late, because we all respected the employer and wanted to be there. Flexibility cut both ways.

Now, I couldn't. I am scraping by as it is, and I'd have to pay for childcare - I can only justify working in the first place because I earn a fraction more than I pay out. Start doing free overtime, and I pay out more than I earn and working becomes pointless.

I think to start demanding people do overtime is the way to demotivate your workforce. If you want flexibility from them, do you show it back? Or is it all take and no give? And actually, what makes you think they want to progress in a career? They might be more than happy earning enough to live comfortably without the stress of needing to spend all their time at work in order to earn extra money they then don't have time to spend on anything fun.

Proudnscary Mon 15-Oct-12 18:33:41

Firstly your team isn't large - I manage a team of 45 wink

Many of my staff are parents.

I don't expect or want anyone to work overtime - though I feel I am a flexible and amenable boss so I do expect them to return the favour and work late on occasion - certain times a year/big late job coming in. I'm talking two or three times a year.

Some people in my office do work longer hours off their own bat but they see it as getting ahead of workload and I tell them to take the time in lieu. None are parents.

And I think the attitude of some working parents (not in my office thankfully) stinks - 'of course I can't do extra time, XX can do it instead - they haven't got kids'. That is really, really selfish and unfair. I've worked with people like this before.

earthpixie Mon 15-Oct-12 18:34:41


Work and money are not everything. I'd much rather be with my family in the evening and have a healthy balance in my life. Their jobs may not be as important to them as yours is to you. And?

LadyWidmerpool Mon 15-Oct-12 18:36:19

I get just as much done as in actually achieved now that I leave at 430 as I did when I was working late every night. If someone can do their job and achieve their objectives within set hours then good on them.

CaptainVonTrapp Mon 15-Oct-12 18:36:46


And I wonder if you are an employer who expects flexibility but offers none in return?

And I wonder if you are American mom

Iggly Mon 15-Oct-12 18:38:18


I've not read the thread but will later as marking space

I work in a high pressure environment, work extra time when needed etc but that's my issue. Other people work their hours and get the job done. That's great IMO!

Why should they work past 5pm if not obliged to? Pretty stupid IMO.

We work some of the longest hours in this country and are not very productive. So working all hours isn't very sensible or smart.

Bunbaker Mon 15-Oct-12 18:39:24

Where has the OP gone?

scottishmummy Mon 15-Oct-12 18:39:24

if I do extra work I do it at home,after kids tea and story
I suppose it depends what you negotiate with you put it
is it an essential must do or simply too many demands,big deadline fpdiffers from excessive workload

eBook Mon 15-Oct-12 18:40:02

YABU. They're doing nothing wrong and I really dislike any culture of presenteeism. People who stay late to earn brownie points are suspicious IMO.

maddening Mon 15-Oct-12 18:40:29

Yabu to expect it.

They would bu to expect to be considered for promotion,areer progression and payrises ahead of others who show more dedication - providing the others are not doing overtime to keep on top of workloads and these 2 produce the same amount of work and to the same quality as the others within their core hours.

LaQueen Mon 15-Oct-12 18:40:36

YANBU. Part of your job remit at management level, is that you are expected to give that little bit more, when necessary. And, to shoulder that extra responsibility, when necessary. That's why you get paid more money than the general work force.

If your boss is expecting you to work a 50 hour week, when you're contracted for 40, regularly, then something needs to be seriously looked at.

But, if it's only occasionally, and your Boss is looking for an extra few hours, during a partcularly busy few days/week...then I think it is encumbent on you to man the pumps, so to speak.

DH has been an employer for over 20 years. He's had staff who will only ever work-to-rule, and are putting their coat on at 4.55pm, every day....and staff who are prepared to be flexible, and go that extra hour or two, when necessary.

Not surprisingly, it's the later, who tend to get promoted and reap the better rewards, work-wise, in the mid to long term.

HelloCheeky Mon 15-Oct-12 18:46:01

Yes the OP is American ( teeter totter, mom) I also suspect he/she lives under a bridge ( trip trap )

mrsconfuseddotcom Mon 15-Oct-12 18:48:14

Is it really the people who are more dedicated who are promoted though?

In my experience, management teams have a few golden boys and girls who are talked about constantly at Board/Management Meetings. Loads of other staff who are doing an equally good job just slip under the radar because they are just getting on with it and not spending every spare minute making sure they are 'seen'.

Northernlurkerisbehindyouboo Mon 15-Oct-12 18:52:40

I agree with the general feedback. There is no way 20 people should need to work over contracted hours on a regular basis. If these two team members get all their work done then great. If they can't, it's their workload that's probably at fault not them.

I'm interested to see you mention your dh's views. You realise he's probably trying to hint to you that he and the kids need some of your evening etc too?

My dh works vastly in excess of his contracted hours atm. At his level and business that is to some extent expected and as he can work from home it's possible for him to do that whilst still being 'present' iyswim. However it's not great and when I need him to stop I tell him. Is your dh tolerant of your extra working?

I don't think he op is a troll. I've come across people who basically work to rule. Which is their right. If both parties are able to be flexible then a lot more gets done. I've known people who basically say sod the deadlines and walk out on the dot of 5, despite th fact its their deadlin that will slip. Not on imo. I think a lot of people on this thread are very idealistic.

louwn Mon 15-Oct-12 18:57:21

What type of industry OP? I'm in professional services and contract states hours to meet business needs. I do feel justified in occasionally getting in late/leaving early though. Its just par for the course in my industry. Most of the time I'm OK with it- I earn a good salary and have the potential to earn a lot more.

LurcioLovesFrankie Mon 15-Oct-12 18:57:43

I think your DH is right. I'd also suggest you have a look at this , which may make you reassess whether overworking your staff is actually a good idea, or whether its counterproductive in the long run. I say this as a single mum whose bosses (in an outfit which regularly comes out top 3 in its field in the world) are quite happy with my performance, and are recommending me for promotion, despite knowing that I can only work my contracted hours because I have a child. When I'm there I do good work, out of hours my time is my own (and DS's).

BigBroomstickBIWI Mon 15-Oct-12 18:58:02

Why shouldn't you go home on the dot if you've done your job properly? The OP says nothing at all about the quality of these people's work. Just moans about them not being in the office.

MakeItALarge Mon 15-Oct-12 18:58:17

Yabu. Theyre contracted to do a certain amount of hours for a set wage. If you wish them to work more they should be paid more.

And I agree presenteeism is Crap. But when im in the office I spend a lot of my time in meetings, discussing stuff, checking over other's work. I quite often don't sit down to do a full block of uninterrupted work until 4pm.

eBook Mon 15-Oct-12 18:59:11

> spending every spare minute making sure they are 'seen'

That's exactly it. They know how to play office politics, suck up, perfect the fake smile and always "look busy". It's not the most competent people who are necessarily good at that.

Qwertyytrewq Mon 15-Oct-12 19:00:50

If workers finish their work are they ever allowed to go home early?

The more senior I've got the fewer hours I've worked.
Now do a 35 hour week, and would never go back to long hours again.

Iggly Mon 15-Oct-12 19:01:11

Why LeQueen? I'm a manager who looks after a few teams of staff.

I don't give a monkeys if someone leaves at 5pm ^provided they do their job. It's a bit superficial to judge by the clock instead of output.

Now of someone needs to work a bit longer to get something don't and they don't, then I have a problem.

If they leave their desk at 5pm and do the work at home, again great as long as the job is done.

MarthasHarbour Mon 15-Oct-12 19:01:37

OP are you a journo by any chance?

I am contracted to work 9-4.30pm Monday to Thursday, i dont work a minute over. My boss knows this and knows why (childcare - and i have a life) and is completely on my level.

This is a classic 'reactionary' first post hmm

eBook Mon 15-Oct-12 19:07:16

Well spotted MarthasHarbour

MainlyMaynie Mon 15-Oct-12 19:07:26

YANBU. Ideally, jobs would be 9-5 and take full account of people's outside needs. The fact is, lots of places are understaffed these days and the work still needs to be done. If one or two people consistently refuse to make any extra effort, it just makes it worse for the other team members. It's often not about presenteeism, but about taking work home and doing it there or covering an evening meeting. I've managed understaffed teams and they can only function if everyone recognises the situation and doesn't regard it as everyone's problem but their own.

MollyMurphy Mon 15-Oct-12 19:07:31

YABU and are part of the problem with the work world IMO. These people have appropriate work boundaries because they have actual lives and families. Just because you choose to work overtime and late hours on the weekends doesn't mean everyone else should want to as well. If you don't have enough staff to do the work from 9-5 perhaps your company should be hiring more people not riding the staff they have into the ground.

Why should workers lower their standards because its 2012? I can just see all the wealth up top ready to lord the worlds financial crisis over the average workers head.

My employers refuse to hire enough staff to do the work and after initially bending over backwards to make up for the shortage, now I go home on time and I pick up my kids and I make my family dinner and I spend time with my husband - because those are my priorities and should be. Besides, research shows that employees who have good work/life balance actually peform better and get more done in a shorter period of time. So its win, win.

EmBOOsa Mon 15-Oct-12 19:12:36

Surely this is a reverse AIBU?

If not, of course YABU! Why should they work more than their contracted hours? What favour are you doing them?

are they doing their jobs?

if yes, then who cares what hours they do?

if no, then perhaps the job is not right for them or you are expecting too much.

TeeterTotter Mon 15-Oct-12 19:14:28

Hi - thanks to all for the responses. I posted because I honestly wanted to se how other managers or staff felt about this issue.

For clarification – I’m not expecting my staff to stay late every night and after many years in advertising, have grown to despise presenteeism. What I’m talking about is about occasionally getting assistance with something at the last moment, or assisting with a crisis or once in a while writing a report on the weekend. I do a good job of managing staff workloads but the reality is that work and life isn’t perfect and things come up. The area I work in – marketing/pr – tends to be more deadline driven and with a lot of last minute issues.

None of my staff work long hours nor do I expect it as that would be a problem, but when a crisis comes up I would expect the staff member at 45k to come forward rather than relying on the goodwill of the staff member on 20k.

This was a genuine thread from someone who grew up in another culture and with different views of work. I was genuinely interested in how managers cope or how staff being paid half as much would feel if the top 10% salaried staff members were so rigid in their contribution.

It’s odd that so many of the posters are almost raging about how unreasonable I am. Any poster on MN stating a salary of over 40/50k usually receives a lot of grief with posts about whether they deserve that salary, if they work hard enough etc. And yet when I mention someone who is a jobsworth at 45k MNers rush to back them up! Sigh!

However some of the hostile and frankly downright mean responses I got were really uncalled for. I have a ‘crappy attitude’….’I’m so glad you’re not my boss’. ‘You sound like the boss from hell’. ‘Get a life’? Really?! I asked a question where I honestly wanted people's viewpoint. BTW I have a life, a full time job, two kids, no support (family live overseas) and my life is full even if I do the occasional bit of work at night. Honestly I am starting to think that MNers are just sanctimonious or contrary for the sake of it! (hmm)

PS – sorry I didn’t post until now, was sorting dinner

"Part of your job remit at management level, is that you are expected to give that little bit more, when necessary. And, to shoulder that extra responsibility, when necessary. That's why you get paid more money than the general work force."

LaQueen - I would disagree with this actually. Some people get paid more more than others for their ability, skills and knowledge not just their level of responsibility. For example, you would expect a qualified accountant to be paid more than an accounts clerk because they are qualified and their knowledge has to be paid for, not just because they have the responsibility of overseeing less qualified people's work and meeting certain deadlines. It doesn't pay for extra hours of work on a regular basis. If the manager is doing say, 10+ hours a week extra which is easy to do if you spend an extra hour or so on week days and then a morning in the weekend, and if the differential between the salaries of the levels of staff are insufficient, you could have the managers actually working for less per hour than their less qualified colleagues. I have seen that happen and that really isn't fair nor is it acceptable for a boss to expect this.

Interestingly we seem to be saying the same thing - that managers should be prepared to work occasionally, 'when necessary' if needs be without quibbling, yet you think the OP is NBU and I think she is. I think the difference is that I think the OP is saying that she expects her staff to work extra hours all the time and perhaps you don't, I don't know, but there is a difference working late for the occasional deadline and working late all the time just because your boss expects it.

MainlyMaynie Mon 15-Oct-12 19:16:07

I can't believe how many people are saying that if extra hours are needed they need to manage to the team differently or employ more staff, as if it's that easy. Of course they need probably to employ more staff, but if your budget has been cut by a third and there have been a load of redundancies, how is it possible? And when you have to make the next round of redundancies, which staff would you want to keep?

Yabu. Work shouldn't be your whole life. You will miss out on important things like love.

Cross post with you there OP.

I think the problem is that you said you do a lot of late nights and work from home. This did make it sound like you were expecting them to work late regularly rather than just when an unusual situation demands it. That is how it read to me and on that basis I thought you were being unreasonable.

I am not so sure that is what you mean based on your last post so I don't know now. confusedsmile

flowery Mon 15-Oct-12 19:25:27

I know it's AIBU but the responses on this thread do surprise me tbh. Some staggering assumptions were made about the OP for a start, but also the numbers of people being so horrified at managerial staff working over contracted hours.

I have clients in a huge range of sectors, from manufacturing to technology, leisure, business services, non profits and many others. I can't think of a single one where managerial staff literally work only their contracted hours, or demand overtime for every minute extra. It's definitely not presenteeism either, it's working hard, going the extra mile once in a while, being committed, staying a bit longer to finish something rather than expecting junior staff to, that kind of thing.

That's not to say that exploitative employers and a presenteeism culture aren't both problems, because they are. But there's a grey area between clock watching dashing out at 5 on the dot, and being expected to work very long hours all the time for no good reason.

iamstitch Mon 15-Oct-12 19:26:16

YANBU at all. Staff like that drive me mental angry

nocluenoclueatall Mon 15-Oct-12 19:26:21

Think of it like this OP, if you went to your local supermarket, picked up a packet of Hobnobs, then opened another packet, took a couple more out then proceeded to the checkout and paid for just the first packet.

That would be stealing, wouldn't it?

Yes, I'm afraid YABU. The UK's shity work culture is one of the major reasons that we suffer from so much depression, anxiety, alchoholism and obesity. Try being part of the solution.

Exactly flowery. I bet if I started a thread saying I earn 40k, aibu to want to work only my contracted hours I'd be told to get a grip, I'm paid what I am to work extra when needed, and the respondent always works 60 hour weeks because that is the reality

LurcioLovesFrankie Mon 15-Oct-12 19:29:03

OK, OP, time for a deep breath. Iknow from being on the receiving end that it's really hurtful to get flamed. But in between the fairly forceful posts, there are some measured and constructive ones. I think (re-reading it) that my post was not one of the mean responses, so hopefully this will make some sense. Your second post reads rather differently from your OP. The first one certainly gave me the impression that you expected a long hours culture as a matter of routine. You've now clarified to say that it's a matter of covering an occasional crisis. So I guess what I'd want to know is what the quid-pro-quo is - can you offer staff who've put in extra time to cover a crisis a bonus, or time off in lieu? If they have childcare issues, can you pay for an out-of-hours nanny service as a business expense?

pourmeanotherglass Mon 15-Oct-12 19:29:51

I work for the NHS on a 'management' grade - and my contract is 'hours as required'. When things are going smoothly, I am able to stick to 30 hours per week (0.8wte), but when there is a crisis I stay late if neccessary. I don't get overtime on my pay band.

I thought this was the case for all 'management' grade jobs.

TeeterTotter Mon 15-Oct-12 19:30:10

BigBoobied - sorry if I was confusing in my original post. I was really just having a whinge about high-paid staff who show no commitment. It happens but it's not ideal.

At some level there has to be that feeling of responsibility. When I worked as a museum manager on 40k (high in the sector) we would occasionally be called out if there was a problem at the museums after hours. Can you imagine if I got a call on the weekend saying that the museum is burning down and my response was: 'sorry this is going to have to wait until Monday. I am busy having a life outside work.' <hmm>

Really? Think I live in a different world to the rest of you.

fiorentina Mon 15-Oct-12 19:37:20

Yanbu in my opinion. If you are working in an agency or in house in my experience a marketing/PR function often works late and out of hours to suit the needs of the business or client. If you aren't willing to do that you are in the wrong industry in my opinion.

I agree that if you work effectively and get work done in 'normal' hours there is no need to stay late regularly but if a middle management employee can't see that some overtime is necessary they aren't that committed in my view.

I think measuring employee productivity levels overall is most important though.

LurcioLovesFrankie Mon 15-Oct-12 19:37:41

Teeter - where I work, there's 3 basic categories - the people who have day jobs, the people who are on shifts to cover a 24/7/365 business, and the people who are paid a retainer to be on call some (but not all) weekends. Your "museum burning down" (or in our case, "we're within 6 hours of having to ground all air traffic over Europe if we don't fix this") example are covered by this sort of retainer, and we have enough staff to have a rota system, so people aren't on call every weekend (so you can arrange to go to your sister's wedding, or whatever). If you have this sort of level of crisis to handle, perhaps you as the boss should be thinking of strategies like this sort of rota system.

forevergreek Mon 15-Oct-12 19:37:51

I work 60 hr weeks, If they want me to work 80 I prob will but I would gr paid for the extra 20 hrs

azazello Mon 15-Oct-12 19:39:27

I work on a contract which requires me to work the hours needed to get the job done. I am pretty efficient so I generally get to go on time and try very hard to do so. However, there are days when I have to work late, or be in the office very early to get things done. I do it without complaining but my work have made it very clear that flexibility does work both ways.

If there is something which I really have to be at, I get enough notice to arrange child care, I can work from home if necessary and no one quibbles if I have to go early for a dentist appointment etc so long as I pick the work up when I can. This applies to all staff. My previous job had no flexibility but expected 60-70 hour weeks. It paid very well ( a fair bit more than 40kwink) but it had a huge attrition rate when people took the generous maternity or paternity package and then didn't go back.

EmBOOsa Mon 15-Oct-12 19:39:50

"None of my staff work long hours nor do I expect it as that would be a problem, but when a crisis comes up I would expect the staff member at 45k to come forward rather than relying on the goodwill of the staff member on 20k."

On that I agree with you. If you'd mentioned in your OP it being only occasionally, and it meaning that other staff had to pick up the slack I think you'd have got a different response

TeeterTotter Mon 15-Oct-12 19:40:04

Thanks LurcioLoves... so nice to get a measured response! I can understand if my original post looked like I expected staff to work all hours all the time but that's not the case. However my feeling is don't work in PR if you don't want to deal with late night phone calls!

Laquitar Mon 15-Oct-12 19:40:47

A bit off topic but is a team of 20 'a large team'? confused

mrsconfuseddotcom Mon 15-Oct-12 19:41:41

Stepping up to the plate when needed should be a given, OP.

Trouble is, some of us have been on the receiving end of poor management and short staffed teams for too long. It has certainly clouded my judgement. I put my foot down in my last 'proper' job with regards to what I would give in terms of working overtime. Bizarrely, I was more successful in that role than i had been for a number of years.

LiegeAndLief Mon 15-Oct-12 19:41:50

The childcare thing is quite important really - I never stay a minute past my set hours because I have a carefully timed double pick up and dopr off schedule and if I stayed any later I'd have a child or two sat on the pavement waiting for me. Having said that, in an emergency I would be happy to do a bit extra in the evening or at the weekend (from home!) and would not expect to be paid overtime on my salary. Which is most definitely less than 45K.

I would not be happy to do it if it was going to seriously impinge on my life outside work or if my boss wasn't flexible with me in return.

WineGoggles Mon 15-Oct-12 19:43:41

YABU. Thank god I'm self employed and am able to have a healthy work/life balance. There is no fucking way I'd work late unless I'd messed something up and had to make good, or it was an emergency. No wonder there is so much stress and depression these days with work expectations like this angry

LaQueen Mon 15-Oct-12 19:45:16

Iggly if a member of staff is getting their work done 9-5pm, then that's great. It would be even more great if that same member of staff, was prepared to sometimes go that extra hour, when there's a deadline, or mini crisis.

Some staff can, and will, do both.

LiegeAndLief Mon 15-Oct-12 19:45:24

Actually, I agree with Lurcio - we also have a system whereby people who are on call over a weekend and would need to go into work in case of emergency are paid a "retainer" style fee, with a bit extra if they actually get called out (rare). But this is a different situation to having a temporary heavy workload and needing a bit of extra input to get the work done on time.

drcrab Mon 15-Oct-12 19:45:34

Yanbu. I work ft and this week alone I have a work black tie event on Wednesday evening (in London and we don't live there), meetings and work the rest of the week and this Saturday a work event which will take me away from my 2 young children (4 and 2).

Today I left at 3.20 to pick my kid up from school, emailed in the car, dr's surgery and when I got home. The last email I sent was half an hour ago.

I think it's down to the individual. I have colleagues who use all excuses to bugger off at any time. Interestingly their reputation at work is mud.

LaQueen Mon 15-Oct-12 19:46:59

bertha I think we're singing from the same hymn sheet.

I'm only advocating that management go that extra mile, when it's necessary. And, if it turns out that it seems to be necessary all the time, then the contract needs to be renegotiated.

Skinnydecafflatte Mon 15-Oct-12 19:48:44

I understand that you are asking sometimes in an emergency but it is not always simple for other people. I have to do virtually all drop offs and picks up for my DS, if i have an event at work and need my DH to pick him up then I have to sort it out at least the day before as he works further away than me and needs to rearrange his day to do enough hours.

I have to leave work on time to pick him up in time and I do feel guilty a lot of the time when my colleagues are working as I leave. (I start 15 mins earlier than them so I can leave 15 mins earlier) but then I know I am not spending half the day reading the Guardian website like others and am more productive even though I am not 'in work' for as long. I'd love not to always have to leave on time as I also miss out on all the fun stuff such as pub visits etc but it comes with having a child. Interested to know how the OP sorts out last minute childcare as I can't do it same day.

flowery Mon 15-Oct-12 19:49:56

I do think the following would have got almost as vehement a YABU as this thread has

"I work as a manager in a smallish business, on £45k. The recession means we're operating pretty close to the bone but staying above water. Holding on to clients is really important.

If we're working to a tight deadline and getting something to a client the next day, AIBU to get up and walk out at 5pm, meaning the client deadline will probably be missed and we risk losing the client? I think my work life balance is more important than staying an extra hour, but my boss seems to think we should all be 'pulling together' on occasions like this."

Cue huge swathes of YABUs, interspersed with 'you should count yourself lucky to have a job's.

gettingeasier Mon 15-Oct-12 19:50:05

In light of your second post YANBU

Out of interest were you involved in these employess being promoted ?

Why should they work for nothing?
If there are not enough hours/people to do the job right, then get more staff.

I have spent years of my life doing unpaid overtime in various jobs, and I have also worked in places where everyone work exactly contracted hours. When it came to the redundancy packages or people getting laid off, neither thing made the slightest difference - the bosses laid off whoever they wanted to, martyrs and clockwatchers.

I have been treated like shit in places where I worked my arse off doing extra time, and have also been treated like a really valuable member of staff when I have left on the dot. Its the managerial culture that is the issue.

LaQueen Mon 15-Oct-12 19:50:36

I currently work in a private, clinical environment, and I am paid more than the rest of the team.

In return for more pay, I understand that when there's a problem I have to be flexible and deal with it. That could entail dealing with a problem patient, or staying later to cover an emergency.

It doesn't happen on a daily basis, but it can happen a few times per month.

Bogeyface Mon 15-Oct-12 19:52:28

Ime, the ones that make a big deal out of staying behind are often the ones who fart about so much during the day that they have to stay behind in order to get their work done. The ones that leave on time are the ones that make sure they have got all their work done before they leave.

The person in particular I remember from my last job before I started my business was always wandering around the office "talking a good job" (as my dad puts it) without actually achieving anything. Then he would always make sure everyone knew that he was staying late each night as he had so much work to do. In the end he was moved to a lower paid and less responsible position as it was decided that as he couldnt fit in the same work as his colleagues in the same time, the job must be beyond him.

Being the one that always takes work home or stays late doesnt always indicate a better worker.

monkeysbignuts Mon 15-Oct-12 19:56:04

my dh when employed was consistently late home from work and done weekends (without extra pay)
He was salaried and never got over time, he had a work load and if he left early it would sit their and get bigger and bigger.
He now does the same job as a self employed director and works about 50 hours a week, the only difference is he is charging more for his time so doesn't mind as much.
I can understand why people wouldn't want to work longer than contracted especially if their is no benefit to themselves (as I said growing work load was always an incentive for my dh because it made his work more stressful.)
Its not fair that others are picking up the slack for the two that do not want to work extra though.
When I was nursing I never left a shift until everything I needed to do wad completed and I never got over time.

LaQueen Mon 15-Oct-12 19:56:08

Bogey but there are staff, who are capable of getting their work competently done 9-5, and they are prepared to go that extra hour, when necessary.

When my DH finds a member of staff like this, he treats them very well. They are like gold dust.

Bogeyface Mon 15-Oct-12 20:00:24

LaQueen, I think that your situation is slightly different. I equate that to my H's job in that if there is an emergency, as priniciple key holder he has to be the one to go in. That is part of what he is paid extra for, and the same for you.

I work alot longer hours than my paid employee (hey, only one but its early days!), and he earns more per hour than me as a result, but as it is my own business and I am doing about 7 different jobs, I accept that. I wouldnt accept having to stay behind at work on a regular basis because the company either didnt manage the work loads correctly or employ enough staff.

Bogeyface Mon 15-Oct-12 20:01:19

I agree that going the extra mile when needed works well for everyone, but I am wary of anyone who equates staying late with a good work ethic. In the case of my ex colleague, it was the exact opposite.

mrsconfuseddotcom Mon 15-Oct-12 20:01:48

Well, the staff that work for your DH are very fortunate. Not all bosses are as enlightened...

mrsconfuseddotcom Mon 15-Oct-12 20:02:08


RubyCreakingGates Mon 15-Oct-12 20:05:12

I once stayed over half an hour late (narrowly missing my child-care time limit) because we had an abandoned child in the library. Two of us had to wait while we sorted out with Social Services what would happen next. Leaving me in the ridiculous situation of nearly having my childcare report ME to social services for not picking my child up. How stupid would that have been?

To add insult to injury, my bike chain broke on the way to work the next morning making me a whole ten minutes late. My manager asked me to make up the time in my lunch-hour having conveniently "forgotten" the incident the night before.

(I often work outside my hours to help my team, but I would not expect anyone else to do so, nor would I expect to incur extra child-care costs to do so.)

LaQueen Mon 15-Oct-12 20:06:15

I agree bogey if you are regularly staying late (when not asked) then that doesn't necessarily mean you're more committed. It can easily mean you are a poor time manager, and you aren't on the ball.

TeeterTotter Mon 15-Oct-12 20:07:09

gettingeasier - have only been in the job for a year and inherited staff.

Startailoforangeandgold Mon 15-Oct-12 20:09:29

If there were no fools like the OP, family life would be infinitely better.

Just because you are prepared to work hours you are not paid for, don't expect others to fall into the trap.

nkf Mon 15-Oct-12 20:14:28

You are being unreasonable.

HappyHalloweenMotherFucker Mon 15-Oct-12 20:16:34

You've only been in your current role for a year ?

It shows.

Portofino Mon 15-Oct-12 20:20:01

I leave on time - to do the school run. I will log on from home later if necessary. I also check email if sick, on days off etc. I think the presenteeism thing is a big issue. I can work literally anywhere so it is not generally an issue. With roles that are office based, I think you need to look at better ways of managing things.

TeeterTotter Mon 15-Oct-12 20:23:55

Why are you guys being so mean to me? 'It shows?' You don't know me and have no idea what kind of a manager I am or what my career has been like.

I go back to my original post and ask: Have you never worked with or for with people who are jobsworths? Would you be satisfied to sit in an office being paid 20k a year with a senior member of staff on 45k doing the minimum they have to and never going the distance? Is this the kind of leadership staff want?

Honestly, I give up. I've had some good advice - thanks to all and keep on posting but I won't be posting again.

BrianAndHisBalls Mon 15-Oct-12 20:26:13

would have thought at £45k it was quite normal for it to be 'as many hours as the job requires', it is in my field.

Jenstar21 Mon 15-Oct-12 20:28:25

YANBU to a certain extent... I am on a similar salary, in a management role. My contract (and everyone else's above a certain grade) states I work the hours required to fulfill the duties of my role, but I will be remunerated to 35 hours per week. Most of us do nearer to 50 on a regular basis.. Just what the job requires. I tend to only be in the office 8.30-5.30, as I have a lengthy commute, but I regularly catch up at home, later in the evening, or at weekends.

BigBroomstickBIWI Mon 15-Oct-12 20:28:36

I think, OP, that the tone of some of the comments indicates just how unreasonable some posters feel you are being. You asked if you were being unreasonable, and it is being pointed out to you just how unreasonable people think you are!

MrsMuddyPuddles Mon 15-Oct-12 20:34:09

Surely the ones going above and beyond the call of duty would be recognised for it though- either at performance review times or possibly just through ordering a pizza for everyone in the long hours?

Also, why isn't it in the contract that extra hours would be expected where necessary, so they can legitamately be pulled up on it? I'm in Engineering, and even WITH that written in, we generally get time off in lieu. Though the company I work for has won awards for being good with staff...

mrsconfuseddotcom Mon 15-Oct-12 20:35:14

I think we're only getting half of the story here.

Someone leaving 5.30pm to pick their kids up isn't a jobsworth.

Dildobaggins Mon 15-Oct-12 20:36:14

It is very sad, that we live in a world where everyone is expected to work unpaid overtime just to get the job done.

pointyfangs Mon 15-Oct-12 20:37:21

I have no problems with working extra hours when there's a tight deadline and have done so - everyone in my team does, and none of us earn more than about £27K. We're lazy public sector workers, by the way grin.

I do think your original OP was not that clear about your expectations, but I think YANBU to expect people on £40k to step up when there are deadlines. As long as it isn't all the time, and there's flexibility at other time, there isn't an issue.

McHappyPants2012 Mon 15-Oct-12 20:41:21

Then you need to shuffle the work force.

In my work, the boss was a bitch a few years ago for doing this. She overhauled the complete work force, starting by dropping the hours on the quieter departments and relocating the hours to the busier departments.

The work force now runs more smoothly, and when we are short staff we can handle it a lot better.

Bogeyface Mon 15-Oct-12 20:42:48

Why are you guys being so mean to me?..............I won't be posting again

How whiney?!

You asked if YABU and the majority think you are. Sorry if you dont like that but you did ask. And really, your tone makes you sound like a stroppy five year old "You're all HORRRRID!"

Is this the kind of leadership staff want?

You are not there to give them leadership, that is the job of the MD/CEO. Your job is to manage the work that your department has, making sure that it is given to the appropriate member of staff and completed to the appropriate standard. That may mean disciplinaries, support, appraisals etc but you are not their "leader"! I think your issue is that you have bigged yourself up a bit too much here and need to rethink your own attitude.

McHappyPants2012 Mon 15-Oct-12 20:43:27

In your work what I would do is a split shift if possible, do 6am till 2pm then another shift 2pm till 10pm.

That way there is alway people there to hand.

grovel Mon 15-Oct-12 20:49:06

Bogeyface, what nonsense.

As a CEO I expected my directors to lead their teams and I expected their managers to lead their teams.

Portofino Mon 15-Oct-12 20:50:08

I don.t think people are being mean. If there is work over and above the working day, then you need to organise things so that it can be done. Offering your staff flexibility and the tools to do the job out of hours would be the way to go, rather than whinging on here about them.

brrbrrwinteriscoming Mon 15-Oct-12 20:50:12

I work in public transport. I will not for any circumstances work after my shift, I leave exactly on time even if that means that my station is unmanned. this is a mixture of hatred of the job and also just preferring to be at home!

Bogeyface Mon 15-Oct-12 20:51:05

She is talking about "Leadership" which is your job. The hierarchy is clear. You at the top, Directors, managers, supervisors, staff.

She is a manager. That clue is in the name.
Your Directors, again, the clue is in the name.

Pleased to know that my approx 45hr weeks count as long hours on mn. I was always under the impression people worked very long hours.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Mon 15-Oct-12 20:52:07


And working weekends - who the hell does that any longer? Work life balance is far more important.

You either need to employ more staff, or get your people working more efficiently. Clearly you are a poor manager, and highly inefficient if you are needing to put in loads of overtime.

grovel Mon 15-Oct-12 20:53:30

Bogeyface, WOW!
I'd hate to work for you.

TeeterTotter Mon 15-Oct-12 20:53:58

sound of businesses not coming to Britain...

Portofino Mon 15-Oct-12 20:54:46

My employer for example, gives us laptops with VPN log in, and also offers the latest Windows Office release (for free) for home PCs. And as on a management grade, I receive a (small) discretionary payment on top of my salary to pay for extra "expenses" like parking, dry cleaning, buying coffee for visitors, biscuits for the team etc.

hermioneweasley Mon 15-Oct-12 20:55:32

Haven't read whole thread so apologies if this has been covered. A lot of contracts at this salary level will say something like "38 hours a week, or whatever it takes to get the job done/discharge duties etc".

I can't bear a minimalist attitude - surely if you are doing your job, it doesn't always conveniently finish at 5.30 and if you are engaged in interesting work, chances are you will run over by 10 mins from time to time.

As a minimum I would reflect their attitude in their perf reviews and pay awards and give the rewards to people who are going over and above. I would also be inflexible about going early for Dr etc!

Portofino Mon 15-Oct-12 20:56:46

Teeter - I work in Belgium. The office is empty by 5pm. in France they even more extreme about working hours. The presenteeism culture in the UK is truly dreadful.

hermioneweasley Mon 15-Oct-12 20:59:12

Agee with grovel - I hope bogey face doesn't have a position of responsibility in any company. Everyone can be a leader - it is about having a position of influence over others, so that might be a peer influence on the rest of the team, a works council or indeed a role called "manager".

wanderingalbatross Mon 15-Oct-12 21:00:38

Your second post sounds much more reasonable, but I still can't see how someone with kids to pick up can easily organise the last minute childcare.

In your place, I'd be looking at whether there's anything systematic going wrong and leading to last minute panics. Can you anticipate them ahead of time and get the input you need from senior people in the day? Can your senior people advise on the phone/email from home? Can they work later in the evening? Can you provide flexibility at any other time for goodwill? Can you help with practical childcare solutions?

I think you have to accept that these senior people can't be as flexible as you'd like for various reasons, and work around that as much as you can.

maybenow Mon 15-Oct-12 21:00:38

to answer the OP - when i was on £20k and young and enthusiastic i had a boss on much more who was not career motivated and only did the minimum. it frustrated me but i got a lot of experience i wouldnt' have if he'd been doing his job better and i have progressed much further in my career than he ever did. it's just how things are - some people put in more and eventually get more out, others put in the minimum contractual and stay still.

echt Mon 15-Oct-12 21:00:54

OP hasn't said whether any of her staff fail to do their jobs adequately. Seems not to like the look of it while not dealing with the^substance^.

<Terrified at the thought of businesses not coming to Britain because of flouncy manager>grin

Alibabaandthe40nappies Mon 15-Oct-12 21:01:12

Teeter - I used to work in a huge blue chip, one of the biggest companies in the world.
The presenteeism culture in the UK was the worst across the whole company.

Our European colleagues were out of the door way ahead of us even once you factored timezones.

Now - if this is actually a racist thread in disguise...?

hermione - yes, 10-15 minutes here and there - but not regularly working 2 hours into the evening and over weekends - that merely demonstrates incompetence on the part of staff and management.
Just because someone is in the office, doesn't mean they are going over and above. Really hope you are not senior and in an actual position to influence pay etc!!

HappyHalloweenMotherFucker Mon 15-Oct-12 21:02:05

Op, I hope for your sake neither one of your staff nor one of your superiors recognises you from this thread

If you are for real, I suggest you ask to get it deleted or I see a) a grievance and/or b) a disciplinary procedure looming for you

Hence my pithy "it shows"

expatinscotland Mon 15-Oct-12 21:03:54

A leader is someone who has what it takes to make people go out of their way for her.

So, from the sounds of it, OP . . .

mrsconfuseddotcom Mon 15-Oct-12 21:04:55

Hermione, you need to read the thread.

One of the employees has children to collect from nursery so, even if the work is interesting, it isn't convenient for her to stay beyond 5.30pm.

When do expect your staff go to the doctor if they can't leave early on the odd occasion?

Bogeyface Mon 15-Oct-12 21:06:34

I run my own company actually, and I prefer the "give and take" attitude.

Stay late at an event, dont come in until lunchtime the next day. Do I count hours? No not really. I am paying for the job to be done and as long as that is the case then I dont mind if someone finishes an hour early.

FWIW, I quit working for other people because of the shitty attitudes of some people in upper management. The companies that didnt have that shitty attitude had committed staff of which I was one. It didnt surprise me when I found out that the worst offenders company was a byword for high staff turnover.

You dont want to work for me? Fine, dont. I'll stick with people that can actually do the job in the time allowed thanks!

Bogeyface Mon 15-Oct-12 21:10:46

I lost my point there! I lead the company, I lead my staff. When I was a department manager, I managed them, I didnt lead them. I implemented the leadership decisions made by those who ran the company, IE the MD, CEO or B o D.

mrsconfuseddotcom Mon 15-Oct-12 21:11:16

Tee hee! Nice one Bogeyface...

Totally agree with you on companies with shitty attitude = high staff turnover.

Bogeyface Mon 15-Oct-12 21:15:56

As a minimum I would reflect their attitude in their perf reviews and pay awards and give the rewards to people who are going over and above. I would also be inflexible about going early for Dr etc!

And you think that I shouldnt be in a position of authority?! That is fucking appalling!

McHappyPants2012 Mon 15-Oct-12 21:22:00

yes i would hate to work for you, seriously you are a manager. Manage your team.

i am not even a manager, I am a domestic.

My boss is fantastic, she bends over backward to help all her staff and it make us all feel like a team.

soontobemumofthree Mon 15-Oct-12 21:22:26

YANBU. I think at that salary you should be thinking I am employed to do a role and will stay until the work necessary is done. Of course there is a limit to what you can expect but always to leave at 5 on the dot!

But if they are employed 9 - 5 (not common really) and no reason for them to do differently then they won't!

SunsetSongster Mon 15-Oct-12 21:27:29

I thought it was a well known fact that "shit rolls down hill" and it's usually the lowest paid who get stuck staying late - was definitely the case in my previous job where the seniors left on the dot and us underlings were stuck working late. I think it's almost touching you think it should be any other way.
The other posters who asked if you provide the means to work at home had a point though - then people can meet family committments and do work later if they have to.

downindorset Mon 15-Oct-12 21:28:23

This culture of staying late just to show "commitment" really irritates.
I'm lucky to have a flexible employer who allows part time work and working from home and also allows me to get in an hour early and leave an hour early to pick up DS. If I have an appointment, I go to it, no questions asked. In return, when the chips are down, I put the time in that's needed to do the job. That might mean a late meeting once a month. A trip overnight or a couple of hours at the evening or weekend once a quarter.

The rest of the time I am out the door on the dot. And I take a full hour lunch break.

I'm not looking to "rise" as I have a good salary (40+) and a promotion would just mean longer hours which I'd prefer to give to my family.

Nothing p*sses me off more than the assumption that you're not working hard if you don't stay late or work at weekends for no pay. It is daylight robbery.

To answer your question OP - yes, your views are skewed. In order to get, you have to give. Capiche?

ArthurShappey Mon 15-Oct-12 21:34:53

Exactly what dorset said!

Morloth Mon 15-Oct-12 21:38:23

I am a manager, at interview and when signing contracts I told them I would be leaving at 5 come hell or highwater. They chose to hire me on those terms. I start at 730am and often don't eat lunch because I am busy. But I am out the door at 5pm, no matter what.

$1 a minute for the first ten minutes and then $10 per minute after that - that is what my daycare charges for late pickup.

If they want weekends they can pay for it. We (my employer and I signed a contract). I read and negotiate and honour any contract I sign, I expect the same.

NumericalMum Mon 15-Oct-12 21:44:29

Our German au pair thinks we are crazy for working so hard. I stick to my 35 hours as much as possible but DH works in a culture where it is "bums on seats" that matter. He spends hours emailing me and does all our home admin at work as nobody cares what he gets done in those hours.

I am employed to do a job. I have a team and between us we do the job. On a day when we aren't busy I ensure they leave as early as possible. On the days we are busy we work a bit later. I am the only one with childcare issues but am happy to catch up if I need to later. That said it is very rare.

When do you see your children? I get about an hour with my daughter before bed if I am lucky. And I leave at 5 most nights.

roastednut Mon 15-Oct-12 22:01:15

I could do with some advice on this. I work in a team of mostly males, mostly single with no commitments, in a technology firm in midlands.

Our boss seems to spend every waking hour sending emails to us, often strings of one sentence question which could be at any time evenings or weekends. We all have work phones with email. He has a family but just emails whenever he thinks of something. I can't work like that, I have to switch off at weekends. I have stupidly perhaps tried to do the right thing and occasionally respond to emails outside of office hours, admittedly sometimes just to try to make a good impression, but other times because I've been busy and wanted to catch up in own time and of course on replying to an earlier email I've found myself in an email exchange with him lasting for ages.

I now realise this was wrong, I probably should've been stronger about this from day 1, and if anything I've made a rod for my own back and I'm now trying really hard to backtrack.

Don't mind at all on odd occasions but this isn't really urgent stuff, not at all. He doesn't seem to have an off switch when it come to work and expects the same from others.

He's actually really supportive generally but I just wish I knew how to handle this expectation. Reading this thread has been very useful, any advice much appreciated altho I know i've hijacked.

mrsconfuseddotcom Mon 15-Oct-12 22:07:18

Roasted, just because he is emailing you at all times of the day and night doesn't mean he is expecting an answer immediately. Answer him when you are processing your Inbox.

It's called a Crackberry for a reason, y'know!

cerealqueen Mon 15-Oct-12 22:21:53

I have seen it from both sides working at that level. When I had no kids, I worked late, and part of it was being 'seen' to be in the office late. confused. That was the culture. However, I could also take time out to have a chat to people at work Once I had kids, I had my head down all the time, I did not go on the internet or facebook or chat chat chat. It drove me mad with the amount of chat that went on because I just needed to get my head down. Just because people aren't doing the long hours, does not mean they are not working very hard when they are at work, they just become more effective.

Bunbaker Mon 15-Oct-12 22:33:20

I agree cerealqueen. Before DD was born I used to work hard and play hard. I also used to find a lot more time to chat with workmates. Now I only work 2 days a week, and if I don't need to go out at lunchtime I tend to work through my lunch hour as well. The company gets far more pro rata out of me now than they did 15 years ago.

ShellyBoobs Mon 15-Oct-12 22:37:49


I'd be managing them out if they point-blank refuse to work past 5pm under any circumstances.

I'm a director in a multi-national (with a team spanning most of EMEA) and I'm very flexible with regard to my people and their working hours. I do however expect them to step up to the plate when it's needed.

And yes, managers are leaders. It's bollocks to say that the MD and CEO are leaders while other managers aren't.

What about the position of team leader? That's a pretty junior position but it's still about providing leadership. The clue is in the job title, to paraphrase Bogeyface.

I'd also like to add that anyone who says managers are paid to manage rather than lead are highly likely to be utterly shit at their job. There's nothing like 'managing' people to bring out the worst performance.

Lead people, don't manage or direct them unless things are already going wrong.

mrsconfuseddotcom Mon 15-Oct-12 22:40:30

You sound lovely...

Roasted - stick an out of office on saying you'll get back to anyone when you check your emails on Monday.

expatinscotland Mon 15-Oct-12 22:46:31

This is why I'm going back to self-employed next month.

If I'm going to put in the hours, fine, but I'm not going to do it so some schmuck can go slag me off online about what a slacker I am.

LittleBearPad Mon 15-Oct-12 22:47:24

Roasted I've worked for people like that and it can be very difficult to manage but unless there was something going on that meant I needed to check my emails I learnt that I had to switch off my well named crackberry over the weekend and put it away in the evenings for my own sanity. Your boss probably uses his emails to you to let you know things as they occur to him (maybe he can't switch off, maybe he thinks if he doesn't send the email then he'll forget his point) it doesn't mean you need to read them and reply as they are sent.
Often I'd check my emails on the Sunday night but I was very choosy over which ones I replied to before Monday morning.

OP I think you need to accept people have different perceptions of the balance between life and work. Especially if childcare requirements mean one of your staff needs to leave on time. Arguably, if need be, the mum could finish off necessary work that evening post-evening but that may not suit her life at present. This isn't to say that this will always be her attitude. As her children grow she may have more time to devote to her career. In the meantime if she completes the work she is given then whilst she may not progress speedily I don't think you can demand more. I think the other staff member may be more of a jobsworth but again that's his call and will likely impact his career progression. If he accepts this then that's how it is.

Morloth Mon 15-Oct-12 22:49:38

What is the point of contracted hours if the company expects to be able to ignore the contract.

I love my work, really I do, but it isn't my life. I do it so I get paid. From 7:30am to 5:00pm I am all theirs as long as they put the money in the bank.

TBH, I am a friggen bargain at the moment, I am bloody good at what I do and am doing it for less than usual because I wanted shorter hours.

I found a company that realised this and we are all happy.

roastednut Mon 15-Oct-12 22:49:58

Thanks for replying mrsconfused, I know you're right but the way I read them makes me think he does expect an answer quickly, maybe not immediately but the same day (even if sat or sun). The trouble is the rest of the team seem to oblige him and follow his work ethic to a smaller extent. I really need to stop feeling guilty about this but I do struggle with it. Its even causing trouble with dh as he can't understand how much this is affecting me.

Morloth Mon 15-Oct-12 22:53:26

Don't read them then roastednut.

I am contracted for 2 days a week. I do log on for 30 minutes on the other days at about 8:00am. I have a look, I fire off any quick emails need an immediate response or redirection and I then I log off and forget about it.

They are not paying me to stress on my time off, if they want more hours then can pay for them. Or not if I can't do them.

Popsandpip Mon 15-Oct-12 22:54:29

OP, perhaps you should have given a little more detail in your first post but I understand the gist of what you're trying to get across, i.e. working hard, demonstrating commitment to the organisation you're working for, mucking in with your colleagues, etc. especially when those in jobs are lucky to have them at the mo (us included!). On the whole, you are definitely NBU. However, if someone has to leave to meet childcare commitments, then they have to go. Nevertless, there is nothing stopping them working for an hour in the evening when the kids are in bed or taking a call on the train going home, etc.

I don't think you deserve the flaming you've received. Attitude is everything. I don't promote people who don't show willing. People who don't show willing perhaps don't have expectations to be promoted. Some of us have careers. Some of us have jobs. Neither is right nor wrong; just different. Shame not everyone else can see that too.

expatinscotland Mon 15-Oct-12 22:54:57

'I have seen it from both sides working at that level. When I had no kids, I worked late, and part of it was being 'seen' to be in the office late. . That was the culture.'

Me, too. For 14 years, both here and in the US.

I go to work to work, not take breaks or go on Facebook or shopping or whatever.

I got the work of two people done in my contracted hours for putting my head down and working and yet I was some kind of slacker for leaving (stayed when it was necessary)?

I've worked in the US. I was born and bred there and worked there at high levels for over a decade.

Anyone who holds up their 'work ethic'? LOL. With an attitude like the OP's, I'd venture a guess most if not all of those she supervises can't even print what they really feel about her.

My work ethic was bred into me if it isn't in my blood itself.

If the OP were a good leader, well, I've met a fair few, she wouldn't even need to post such an OP. She'd be looking at herself first.

A good leader is someone who has what it takes to make people go out of their way for her.

That's obviously not the case.

Making slaves out of people or shocking them to jump when you say how high, it doesn't work unless you engender them to you. 'Hate is more lasting than dislike.'

And I'd hate to work for someone who's too fool to recognise my efficiency and work in favour of face time. I'd find them stupid, for starters.

BionicEmu Mon 15-Oct-12 22:55:31

My working hours are 9-5:30. I (& most other staff) sit in the tea room until 8:59am, and down tools and walk out at bang on 5:30. We used to start early and stay late if needed, but since our manager has implemented certain changes that have made our lives far more difficult we no longer care. In addition, we have all been told many times that they will not promote internally, we get no bonuses anyway, and they're ridiculously inflexible when it comes to doctor's or hospital appointments, and annual leave. (I.E. they wouldn't let someone have the afternoon off to go to a funeral - he had to use his lunch break then come back straight away and make up the rest of the hours.)

So I now have the attitude that I just need to go to work in order to get paid. As do the majority of people I work with. Yes, morale is ridiculously low and our sickness record is ridiculously high.

Morloth Mon 15-Oct-12 22:58:10

You know what pisses me off? People who fart around talking about how busy they are, these are often the people who also work late to show willing.

If they shut the fuck up and got on with it, maybe they could also leave at 5pm.

roastednut Mon 15-Oct-12 22:59:15

Ah cross posted with some other replies, thanks so much (am new to this so sorry if I'm gushing but its just great to get this feedback).

Littlebearpad, thats the only conclusion I can think of as what happens is as soon as I get one of the email questions I feel rude for not replying, therefore switching off is the only way as what I don't know about I don't know about! My dh said same thing its prob just when he thinks of stuff and doesn't need an immediate reply but some recent weekend ones (get a life!) didn't have that vibe at all and weren't at all urgent.

mrsconfuseddotcom Mon 15-Oct-12 23:01:25

Roasted, if it is affecting you/your relationship you need to push back. It's unreasonable to expect an employee to answer emails 24/7 unless you are very senior (i.e. Board Director) in which case the company pretty much owns you! You need to set your own boundaries because it's fairly clear that a lot of managers are incapable of doing this on your behalf.

If it makes you feel better, then perhaps meet him halfway by responding to (his) emails once or twice over the weekend at a set time. If that's not enough for him then I think you need to start looking for a job with a decent manager.

BlueSkySinking Mon 15-Oct-12 23:07:27

I agree with your DH. Also 40k isn't a wonderful top salary.

You are obviously wanting to unreasonably eek every bit of blood and sweat out of your workers. Why should people work for free when they are contracted for set hours? There is a huge emphasis on work life balance these days for good reason. The workaholic culture isn't healthy.

TheFarSide Mon 15-Oct-12 23:12:26

"I also feel times have changed and in these dicey financial times people are giving more to their jobs than ever. In a perfect world no one would have extra work or overtime, but that's just not the way things are in 2012!"

OP, your statement above really irked me. Posters might have been nicer if you hadn't implied that it's OK for employers to expect more during a recession because staff are desperate to keep their jobs, and that anyone who doesn't agree with you is out of step with the times.

OhlimpPricks Mon 15-Oct-12 23:33:06

My work hours are 10 - 8, four days a week. I don't like being late, so generally in by 9.30 ish, and potter around doing things to prepare for the days business. It is not expected of me, but I have a lovely boss who will, once every couple of weeks say 'oh it's a bit quiet today, and the phones are dead, why don't you bugger off home a couple of hours early?' It's never expected, but it's a lovely bonus, being given few hours to yourself as a suprise !

OP - if you are expecting staff to give you a couple of hours willing a week, then consider awarding random afternoons off (keeping records yourself to keep it fair) it's only right.

Inertia Mon 15-Oct-12 23:35:55

The point you haven't addressed, as far as I can see, is whether these members of staff are completing the work required in the time available. If the job is done correctly, then they've earned their money.

If the nature of the business is such that employees are required to work extra hours, then their contracts have not been structured correctly. That's not the fault of your staff, it's the fault of the HR dept .

You say you're not a slavedriver but that you "expect more"- more what? More hours in work than you're willing to pay for? More hours in work than it takes to do the job? Why the hell should someone who has already completed their work efficiently miss their childcare deadline (or pay extra) because your "protestant work ethic" renders you unable to see any worth in anything other than presenteeism?

If you have an issue with the work produced by these members of staff, then go through your company's performance management or capability procedures. If their workload is too great to complete the work in the time available, then as the manager you should manage the distribution of work / staffing more effectively.

Your attitude that employees should allow their employment rights to be trampled all over because of the current economic situation is coming across as pretty heartless. Actually- are you one of CallMeDave's researchers?

expatinscotland Mon 15-Oct-12 23:36:00

Oh, yes, OP, so they're not coming to Britain, to go somewhere else. Let's just see how long that lasts. See how long.

'History, will teach us nothing.'

MysteriousHamster Mon 15-Oct-12 23:38:50

People aren't being mean.

In the case of the woman with children to pick up, what exactly do you expect her to do?

I leave at 5pm and barely get to nursery in time for pick up - I can not leave late on a regular basis. If I do it's only because my husband can go there instead (we normally travel together).

But I work bloody hard. I either get my work done in the day or I take it home when necessary. It annoys me that colleagues who potter about in the day stay late and then act the martyr, as if they're working late for the team and I'm not. I work much, much harder than they do and my output is much greater, but they are more visible and so it gets noticed more. Winds me up.

As a result I would now rather earn less and not be expected to take any work home. I can't escape the fact I have childcare to go back to. If you hire men and women of a certain age then some of them will have responsibilities as soon as work finishes for the day.

Those people who work all hours usually have a supportive partner or don't have families and have the luxury of being able to spread their working time out if they fancy it.

If no one in a company can get their job done within working hours, and they're all working reasonably hard in the day, then you don't have enough staff.

I don't earn anywhere near 40k and have a relatively senior job, but I still don't think it's enough money to automatically expect staff to stay late.

scottishmummy Tue 16-Oct-12 06:46:53

op you're not a v good manager if you get huff and strop off when disagreed with
is this what youre like in work?
you asked question and no likey answer

Fakebook Tue 16-Oct-12 07:37:56

YABU. When I was working, 40 hours, 5 days a week our manager used to expect people to work overtime. This was easy for single people who only had themselves to think about. They were the ones who were favoured. You sound like a horrible manager.

lljkk Tue 16-Oct-12 07:40:32

I'd say YANBU with the clarifications OP has offered.

EugenesAxe Tue 16-Oct-12 07:47:52

You aren't alone, but I'd venture to say if they are meeting their workload and targets YABU. DH said his boss, when conducting an efficiency review, tacitly expected 50 hour weeks from everyone.

This simply isn't possible for everyone. I sympathise though - when deciding the rewards though consider if those people working longer are translating it into good output. If not their longer hours mean sod all. I generally question people who work very long hours anyway - are they in fact just inefficient?

MainlyMaynie Tue 16-Oct-12 08:48:39

OP, your statement above really irked me. Posters might have been nicer if you hadn't implied that it's OK for employers to expect more during a recession because staff are desperate to keep their jobs, and that anyone who doesn't agree with you is out of step with the times.

It isn't unreasonable though, it's just practical. In both public and private sector, times are hard and people have lost their jobs. In the public sector that means fewer people trying to deliver the same level of service. In sections of the private sector, it means more competition and fewer people around to deliver the contracts when they're won. If some employees won't put in a few extra hours to deliver in this situation, other people have to cover for them. Is that fair? Until I left last year, I put in a lot of extra hours as I thought as the manager I got the money to put in extra effort, but I also needed my team to do extra hours sometimes. They did, because they fully understood that the budget wouldn't cover more staff and we still had to deliver the work. Because everyone was willing to do it, it impacted on people's home lives as little as possible. People could go and see their children in the nativity play because others were happy to cover any emergency work, knowing that others would do it for them. That's what team work should be.

Trills Tue 16-Oct-12 08:51:51

Nowt to do with the recession. Just a different kind of working.

Salaried jobs you are expected to get a certain amount of work done.

Pay per hour jobs you are expected to be there fore those hours.

It's not "overtime".

If they are clockwatching then it makes me feel that they may not be working as hard as they could be during the hours that they are there, they are trying to get to the end of a shift, not to achieve a goal.

I think this study is worth a read. It is from 1998, but it takes a long time to change attitudes when so many businesses are shortsighted in their leadership and care more for the short term output of staff than the long term benefits of not expecting staff to regularly work long hours.

Bogeyface is talking nonsense. As a director I would expect managers and supervisors to inspire staff and show varying degrees of "leadership". Day to day employees may see very little of the CEO, and need the managers to "translate" the leadership and inspiration to their departments and their staff. It is part of management.

Iggly Tue 16-Oct-12 09:08:28

I agree Quintessential.

Trills Tue 16-Oct-12 09:12:18

But there is a middle ground between "regularly working long hours" and "never working a minute past 5".

I agree that if people in responsible positions are working exactly to the letter of their contract and no more it could be a sign that they are unhappy with how they are being treated (as some said earlier)

Morloth Tue 16-Oct-12 09:16:45

Or it could be a sign that they have to be at the daycare in time.

I think its about showing willing. Yes some people have to collect children every day and are restricted to times. Fine. I doubt anyone would actually want them to be late for collecting their child, or for anything else important. I had a train to catch yesterday and was booted out of work by a colleague as I was cutting it fine.

It's about showing willing and looking for solutions rather than just saying "not possible, sorry". So, an hour from home. Or, cant work tonight, but can come in a bit early in the morning. Or can work late on Friday.

Not all the time. Not about presenteeism. About not constant clock watching, a sense of responsinikity for own work and a willingness to be flexible where possible.

samandi Tue 16-Oct-12 09:21:42

Thanks for the link Quintessential.

I dislike the attitude held by some employers (seemingly including yourself OP) that you're only entitled to a decent salary if you're willing to regularly work nights and weekends, especially "in these dicey financial times". It's no way to live. People have families and other interests. If you can't get the work covered then employ more staff.

samandi Tue 16-Oct-12 09:22:43

SHRIEK - yes, that's fair enough, if people are on a decent salary anyway.

"hire more staff" is very simplistic. Many simply can't afford to. The other option isbto go bust and then all staff are out of a job.

samandi Tue 16-Oct-12 09:27:28

SHRIEK - so pay them less. Yes it's simplistic but it's not acceptable IMO to expect staff to regularly work weekends and evenings. It is the company's responsibility to find a solution.

"pay them less" rarely goes down well, and depending on size of company etc can be a long drawn out process.
Yes it's the company's responsibility to find a solution. Opinion appears to be divided as to whether the people working there also have a responsibility to be part of the solution or not.

Just as in relationships, I think you will find that there has to be a certain subtle give and take in the employer employee relationship. Not just the employer taking and the employee giving all the time.

In my first "serious" job, the official working hours were 9-17. I hardly ever left work before 8pm. It was not possible. There were program updates taking place any time between 6-7pm, we had to stay around until after the updates, to see if what we had programmed (Internet sector) in or scheduled were successful. If not, we had to fix it, and it could take any time between 20 minutes to an hour. If many team members had fixes to do, it would take a while. We therefore regularly had 11-12 hour working days. Pretty much every day of the week.

Even staying till 11pm, after working 14 hours, was it possible to be a couple of minutes late.

No overtime was paid. No time off in lieu. I still remember the anger, disappointment, and not to mention the resentment I felt when coming to work 9.15 one morning, I had overslept, I did not get home till midnight the night before. I was told. "You start work 9am sharp. I do not want to see anybody swan in at 9.15. Not even working late is an excuse. We all work late on occasion".

It was a shit place to work. Later they rearranged the program updates to take place 1pm and 5 pm, and this meant that it was actually possible to leave on time. But for a workplace to rely on staff to be at work 9 am sharp, and stay 3 hours late daily because the procedures they have in place would make you negligent if you leave on time, is just not on.

Yes that's Crap. Agree about give nd take

I should add that my manager rarely stayed late, she usually left between 5 and 6, and turned up a quarter to ten. "Because of her train". (She did not have children) It was quite rare that she was in at 9, and of course she had to "catch me" the one morning I was late.... Infuriating.

StillSquiffy Tue 16-Oct-12 09:48:45

I was really just having a whinge about high-paid staff who show no commitment.

I do despair sometimes. Here we all are, grown women who are desperate that our daughters are not held back in their careers. Yet we are at the same time harking back to the very attitudes that kept women out of senior positions for years and years and years.

'Equality' is long long dead. This is the age of diversity. This is the age where the business leaders ask the following questions 1) Does this person give me a good quality of output? 2) Is this worth the money I pay them? 3) What is needed from my side to keep this person loyal and committed? If the answer is 'a 9 to 5' life, then you bend over backwards to give them that. If the answer is 'more responsibility' you try to give them that, if the answer is 'promotion' you try to give them that. Sometimes if the person is really good you try to give them all three things. Yes, really. A 9-5 life with - OMG -career progression too.

Equating the willingness(ability) to work overtime with the level of commitment is lazy and archaic and really poor mgmt behaviour. I could go on and on about the organisational behaviours at play here and the psychological contracts being breached, but I would advise instead that the OP step back and seriously question her approach to management, because it really is a bit out of date. If there really is no ability to flex the staff of 20 enough to accommodate different people's needs, then the mgmt have hired the wrong team or are organising the team poorly. The OP needs to spend more time understanding the drivers of each of her staff and responding to them (or at least responding to the drivers of those staff who she thinks produce good work)


BigBroomstickBIWI Tue 16-Oct-12 09:53:42

<applauds Squiffy>

This thread reminds me why I will only ever work for myself.

<applauds Squiffy>

See, I told you your views were outdated, op. wink

Thanks goodness for Squiffy coming along to explain and illuminate.

Iggly Tue 16-Oct-12 10:00:42

<Joins in applause>

I will say, I'm good at my job, I'm a manager, I work 9-5 (then take work home when it's busy as I have young kids) and certainly don't care what hours my team work as long as they do the job.

I'm always suspicious of ones who work long hours yet come up with a constant stream of excuses as to why something isn't done.

wanderingalbatross Tue 16-Oct-12 10:01:10

<also applauds squiffy>

'it's not always easy to hire more staff' - the biggest reason that both DH and Ileft our last jobs was that management refused to hire new staff. The good ones will leave as they'll find new work easily, leaving the mediocre behind, and then even more of a reason you need new staff! It's a short-sighted strategy.

NiniLegsInTheAir Tue 16-Oct-12 10:05:31

Can I work for you Squiffy? grin

PanickingIdiot Tue 16-Oct-12 10:09:58

I'm in that salary range, I love my job and I'm committed to it.

But I'm not a doormat and, as someone else said before, I'm paid for my expertise, not for my presence.

I do work overtime, on occasion, when there's a crisis to sort out or a one-off thing on top of our normal workload. Everyone stays later on those days, bosses and underlings alike, until the work is done. I believe that is normal and could be expected of staff, whatever their salary and level of responsibility.

But there is a difference between pulling your weight when there's an unexpected problem to solve, and being required to do more than you get paid for, on a regular basis and for no good reason. The former is commitment, the latter is poor time management.

I also take all my holidays, and on slow days I post on the internet. So does my boss. We get the work done, and get it done well, that's what matters.

LaQueen Tue 16-Oct-12 10:10:03

But, what if it's nothing actually to do with the normal, daily work required 9-5? What is the regular work is getting completed 9-5...but, then there's a mini crisis, and it's all hands to the pumps for a few days?

A lot of smaller companies simply don't have the staff, or facilities to simply absorb a crisis, without pulling out all the stops and asking their staff to go that extra few hours, for a few days/couple of weeks.

And, very often the mini crisis is completely beyond the company's ability to predict or control. They can (sadly) only react to it, in the best way they can.

LeBFG Tue 16-Oct-12 10:10:11

Completely crazy Quintessential. I would have felt equally resentful about that horror of a job.

I've worked in a few different work places. Management-level teachers are expected to work when needed. They don't keep 'office-hours' as such. I was told this sort of agreement was written into the contract though. THis flexibility partly justifies their superior salary (40k max ime). I think this was fair as all parties knew what they were getting themselves into.

The craziest hours I've seen worked have been by researchers thus proving that we work hardest under our own self-imposed slave drives.

THe saddest case of overtime that I can recall was in a French run office. THe boss rarely stayed later than 5pm and frequently came in after 9.30. His best worker on 20k (hardly managment salary!) would work after hours and weekends routinely. It was an accountancy office where work load would predictably peak and trough through the year. I very much felt the boss was a weak manager in that he should be planning ahead for these very predictable peak times so that the work load of the whole office was not falling almost entirely on the shoulders of his one, very amenable, employee. I felt very sorry for her. I felt the boss was taking advantage of her good nature (would never say no and lived in fear of losing her job).

I find it hard to understand why employers should work harder in an economic downturn. IME these things always work one way. So when the economy starts improving we should be allowed to work less - this never happens!!!! IMO all an excuse to turn the ratchet. But that's only my opinion. I've never worked as a manager.

freerangelady Tue 16-Oct-12 10:14:15

Depends on the job. I employ people in the farming industry. Unless joe public wants to pay a lot more for their eggs and bread harvest workers will be expected to do 18 hr days and livestock workers who live on site to be on call at 3am. Regular hours are 7 - 4 but the job necessitates sometimes working outside

aurynne Tue 16-Oct-12 10:14:23


Of course, there's nothing I would love more than to spend hours and hours every week working for you for free instead of spending that time in things like walking my dog, reading a book, make love with my partner, have a good time with friends or having fun doing some interesting activity. Oh, the irony.

Why not the other way around OP? Why don't you pay every single one of your employees an extra 3 hours salary every week just because? It is the same principle. You would be giving your money away for nothing. Equally, what you want is for them to work for you for nothing.

Get a life. Happy people have one.

LaQueen Tue 16-Oct-12 10:14:55

Aaargggh! Lost the second part of the above post!

Meant to add...when there is such a mini-crisis, you will get those staff who claim 'Nope, not me, I won't do over time. I've got all my work done, already, between 9-5, so I'm off home. This crisis isn't of my making, it's nothing to do with me. Bye.'

And, then you get the staff, who also have got all their work done, 9-5, - but recognise that if this mini crisis isn't weathered, if some people don't go that extra mile - then it's very likely the whole company will falter. And, then no one will have a 9-5 job, whether they're competent at getting all their work done 9-5, or not.

PanickingIdiot Tue 16-Oct-12 10:15:56

+there's a mini crisis, and it's all hands to the pumps for a few days?+

The occasional mini crisis happens everywhere, and it's not unreasonable to expect people to do a bit more when that happens. But that has to be the exception, not the norm.

And if you are a manager in charge of people, then I believe it's your duty to lead by example and not be the first one to bugger off at 5 whilst expecting your underlings to burn the midnight oil. I'm happy to stay later occasionally to help with a crisis, but then I expect my boss to do the same.

Well said squiffy!

I think the OP is mixing up two issues: asking people to work more hours, and compensating them for doing it.

For example, one thing she expects is to be able to ask someone to do a report over the weekend. So, presumably at the last minute, someone is being asked to give up, what, 50% of their free time at the weekend? That's not necessarily so bad, if they are being compensated in some way. But to expect them to do it out of 'commitment' or loyalty? My arse.

I get that crises happen but there are loads of ways to manage this situation that don't involve merely expecting people to work for free.

LaQueen Tue 16-Oct-12 10:18:30

I agree with that Panicking.

My DH usually has a staff of between 10 - 15 people. But, when it's all hands to the pumps, he gets into the office earlier than anyone, and is the last to leave.

I think his staff respect that he puts in 100% effort.

Iggly Tue 16-Oct-12 10:20:51

Yes agree about mini crises.

however in my office they seem to last for three months which is a fecking nightmare and rewarded by senior management by a measly thank you and one free breakfast. When actually they should give people time off when there's almost no work to do over the quiet period

The problem with the 'crisis' justification is that it can be a bit subjective.

One manager's 'crisis' is another manager's 'significant problem' that can be fixed on Monday morning. One manager might claim certain crises to be unforeseeable, and yet another manager with more experience might anticipate such events and have contingency plans in place.

And in any event, the fact that it's a crisis doesn't mean you should neglect the sacrifice your employees have made. Especially if you want people to give up their weekends, it's only fair to offer something in exchange.

An occasional mini crisis is one thing. Routinely expecting people to drop plans and work extra hours for free at short notice day in day out is something else.

I have a severely disabled teen. I can't just magic out childcare for him out of thin air so can never work a last minute crisis, and absolutely would not be able to cope with a weak or bullying boss who expected me to be available on their terms. I could extend hours temporarily with enough warning to arrange carers, but otherwise no.

This is why I work for myself. I was working at 11pm last night, but was also able to down tools for a few hours in the early evening to deal with the kids. Whenever I've worked and it whatever role I've been happy to do extra. But I would not tolerate poor management or bosses who expected a pound of flesh and gave nothing in return. I have seen close friends and family in those situations and it's and awful, miserable and depressing place to be.

CassandraApprentice Tue 16-Oct-12 10:40:59

Are you so sure they are doing the minimum?

I've worked on a project where without being asked we'd all seen the looming deadline and put extra time in and we were on track. Management ignored this and suddenly decreed 12 hour days - everytime we met the creteria they'd suddenly change the goal posts. End of month productivity was on the floor,moral rock bottom and good will pretty much absent.

Same company saw a collegue get slated by visiting collegue as he'd leave on time. She wasn't seeing him come in at after a good night sleep and implementing solutions in quiet office - she just got mad he refused to stop after hours as she did.

I was also managed by tired mangers there. I'd get rude unprofessional e-mails and then get told that I shouldn't get upset as they'd been sent at midnight hmm.

LeBFG Tue 16-Oct-12 11:41:36

My DH worked on farms for eight years before tiring of the liberal attitude to working hours freerangelady. He had the same experience as I did when I worked in a restaurant at uni. Every night at the end of the shift there was a huge pile of dishes to be cleaned. Had to be done for the following morning. Every evening was a 'crisis'. I always refused as it was a managment issue. If more hours were needed in the working day, they needed to pay for them. If not, the restaurant needed to be better organised.

I do believe there is a middle road. THe key thing to me is: is the employee managment grade or not? If s/he is then I think it not unreasonable to expect to do some routine out-of-hours work. In this respect, I very much think OP is NBU in her expectations. If the employee is not management, I think it must be up to the employer to plan for out-of-hours work - the exceptional unexpected crises excepted of course.

LeBFG Tue 16-Oct-12 11:49:53

Cassandra, I think your story illustrates the point on why many non-managment employees refuse OOH work point blank. If you put in the extra mile to meet a deadline, the managment come to expect this as the new norm.

As a teacher, some teachers woud walk out mid-meetings once it read 5pm on the clock because those were the designated hours. Although I hated it in one respect, in another I was quite thankful that at least some people were making a stand i.e. saying 'this is the time the meeting should have ended'.

greenrabbits Tue 16-Oct-12 11:50:34

I can't read 12 pages of posts but YABVU.

I don't believe in presenteeism. Or unpaid overtime.

Wethoughtitwasanotherday Tue 16-Oct-12 11:51:40

I work to rule on a day to day basis. I made it absolutely clear that i have childcare commitments when I took on the top which is a senior management role and that if they were looking for someone to show their face for the sake Of it I wasn't the person for the job. However, so long as I know IN ADVANCE I will be flexible. This includes things like clearing my diary for a week to attend a conference a few times a year, taking a conference call on my day off or finishing something at home if there is a pressing deadline. What I will not do is hang around the office just because it looks good. I never have, never will and have never been held back because of it.

freerangelady Tue 16-Oct-12 13:43:31

Lebfg - I think you're right about the flexible thing. If our staff ask for the odd afternoon off to go to the dentist for a child or have to run up to pick an ill kid up from school it's not a problem. Thing is - its partly not a problem because the team rally round to finish the work. As its a small business I think in times of crisis the staff understand much more literally that if we dont make money, they don't have a job so everyone does rally round.

I wouldn't say farmers have a liberal attitude to working hours btw - they just don't understand the concept - they mix up waking and working hours!!

MY ILs are farmers. They live to work, it is their life and they cannot understand why anyone would not feel the same way. They moan and whinge, but they wouldn't have it any other way and they do quite nicely out -- of-- it too...

OwlLady Tue 16-Oct-12 13:58:34

I agree with woozely further up the thread

I have very recently, in the past few days, given in mynotice because I am expected to move the earth and agree to anything and everything with very little notice and I just cannot do it anymore. therefore my job is now available to someone who can do that, but lets not pretend it isn't exploiting people and creating an environment in which morale is at an all time low and production is at low because of lack of motivation

maxmillie Tue 16-Oct-12 14:00:17

I can see where you are coming from but i think YABU. particularly with respect to staying late. If people have childcare comittments then they have to leave at a set time. Children spend long hours in childcare as it is.

On the other hand, I regularly work evening and weekend for free, and if you allow/let them work from home to catch up I dont think that is as unreasonable.

OwlLady Tue 16-Oct-12 14:01:11

at our work if we are ill twice for two days within a 6 month period we face a disciplinary. i find that impossible when i have three children and no family nearby to help, one of my children is severely disabled but I think even under normal circumstances that's difficult

I don't earn enough money to employ a nurse from eastern europe (as has been suggested before hmm)

searching4serenity Tue 16-Oct-12 14:03:59

Yabu - It's about quality of output not quantity of hours. Maybe some people are more efficient than you are? We're all different...

EldritchCleavage Tue 16-Oct-12 14:07:40

OP, I get what you are saying but leaving on the dot to pick up children is not being a jobsworth or unreasonably inflexible. Someone in that position cannot be landed with work at short notice or at the last minute.

It may be that if that particular employee has picked up on your attitude to this, she isn't confident that her commitments to her children are going to be understood or respected if she accepts flexibility, so has taken an extreme work to rule stance.

I do agree with posters who say there has to be flexibility both ways. Would that person offer more effort if asked in good time to e.g. come in early and offered time off in lieu?

My sister works in your sector and quite frankly had the piss taken out of her by her previous employers who never truly appreciated her effort. They even stopped the perk of a taxi home if you worked anti-social hours leaving her paying for her own taxi home at midnight. She left, of course. So did all the other good people.

At some level there has to be that feeling of responsibility. Yes, I agree. But that includes management accepting a responsibility to treat people fairly.

It may be that the people on 20k are no more keen on overtime but are more junior, and less secure and confident that the older hands on 40+k, so daren't refuse.

lynniep Tue 16-Oct-12 14:24:42

YABU. There may be an expectation but there is no obligation. I worked all hours in my twenties when I had no other responsibilities, because, well, I had no other responsibilities. You cannot condemn someone for not working more than their contractual hours - only if they are not doing the work that is required in the time stated to a decent standard.

GhostShip Tue 16-Oct-12 14:37:36


If everyone pulled their weight and did overtime, it would mean less overtime all round.

Some people are bloody adamant they won't do it though, and it effects all of us.

And then these people only complain when we get little rewards like pizza for our dinner.

scarletforya Tue 16-Oct-12 14:38:44


People like you baffle me. If yu want to work for nothing, off you go but why do you expect other people to be martyrs just because you are?

Also, you talk as if these people work for you, they don't, they work for a company and so do you. It's not your company, all this sacrifice and martyerdom is pointless, it doesn't make you a better person morally. It's just more money in the bosses pockets.

I've seen loads of people with your attitude over the years ending up very bitter when they realise all their extra work and sacrifices were a waste. The company will lap it up but at the end of the day, you're just a number. An employee.

Go home on time and be with your kids. You won't get any thanks for selling your soul to the company.

grovel Tue 16-Oct-12 15:16:27

Surely this all depends on what industry you are in, what you do and what your seniority is?

If you work in a global industry, I'm afraid it's often inevitable that you will be asked to participate in international conference calls which happen out-of-hours (and may well be asked to travel). Time zones are responsible. If you insist on only taking calls 9-5 UK time you are forcing some poor person in Australia or the US to be even more inconvenienced than you might be.

If you work in - say - Credit and Collections in a UK firm, there's probably no point working late because the people you need to call won't be there to take your call.

At some level of seniority you get paid (handsomely unless you're a mug) to deliver a result rather than by the hour. Then you just do what it takes.

You can argue the detail of the examples in this post (it's hurried) but surely the gist is right?

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Tue 16-Oct-12 15:27:09

If you wanteds them to work overtime, then maybe you ought to have made provision for that in their contracts. They work their contracted hours, and then get on with the rest of their lives. YADBU. They are doing the job you pay them for.

Scarlet, I totally agree.

The OP's attitude is more in line with the days when people worked for the same company for decades, and employers did a lot more for their workers. That two-way relationship has completely broken down now.

The people I've known who have handled redundancy the worst are people like the OP, who see work as a moral issue, who put a lot of weight on commitment and loyalty, etc and so on. They are always the most floored when that same company sacks them without a care.

ClippedPhoenix Tue 16-Oct-12 15:43:20

YABU. I've actually been asked to stay later by certain bosses and they've always ended up taking the total piss.

No overtime provision, no working.

QuenelleIsOrangeAndGoldForNow Tue 16-Oct-12 16:00:59

The thing about mini crises is that they tend to happen far more frequently in poorly-run companies.

I loved StillSquiffy's post.

LaQueen Tue 16-Oct-12 16:34:41

Not necessarily Quenelle. If you run the sort of company that is reliant on third parties for important stuff, then no matter how organised and pro-active you try and be, sometimes the power simply isn't in your hands. You can try and keep damage control to a minimum, but once in a while, a bastard will always let you down [speaks from bitter experience]

Truly poorly run companies don't tend to stay in business very long. Because a disorganised approach to management, and work flows very often translates into a faffy approach to keeping the books in order, paying creditors etc.

And HMC&E show no mercy.

ArthurShappey Tue 16-Oct-12 16:53:35

Well said squiffy... I hope the OP reads your post and takes it on board, but some how I don't think she will because she didn't like that people disagree with her.

scarletforya Tue 16-Oct-12 17:18:00

The people I've known who have handled redundancy the worst are people like the OP, who see work as a moral issue, who put a lot of weight on commitment and loyalty, etc and so on. They are always the most floored when that same company sacks them without a care

I've seen that plenty of times too. Two particular cases stand out. One female manager I know who whipped everyone and expected full muggery from them, just because that was what she did. Gave other women in particular a hard time, but then when she fell pregnant, was shocked and horrified when HR quibbled with her wanting to work shorter hours. She complained BITTERLY about 'after everything she had done for them' -it was comical, what the fuck did she expect?

Another who spent 20 years going on unpaid training weekends, working late, studying and upskilling like mad but then discovered an internal memo about herself saying she would never go anywhere because as a working Mother she wouldn't fit in with the old boys. (obviously in less explicit language) She was shocked and disappointed but she can't get back all those lost weekends and evenings.

The way I see it when I'm working for a company is it's a business transaction. I'm working to get the most money for the least amount of hours I can. I'm looking for the best deal for me the same way a Business looks for the best deal for them. It's just Business, not charity. I've seen so many naive idiots expolited over the years thinking they are going to be the next big thing, literally selling their souls, thinking they are 'in with management' who are patting them on the head while snickering up their sleeves at what suckers they are. Promotion time comes and suprise, suprise these people are passed over. Why? Because they've painted themselves into a corner, working for nothing. There is truth in the cliche you shouldn't make yourself too indispensable. A company isn't going to refuse free labour. And the more you do it the less appreciated it is. Just look at the OP and her likes, instead of being grateful for free OT from staff they start to expect it.

grovel Tue 16-Oct-12 17:44:04

scarletforya, fair enough.

Have you ever had a job you've enjoyed? Interesting work, good atmosphere etc? You just sound very bitter.

Dozer Tue 16-Oct-12 18:31:00

The evidence on people at the top suggests that those without DC or who have a stay at home partner are more likely to get to middle and senior management, maybe because they can "do what it takes" (work extra hours) in the way described. Obviously, more of the latter are men.

ArthurShappey Tue 16-Oct-12 18:33:16

Exactly dozer scroll down for squiffy's post.

Dozer Tue 16-Oct-12 18:49:02

Thanks arthur.

Trouble is, the argument that all those who work long hours are inefficient, not as good as those who work 9-5 etc, is simplistic. I have lots of colleagues who are good at their job, efficient etc, AND work long hours. As a result they get more/better work done than I and other part-timers and even full-time 9-5ers do. And they take up opportunities (eg evening networking or learning, extra projects) and get more contact with senior people (eg because they too work late). They become the "go to" people.

Dozer Tue 16-Oct-12 18:51:44

(Agree with squiffy completely)

Bogeyface Tue 16-Oct-12 19:00:43

Dozer I wasnt saying in my post that they are all inefficient, but there are alot that are. Walking around the office, talking about all the work they do, without actually doing any of it. Then staying til 9pm to catch up on what they could have done during the day. I have worked with several of these, including the one I mentioned above who was given a lower paid, lower reponsibility job because all management could see was a man who couldnt do the same work in the same time as everyone else.

Dozer Tue 16-Oct-12 19:16:29

Know what you mean bogeyface, have known a couple of those too! But sadly for some of us there're others who are both good and willing to do whatever the employer wants, darn them!

Bogeyface Tue 16-Oct-12 19:30:27

This is why I work for myself, then I can chuck a sickie and my boss always falls for it wink grin

Dozer Tue 16-Oct-12 19:54:47

Good plan envy

Bogeyface Tue 16-Oct-12 20:05:35

Its not all good, cos when I have a deadline coming up, the bitch keeps me chained to my laptop!

TheFarSide Tue 16-Oct-12 20:34:39

Actually, flexitime is a great invention and would largely resolve the OP's problem.

vintagewarrior Tue 16-Oct-12 21:47:21

My DP can't stay late to do extra hours for free, as he has a second job to get to, just to keep a roof over our heads. YABVU Actually, there are all sorts of reasons why people can't.
And why should they anyway? I own a business with several staff, they get paid for every hour they do, I would never expect them to do hours for free, as a way of keeping their job in a dodgy climate. Wrong just wrong.

jellybeans Tue 16-Oct-12 21:48:59

YABU if they have childcare commitments and they are already doing their contracted hours.

Selks Tue 16-Oct-12 21:56:38


What ever happened to work / life balance?? I'm glad you're not my boss!

(for the record, I put extra hours in over my contracted hours quite often, but when I feel I need to, not due to the unreasonable expectations of an unreasonable boss!

If you want them to work extra hours then pay them for it!

dysfunctionalme Tue 16-Oct-12 22:28:07

If they are shirkers then get rid of 'em. If they work hard during contracted hours then yes I think it's unreasonable to expect them to work unpaid on top of that. Maybe they need to be contracted to complete tasks rather than hours.

sayithowitis Tue 16-Oct-12 22:53:11

I work in the public sector. part-time, hourly paid. No bonuses. No pay rise for the last few years. However, during that time I have always worked above and beyond my contracted hours. We do not get overtime. Which means that for the past three years ( at least - I only started keeping a record three years ago), I have 'given' my boss the equivalent of around two months work, for free, in each of those years. Do we get any acknowledgement of that? No. Not even a card at Christmas. And now it seems to be accepted that 'Sayit is always here late,' so can always do a bit extra to help out. Except that this year my timetable gives me no time whatsoever to do any of the admin side of my job during my paid hours. It has now become expected that I will fulfill that aspect of my responsibilities during MY OWN TIME. and guess what? This worm has turned. I have decided it is not reasonable for my boss to expect and assume that I will happily work for nothing. So I am not doing it. And when I am asked why some parts of my job are not getting done, I am telling them that it is because they are not paying me for enough hours to do all the work they expect of me. It is not that I am lazy during the rest of the time. It is purely that management have failed to realise that if they want me to work full time, they should actually pay me a full time salary and stop relying on my goodwill to get the job done on my time rather than theirs.

mumeeee Tue 16-Oct-12 23:07:31

YABU.They don't have to work more than thier vontracted hours and as others have said if the work can't get finished in those hours there is something wrong. I do spmetimes work on in my job as I'm a support worker to adults with learning disabilities and occansionly there is an emergancy when the next member of staff gets held up or one of the tenants ( it's in independent supported libing house) needs extra attention, But my manager wouldn't expect anyne to work on and if any of us do then we are told to put the extra hours down ans we are paid for them, There are staff who are unable to to extra hours and they would not be forced to do them.

theressomethingaboutmarie Wed 17-Oct-12 06:03:11

Oh boy, is this a subject close to my heart. I have worked for the same company for nearly 7 years. When I joined I was about to get married and had no DC. I used to work long hours to get the job done which, because of my personal situation, was no issue.

Fast-forward a few years and I had DD and returned to work full-time with two days a week at home. I am a manager and we employed a Directir based in NYto manage the Uk and US functions. From day one of this appointment, the long hours started (12/14 hour days with the expectation of being available during NY hours. Within three months I had a miscarriage and last summer, had a breakdown. My home time was never my own; if the Director could not reach me on my mobile, I would be called on my home phone. I would be bathing DD and hear my Directorask me to call back ASAP for trivial stuff. I was called during holidays and expected to work at weekends.

I cracked one afternoon after a week of 14 hour days and then being told that I needed to be more committed. I was signed off by my doctor for two weeks and put on medication. It won't surprise you to her that my Director was still calling me during this time out and I was told on my return that I had let the team down....

Am currently on mat leave with DS but my attitude to long hours is pretty muc 'screw it'.

yabu. If you want them to work longer than their contracted hours then you need to review their contracts and their wages.

ChristineDaae Wed 17-Oct-12 07:15:05

YabvvvvU! A friend of mines husband hung himself a few years back. He was a manager, and slowly the 'extra hour here and there' turned into never seeing his children, never having a weekend off. He snapped, spent 6 months in hospital and hung himself when he came out.
I have another friend who works their ass off for their company, takes work home every day, and has ongoing health problems... They too have just snapped under the pressure and are now off for the foreseeable future.
There are more important things in life. If there is so much work that you need to hav all 3 of you doing overtone, hire someone else.
Money grabbing companies who don't give a shit about people lives wind me right upangry

Elkieb Wed 17-Oct-12 07:17:45

If I'm not being paid, I'm not there. I have a life, thanks. And a responsible job.

Elkieb Wed 17-Oct-12 07:26:20

I should add 'jobs'. To pay for the childcare (and she charges if you are late)

ShellyBoobs Wed 17-Oct-12 19:25:05

So to sumarise: this being MN, there's no middle ground where someone in a senior position might occasionally be expected to hang around after 5pm and a few seconds to finish an important time-critical task.

It's either 'I work to the exact minute my contract states and not a second longer' or 'I was expected to work 25hrs per day 8 days per week and even that wasn't enough'.

Just so we're clear then, anyone in a more senior position is an utter cunt for expecting the tiniest but of flexibility on the odd occasion.

NellyBluth Wed 17-Oct-12 20:29:33

Shelley - grin

Elkieb Wed 17-Oct-12 21:29:19

When the nhs paid me a reasonable wage I would stay late if necessary. Now they expect us to work with no hint of a pay rise or a cost of living increase so I am working for 5% less a year hmm. Oh, and they never thank you or pay overtime. They can get lost!

Bogeyface Wed 17-Oct-12 22:51:54

Elkie I am sorry but the whole "payrise in the public sector" thing really pisses me off.

I dont know anyone in the private sector who has had a payrise in the last 3 years, and as for a cost of living increase, that is laughable!

Thats how it is for the rest of the population you know! Why do public sector workers think that they deserve automatic pay rises that the rest of us dont get? And dont say that its because you dont earn much, because my H's salary has been 19k (yes nineteen) for the past 3 years, despite working stupid hours. Try living on that!

montysma1 Wed 17-Oct-12 23:51:26

My husband works in the public sector and for years happily worked more than contracted hours....loves his job. Fastforward to having 3 under fives. I will not accept him doing anything he isnt paid for. They either pay him the extra hours or he takes the time back.

I run a small business in which I now have to employ somebody, essentially to cover for myself, to let me be home for the children. As I see it, if he works unpaid hours, ie, hours that he could be home providing child care ,(allowing me to work and cut employee hours), then in effect my very small business is subsidising the operation of a multi million pound government body. NO WAY. I absolutely insist that he works contracted hours , or gets the time back. I swear otherwise I would invoice his employer for MY time.

As somebody else said the extra hours people do can add up to MONTHS of unpaid work over a year. Employers state that they expect flexibility in employees.

OK, here is some flexibility along the lines of what employers expect.

"Dear Employee, As per your contract we will pay you for a 37 hour week. For this, you will be expected to work 50 hours per week"

This apparently is perfectly reasonable.Consider the converse.

Dear Employer, I now intend to be present in work for 24hours per week. I do of course expect that I will still be in receipt of payment for 37 hours, as per my contract."

Unlikely I suspect.

If an employer is not prepared to pay somebody for hours that they dont work, why on earth would they expect people to work hours that they are not paid for.

Oh yes, good old flexibilty . Bit of a one way street that.

NellyBluth Thu 18-Oct-12 10:50:57

Elkie, I have to agree with Bogey - I have had no pay rise (private sector) for nearly 4 years now, I can't even begin to work out what that pay decrease actually amounts to. The lack of payrise is shit for everyone, regardeless of what sector they work in, and I definitely agree that my attitude nowadays is that I work hard during my contracted hours but that it is, they don't pay me enough to work over - but the private sector has been suffering from these real-term pay decreases for several years more than the public sector has. And with no unions to back them and fight for increases.

95% of private sector workers are not fat-cat bankers and have been suffering from the recession for several more years than the public sector.

(Can you tell this is a bit of a bug bear of mine?!)

Elkieb Thu 18-Oct-12 12:11:19

I wasn't aiming to start a fight, as it is I earn 16k a year for the nhs. My husband earns £18k a year for the council. My sister is the only one who works in the private sector and she got a £1500pa pay rise. As far as hours go I am in early every day, have never had a lunch break in 10years and am expected to work through. So much for gold-plated! dons hard hat

NellyBluth Thu 18-Oct-12 13:00:40

Not staring a fight either grin I just have several friends who all work in the public sector and have had guaranteed payrises over the past few years, thanks to pay scales, and who have all had a good moan about how 'hard' the recession has been for them. Er... no, no it hasn't been actually. It might be now, but it wasn't three years ago when half my company was being made redundant! <deep breath>

But most people's jobs suck one way or another, don't they?!

samandi Thu 18-Oct-12 13:01:02

As far as hours go I am in early every day, have never had a lunch break in 10years and am expected to work through.

You do know that's illegal, right? Just take your lunch break.

LaQueen Thu 18-Oct-12 14:21:21

I totally agree with bogey I consider myself pretty sharp, but to date no one has ever successfully explained to me why public sectors are somehow magically deserving of better employment conditions than private sector workers hmm

And, it's not like they haven't tried. I know quite a few public sector workers, and as far as I can ascertain, the gist of their justification appears to be 'Well...well...well...we just should have yearly pay rises, that's all, okay.'

Hardly a compelling argument hmm

NatashaBee Thu 18-Oct-12 14:41:14

grin LaQueen

TheFarSide Thu 18-Oct-12 18:29:50

I'm not aware of anyone thinking public sector workers should have better conditions of employment LaQueen. Personally, I think everybody should have reasonable salaries and employment rights.

This split between public/private is meaningless anyway, since both sectors have their low paid and high paid workers. Annual pay rises don't mean much if you work in one of the very many low paid public sector occupations, like the cleaners and carers.

LaQueen Thu 18-Oct-12 18:36:51

farside do you know all of the million +, public sector workers then shock

TheFarSide Thu 18-Oct-12 18:47:08

No LaQueen and neither do you, so who are all these people allegedly thinking public sector workers are somehow magically deserving of better employment conditions?

Anyway, the division between public and private sector workers is a red herring. What we are talking about in this thread is bad management practices, which abound in both sectors.

OwlLady Thu 18-Oct-12 18:47:43

well the public sector workers i come into contact with (social workers) need to do some WORK for their wages

sorry blush

but they are a pile of shite here

TheFarSide Thu 18-Oct-12 19:13:09

OwlLady - I don't doubt you, but we can't generalise about a whole profession based on our own experiences.

I would say, no matter what their job, if people have a good manager who truly understands and respects their efforts, most will go the extra mile.

Good managers seem few and far between.

TheFarSide Thu 18-Oct-12 19:16:59

This article in the Guardian makes some interesting points about accommodating both employers' and workers' needs in a way that does not disadvantage those employees who have to leave at 5pm:-

We also shouldn't forget that needing to leave work on time is a feminist issue.

Iggly Thu 18-Oct-12 19:27:35

I come across private sector workers every week who are rubbish. Bank staff, checkout workers, call centre people etc etc. I don't tar a whole sector of people with the same brush though.

LaQueen Thu 18-Oct-12 19:39:56

"so who are all these people allegedly thinking public sector workers are somehow magically deserving of better employment conditions?"

Well, they tend to be public sector workers, who think that...

inabeautifulplace Thu 18-Oct-12 19:48:06

Doesn't everyone think they deserve better employment conditions?

If you don't pop a CV in the post to me. I'll gladly offer you reduced pay, increased hours and trim the fat off your pension. Everyone's happy smile

ShellyBoobs Thu 18-Oct-12 19:48:33

We also shouldn't forget that needing to leave work on time is a feminist issue.

What a crock of crap.

That's me out.

TheFarSide Thu 18-Oct-12 20:34:30

Yes but ShellyBoobs it's an issue that negatively affects more women than men (see the article I linked to) so we all need to be careful about placing an expectation on all staff to do unplanned overtime.

I don't disagree with your earlier point that there is a middle ground - this thread has pushed us all into defending extreme positions. Of course there are some jobsworths who never give an inch ... but people who leave at 5pm are not necessarily those jobsworths.

mrsconfuseddotcom Thu 18-Oct-12 20:42:10

I think there is this misconception amongst public sector workers that the grass is greener in the private sector. It's not.

I know so many people in private sector who have not had a pay rise or cost of living increase in at least four years. Companies that contribute to a pension are almost non-existent now, and as for final salary pensions, well I think they went out with the ark. Very few industries have unions now so if you have a problem there is just no one to turn to and no support network. It's tough and employees seem to be getting shafted left, right and centre. There is no security and no loyalty from employers and in turn no employee loyalty. It stinks.

I've been really interested to read this thread and see how many other people feel. Up until now, I actually thought I was in the minority!

Darkesteyes Thu 18-Oct-12 21:17:33

Been following this thread with interest.
When i worked in retail for not much more than minimum wage we often had to stay late.
But if people working in shop and factory jobs complain the attitude is usually "Well its better than being on benefits"!

TheFarSide Thu 18-Oct-12 21:27:07

It's a shame some workers are (or feel) so powerless that they have to put up with that kind of attitude Darkesteyes.

I wonder why some employers are so cavalier - I suppose they think they have a ready supply of replacement labour, but surely they have some staff that they value enough not to piss off.

OwlLady Fri 19-Oct-12 08:57:36

I think the thing that annoys me most about how the social service is organised is that they think they are meeting objectives and proving services because they work within a given timescale In my opinion, that is not providing a service, that is working to protocol and ticking all the boxes, yet even at complaint level they wheel out that the timescales have been met so complaints cannot be upheld even though a[appropriate support and services are not provided confused that's too much management

Bogeyface Fri 19-Oct-12 09:08:37

My mum is a public sector worker, she has better pay and conditions than her equivalant in the private sector, managed to dodge all the bullets in the pension debacle and is doing very well thank you. She will indeed get a final salary pension.

Except that according to her, she isnt that well off. She has been in that job for 30 years and has no idea how lucky she is. She conveniently forgets that we dont all get guaranteed pay rises, good pensions, union protection etc and is very disparaging of people who complain how hard things are at the moment. Her attitude is that you should just work harder hmm

It really does get on my tits that just because she works in local government she thinks that she automatically deserves things that the rest of us would count ourselves bloody lucky to have. And she is a baby boomer who made money in her property. I am sure you can imagine the rows......hmm

cory Fri 19-Oct-12 09:32:06

Where are these public sector workers who expect or get pay rises every year? Round here council workers got pay cuts last year; this year they are looking at massive redundancies. Noone seems to have mentioned magically deserving.

Iggly Fri 19-Oct-12 09:52:16

It's sad how many people have been sucked into the race to the bottom.

Because some workers have a relatively good deal, does that mean everyone should?

Why the jeff aren't people complaining about the incredibly insane pay rises that senior staff get in the private sector, especially in banks despite the billion pound bail outs and crashes which caused a global recession?!

All in it together my arse.

TheFarSide Fri 19-Oct-12 10:27:45

Totally agree with you OwlLady - not just social services but many organisations public and private think if the boxes are ticked everything is hunky dory. It's a real bugbear of mine. For the record, a lot of the employees don't like it either - there is no job satisfaction when you know the customers are pissed off.

Also agree with Iggly that we should all be looking to improve our working conditions rather than bitching about those who are slightly better off. Unfortunately there seems to be a culture of fear, especially during recessions, that has employees thinking "better not complain or I might lose my job."

I am not rich and there have been times when I have been in debt and the only person paying the mortgage, but I have never put up with unreasonable and bullying employers. It's a state of mind that I have cultivated: a belief that I am good at my job and will always be able to get another one.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now