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To be very upset at the way I'm being treated at work?

(51 Posts)
Thedancefloorsatemptress Sun 04-Jan-15 09:04:20

Hi all I'm a chef in my local village pub. I've worked there for 4 years but in the last 6 months the lease has been sold to a new family who have taken it over.

I'm currently 7 months pregnant with my first child.

We are always short staffed. There's generally me and one other if I'm lucky plus who ever is on the bar.

Whilst I've been pregnant I have been working every night from 5:30 pm until whatever time we finish (service of food stops at 9:00 pm) and also Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and EO Saturday from 6:30am until 4pm or whenever we get finished. These are long shifts on my feet and its starting to take its toll. I asked my boss if I could have a couple of nights off a week to which he responded 'who the fuck am I going to get to cover 2 night shifts a week?'

I have been left to carry sacks of potatoes into the kitchen an pour drums of oil into the fryers simply because there was nobody to help me.

My new boss and his family (wife and 2 step daughters aged 16 and 17 who don't help out at all) are often in bed until 11am. They tend to come down in their pyjamas at a really inappropriate time and ask me to make them breakfast, dump all of their dirty pots by the sink and expect me to wash them up as well as this we have to go and collect their dirty laundry wash it and dry it!

Anyway on NY day I had come in at 6am and worked all the way through until 5:00pm. I decided that it wasnt worth going home for half an hour so stayed at work and did some prepping instead (bearing in mind I hadn't had a break all day).

That night I had a new member of staff working with me. And right before service finished we got 2 large tables of people walk in unexpectedly. The girl on the bar asked if we would be ok to serve them (it was 8:50) and I said yes as we hasn't finished serving. They ordered starters and mains and then some had puddings but of course you have to wait until each course is back before you can dish the next one out. I was absolubtely exhausted!!

We both managed to get all of the dishes back in by around 10 pm. The kitchen was still to clean, the pots to wash and put away, the floors to sweep and mop and every surface needed to be disinfected. It was 10:50pm by the time we got out of there.

Yesterday, I recieved this text off my boss. 'Can I just ask what the fuck were you and * doing in the kitchen until 22:50 last night when we finish food service at 21:00????

None of them once came down to see how we were doing or to lend a helping hand, they never do. It's their business but it seems to me as though they just can't be arsed with it! I've been coming out on snowy icy mornings recently and more than once I've slid down that bank sideways in my car on my way to work!!! I just feel like its a massive slap in the face after everything I've done for them.

I worked Xmas and new year for no extra pay. Not even a sodding
Xmas card off them!!

afreshstartplease Sun 04-Jan-15 09:07:47

What twats!

I would not handle this brilliantly because I would go bat shit

However I am sure someone on here can advise you how best to handle it

ApocalypseThen Sun 04-Jan-15 09:08:47

Resign. There must be less abusive places you can work.

Letthemtalk Sun 04-Jan-15 09:08:48

Jesus! First things first, have they done a risk assessment for you? I'm guessing not! What is your situation like re maternity pay? When are you planning to start maternity leave?

I'm sure someone more knowledgeable will be along soon, but I don't know how you can keep going.

swashbucklecheer Sun 04-Jan-15 09:09:01

I'd be looking for somewhere else to work! They sound horrible

DamnBamboo Sun 04-Jan-15 09:09:03

Are you being paid for your overtime?
What does your contract say?
Have you had an assessment with regards to the suitability of your tasks whilst pregnant?
Have you sorted out your maternity leave?

I would personally have said kitchen closes in 10 minutes so light snacks only, when this large table came in.

Your new bosses sound like arseholes but you need to learn to say no.

pinkdelight Sun 04-Jan-15 09:10:29

When do you start mat leave? Do you think he's trying to get you to quit before then so he can avoid all his commitments to you? Because his behaviour is completely outrageous and that text is disgusting.

mumonashoestring Sun 04-Jan-15 09:12:18

Are these arsehairs going to be providing maternity pay? Is there anything in your contract about staying on/returning after maternity leave?

If not, I'd definitely be looking for a new job.

In the meantime, give ACAS a ring and talk to them about reasonable adjustments for pregnancy in a manual role and break entitlements so that you know exactly what you're meant to be able to expect from an employer. And if they send you another text like that just respond with 'Please don't swear at me, there's no call for it'.

Are they franchisees for a brewery?

scarletforya Sun 04-Jan-15 09:12:34

Bloody hell, that's horrific. Can you go on stress leave I wonder?

Ohmygrood Sun 04-Jan-15 09:13:30

Can your GP back you up? It can't be healthy to work in those conditions.

Patrickstarxx Sun 04-Jan-15 09:16:58

Cheeky bastards flowers

wowfudge Sun 04-Jan-15 09:17:20

It sounds as though they don't understand the business at all. Plus your new boss is a real charmer isn't he? I mean who sends texts like that to their employees?

I'm sure somebody with HR experience will be along soon, but make sure you document everything and save screenshots of the text messages. Speak to ACAS for advice.

Stop doing things which aren't your job - so with the kids thank them for bringing the pots to the kitchen but tell them where to clean them themselves, etc.

You need to make a professional stand - ask for a meeting and calmly tell them you cannot do it all within your normal hours and set out the case for getting some help.

Exhausting yourself is not the way to achieve anything and puts your baby and you at risk.

Have a [tea] and some flowers

Thedancefloorsatemptress Sun 04-Jan-15 09:21:04

Yes it's a brewery owned pub and I understand that its difficult for them to make a living out of it. I don't have a contract as far as I'm aware and I have to go for mat pay off the government as in my test period to see if I qualify for maternity pay off my employer I was earning under the threshold as I get paid a pittance.

I haven't replied to the text yet as I knew that at the time I needed to calm down before I went down and sent two rounds of fuckings into him. DP was absolubtely livid and has told me not to go in tonight. I was hoping to carry on working until the end of feb (due march 10th) but I would be within my rights to take leave right now if I wanted to

Aliennation Sun 04-Jan-15 09:21:13

Yes you should have had risk assessments done, you should be getting regular breaks and absolutely no heavy lifting for a start.
First thing I'd do is call HSE and get them to pay your boss a visit, then I'd get myself signed off sick, even if it meant lying (sciatica is a good one, can't be proven one way or another). Then I'd stay off sick until your maternity starts. And start looking for a new job whilst you're on maternity.
Honestly I would not be setting foot in the place again if I were you, you're being forced to put your unborn child at risk and it's not acceptable. Call in sick tomorrow then go to your doctor.

Guilianna Sun 04-Jan-15 09:22:37

don't delete text

Vycount Sun 04-Jan-15 09:22:45

You need to talk to ACAS.

oneowlgirl Sun 04-Jan-15 09:22:46

Do you get any sick pay or could you manage on SSP? If so, I'd go to your GP & get signed off for a couple if weeks to give you a break as that's not good for you at all.

I agree that it sounds like he's trying to get you to leave to avoid paying maternity pay (assuming you'll get some from them) otherwise he's just a nasty individual & you need to tell him so. Also, keep the text as evidence of treatment should this end up at a tribunal.

Also agree with the poster re contacting ACAS. Good luck as sounds horrible.

sonjadog Sun 04-Jan-15 09:24:33

Why do you want to keep working there? What does working there give you? This seems like a no-brainer to me. Go off sick today and never go back.

Vycount Sun 04-Jan-15 09:25:55

Oh, just read your update. Keep all correspondence and texts. Ring ACAS first thing tomorrow for advice. We're now possibly talking about them breaking the law re contracts, adequate work breaks, sick pay, maternity pay... Personally I do not think you should set foot in the place again without taking advice.

BallsforEarings Sun 04-Jan-15 09:29:06

Do you have a contract OP?

Were you issued a job description detailing all the duties you now perform, and if so is it still accurate?

Is this a full-time job? If so you should have full entitlements to all benefits.

If not there are indeed many health and safety issues at play, I second calling ACAS to discuss you rights during pregnancy AND at other times!

Your boss seems ignorant of what your job entails and that seems wrong to me! I am sure there a several liability issues here that should be addressed!

SolomanDaisy Sun 04-Jan-15 09:29:56

They sound like something out of Dickens. Don't go back and good luck to them finding another decent chef who will put up with those conditions.

wowfudge Sun 04-Jan-15 09:30:18

You definitely need proper advice on this - I think that the circumstances of the change in leaseholder could mean you are considered to have TUPE transferred to the new people. You shouldn't have had a test period with them as your job continued.

Write a list of all the things to query and speak to ACAS. Don't just leave - build a case to be properly treated. You should also have written confirmation of the main terms of your employment: do you have that from the old owners?

BallsforEarings Sun 04-Jan-15 09:30:42

Sorry - just seen you don't have a contract, you are entitled to one after two months of employment!

Thedancefloorsatemptress Sun 04-Jan-15 09:32:00

He seems to bully female members of staff but would say boo to any of the male members.

He has been having an affair with a 17 year old waitress (caught them
In the kitchen snogging on New Year's Eve dry humping ) so he's probably pretty pissed off that I caught them at it. I'm at work ATM and still haven't seen him. I'm going to have words today though.

Vycount Sun 04-Jan-15 09:32:33

I suspect that after talking to ACAS your time tomorrow could be more usefully employed taking advice from specialist employment lawyers than going into work. See what ACAS advise. Bottom line is that it's illegal to employ you without a contract, and it's illegal to have you working these hours without proper breaks. There may be more, but you certainly need to deal with this situation through the right channels.

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