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please help me help my teenage son with his job

(48 Posts)
fedupandfeelingold Fri 30-Jan-15 21:02:30

He is commis in a french/English restaurant
Busy
Working 50 - 70 hours
Needs to negotiate less hours and or more money without getting sacked or seeming to not want to progress
He is knackered
He wants a chef career
Head chef likes him
Due to his age he is very cheap
(not paid by hours worked but per week)
He has only been here 3 weeks

fedupandfeelingold Fri 30-Jan-15 21:02:52

Age 17

jumbo79 Fri 30-Jan-15 21:12:40

not paid by hours worked but per week

What do you mean? He must be being paid the National Minimum Wage (otherwise he needs to report it and look for somewhere which treats its staff legitimately). Or do you mean he's on an Apprenticeship? In which case he'll have known the rate before joining, presumably?

Needs to negotiate less hours and or more money without getting sacked or seeming to not want to progress

I'm struggling to see what his bargaining chips are though, especially since he's so new. 17 year olds on minimum wage aren't paid well (presumably you're supplementing his living costs/he still lives with you), the job market for unskilled positions is fiercely competitive...

Is he on an actual chef training scheme? i.e. he has a realistic plan/understanding of how to become a chef? In which case this is a temporary issue (low pay/long hours/etc) rather than a career problem.

Also, 3 weeks isn't long to stick in a job, even with those hours - most entry positions have tough hours, environments, and chefs typically work stupidly long (and unsociable/not family friendly) hours even when qualified/well experienced

firstposts Fri 30-Jan-15 21:12:46

Is this in UK? I have never heard of a weekly pay no matter what hours are worked, that is a liberty. Certainly being a chef is infamous for horrendous working hours especially as a junior. If it was a seasonal peak eg in December 70 hours a week would not be unusual but not throughout the year. What is in his contract regarding working hours?

CurlyWurlyCake Fri 30-Jan-15 21:16:08

What does his contract say about hours worked?

DisgraceToTheYChromosome Fri 30-Jan-15 21:17:21

Oh god. Unfortunately, at his age and in his industry, he's expected to eat shit and ask for more. I assume that he's being paid £3.79 x a 40 hour week, which is NMW for a 17 year old?

queeneileen Fri 30-Jan-15 21:18:57

According to The Work-Time Directive:

"16 and 17 year olds can’t normally work more than 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week. The hours can’t be averaged out for 16 and 17 year olds. There is also no opt-out which means that they can’t work longer hours even if they want to."

So they're breaking the law by allowing him to work over this number of hours. Also, if his hourly rate goes under £3.79 (presuming they've not signed him as an apprentice, which is £2.73) they are again breaking the law.

fedupandfeelingold Fri 30-Jan-15 21:19:04

He is in UK
He is on £120 a week
Paid on a Monday
Through the books not cash
Not per hour
Previously pizza hut zero hours
OK per hour but could be 6 hours a week or 15 or come in - oh its quiet - go home (after an hour)
He wants to be a chef

Help1234 Fri 30-Jan-15 21:19:10

The minimum wage is £3.79 for his age but he should be paid for the hours he is doing and not a set weekly amount. Is his weekly amount based on 40hrs per week? If so he is losing out on a lot. They are not being fair and actually breaking the law if they are not paying him at least the minimum wage for the hours he is doing. He is already cheap for them (being only 17) they should not expect him to do 20+hours for free every week! I know it's a new job and chefs do work long hours and he wants to make a good impression but he can't continue like that. He needs to speak up in my opinion and tell them, maybe if they are paying him for the extra hours they won't ask him to do so many?

fedupandfeelingold Fri 30-Jan-15 21:23:02

Someone else who is older told them they didn't get paid for 60 hours and quiit
He can't sign on
Can't get an apprenticeship coz he did a level 2 college course ( no funding)
Can't find a job

queeneileen Fri 30-Jan-15 21:25:27

what does his contract say about his set weekly hours? He is legally unable to work over 48hrs a week and his employer is breaking the law everytime they do so, alongside not paying him correctly for doing so. These are both criminal offences.

Does he have any record (clocking in card/timekeeping system) of the hours he's worked, as he can let the HMRC know anonymously that the employer is breaking the law: https://www.gov.uk/pay-and-work-rights-helpline

fedupandfeelingold Fri 30-Jan-15 21:26:49

No written contract (it's a local restaurant not a national chain)
No clocking

fedupandfeelingold Fri 30-Jan-15 21:28:16

Trouble is if he quits or gets sacked he has nothing

jumbo79 Fri 30-Jan-15 21:32:25

But is it a job or is he on a clear path to become a chef, if that's what he wants?

i.e. on a proper, recognised industry apprenticeship? Going to college? Planning to do certificates/etc? (I know nothing about Chef qualifications but there's a clear difference between being working in a local restaurant and becoming a Chef - I'm concerned that if he's finding it tough 3 weeks in maybe there's no light at the end of the tunnel, either)

Dr0pThePirate Fri 30-Jan-15 21:36:47

If he wants to be a chef wouldn't it be better for him to be in catering college? He'll hardly get any money while studying but at least he won't be treated like a skivy.

He'll also be qualified in the end and in a much better position to negotiate pay with an employer.

Has he considered that his current employer might be waiting until he's 18 and then tell him to bugger off so they don't have to pay him more?

He can't negotiate with them anyway as he has no contract.

fedupandfeelingold Fri 30-Jan-15 21:40:29

He has already been to college and got a level 2 in professional cookery (which is why he can't get the apprentice as he has been to college for that level already but not on apprenticeship)

CupidStuntSurvivor Fri 30-Jan-15 21:43:42

Even at 48 hours x minimum wage for his age, he's being underpaid by £60. He needs to get some kind of written confirmation of his hours rather than working all the hours they throw at him. If he's doing 70 hour weeks, he's getting £1.71 per hour. His employer is indeed breaking the law but if he's determined to continue working for them there's not an awful lot he can do. If he reports them, they'll pretty much definitely get rid of him saying he's not officially contracted and is still under a probation period. If he tries to negotiate his pay, he's no longer the 'value for money' and they'll probably do the same thing.

fedupandfeelingold Fri 30-Jan-15 21:44:59

Told him to say that he is REALLY happy to have the experience at the restaurant and the job
BUT as a 17 year old he shouldn't be working more than 48 hours per week and REALLY it should be on the minimum per HOUR for his age. He knows that this industry has long hard hours but especially as a 17 year old he is feeling knackered and need less hours for same payment or preferably paid per hour.
? What do you think?

fedupandfeelingold Fri 30-Jan-15 21:46:50

Cupid what should he say tomorrow morning when he goes in?

Dr0pThePirate Fri 30-Jan-15 21:48:54

Ok then, he still has to get a better job. And he absolutely needs a contract.

It's not going to be easy but he needs to start looking around for alternative employment and/or seeing a recruitment agency/ career advisor.

He's going no where with the restaurant he's at if they can't even see to give him a contract or pay him hourly. They're using him but he's getting nothing back but exhaustion.

itsbetterthanabox Fri 30-Jan-15 21:51:59

You say if he quits he has nothing. Well presumably he lives with you at home? So no rent or bills.
His work are acting illegally he should leave and look for a new restaurant role. Will you not support him doing that? When he turns 18 it will be much easier.
Is his college qualification in catering?
Start looking for new roles now and hand in notice.

fedupandfeelingold Fri 30-Jan-15 21:57:15

Yes probably good idea to look for new role
He doesn't drive
We are not in a city or large town
Yes his qualification is in catering
It's not advertised stuff normally but word of mouth etc
He is hard working but socially INEPT re asking for jobs etc...

CupidStuntSurvivor Fri 30-Jan-15 22:01:50

When it happened to me, I asked for a contract that outlined my hours and hourly pay.

Admittedly, I was then told there was no longer a position for me hmm. But he can't carry on how he is.

queeneileen Fri 30-Jan-15 22:12:07

Seems like a verbal contract of employment is equal to a written one:

https://www.gov.uk/employment-contracts-and-conditions/overview
https://www.gov.uk/employment-contracts-and-conditions/contract-terms

fedupandfeelingold Fri 30-Jan-15 22:16:37

I am on my mobile and can't find how to respond to private messages
But to the person who sent me one VERY PERTINENT thanks i have forwarded to my son (that's what I think BTW)

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