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Fired for not working the weekend

(117 Posts)
ThinkAboutItTomorrow Sat 04-Jul-15 09:59:51

My workplace is changing beyond recognition and it makes me so sad.
A colleague wants to fire someone because she said no to working the weekend. This would be unpaid overtime on top of an intense week. For many it's the norm.
It's not a shift job, it's an office. Official 37.5 hour week, mon - fri 9-5.30. The team probably average 50-60 hour weeks with some regularly working through the night.
PreDD I did similar(not so much all night but crazy travel and long hours) and now I'm managing 50 hour week averages but I always knew it was my choice. And felt that if I said no the company would be ok with that eg We had people say they didn't want promotion because they just had kids and wanted to coast for a while. Fine, their choice.
Now though I am told saying no to working through the weekend is against our values and he wants to fire her.

Help me get perspective, AIBU to think that's not my values and I don't want to be part of it? I don't like the colleague who is saying this so I maybe bei g biased

ThinkAboutItTomorrow Sat 04-Jul-15 10:11:19

The colleague thinks our values should be super ambitious, total commitment and hunger for success. The office he moved from had form for a junior guy not being able to commit to bring his brothers best man in case he had to work that weekend and miss the wedding.

goshhhhhh Sat 04-Jul-15 10:12:01

yanbu. Do you get paid overtime for all the extra hours?

MOTU Sat 04-Jul-15 10:12:43

It doesn't matter what he thinks about values, it's illegal.

Icimoi Sat 04-Jul-15 10:13:29

How long has the person who refused been working there? If she has job security it is unlawful to sack her for this reason.

Duckdeamon Sat 04-Jul-15 10:14:07

Firing someone for that reason would be a breach of working time laws.

goshhhhhh Sat 04-Jul-15 10:14:15

I think the values are odd - also lots of evidence suggests working long hours actually decreases productivity, creativity & innovation. Are the rewards good?

ThinkAboutItTomorrow Sat 04-Jul-15 10:14:33

No overtime, it's a salary. And a very good salary. The contract says 'the hours required to do the job' but I just think that's not the same as 'we'll fire you immediately if at 8pm on a Friday you say you can't spend your weekend in the office

Icimoi Sat 04-Jul-15 10:14:36

Have you checked the Working Hours Directive? You need to talk to HR.

Theycallmemellowjello Sat 04-Jul-15 10:16:31

Depends how highly paid the job is. In some sectors this is par for the course. It the job is not extremely well paid, then yes it's U.

MissBattleaxe Sat 04-Jul-15 10:17:05

Even if he threatens to fire her for this, she has a good case. She could label this harrassment or constructive dismissal and she would be playing a stronger hand than he's got. What he's doing is bullying.

People are allowed to have lives away from work.

goshhhhhh Sat 04-Jul-15 10:17:37

Well it probably isn't a good hourly rate if you count the extra hours. Not great working practices - it all comes out in the end.

ThinkAboutItTomorrow Sat 04-Jul-15 10:17:48

She is just in probationary period so sadly I think we could do it legally.

Rewards are v good but it's not as though she is sticking rigidly to 37 hours a week. She works late most nights (was there at 8pm on Friday)

paxtecum Sat 04-Jul-15 10:20:45

What is your salary?

If it's £80k or over then I can see that it could be expected.

ThinkAboutItTomorrow Sat 04-Jul-15 10:20:58

To be honest it is well paid. Even at 60 hour week her gross is around £25/ hour.

But she isn't complaining about that. She is just saying no, can't do this weekend at such short notice, sorry.

ThinkAboutItTomorrow Sat 04-Jul-15 10:21:53

Yes, over £80k. But still, summary dismissal?

MissBattleaxe Sat 04-Jul-15 10:22:44

If she has kids and would have to pay for or find childcare then he is discriminating against her.

ThinkAboutItTomorrow Sat 04-Jul-15 10:23:52

No kids. We hire young and free and work them hard. At least that seems to be the new policy. hmm

ChuffinAda Sat 04-Jul-15 10:24:26

At that level salary I'd expect people to be working when their boss tells them to. Saying that if everyone is working those hours they clearly are understaffed.

goshhhhhh Sat 04-Jul-15 10:25:47

Well I think my sis is probably on about 4 times that &doesn't work long hours. Doesn't believe in it - her viiew is either inefficient or stupid job. It doesn't have to be like that & isn't particularly productive.

ThinkAboutItTomorrow Sat 04-Jul-15 10:26:10

Yes we're understaffed and hiring like mad and the project just went tits up. I get that we need to talk to her about stepping up and being there for the team but the idea that this is a firing thing seems crazy to me.

WorktoLive Sat 04-Jul-15 10:26:32

No-one should have to work those hours MissBattleaxe, whether they have DCs or not.

It's sad that employers get away with shit like this, and that people feel that they have no choice but to comply.

Work to live, not live to work, I say wink.

IAmNotDarling Sat 04-Jul-15 10:26:33

No, not fair and not due process.

I presume you've all signed to opt out of the Working Time Directive?

>£80k doesn't justify expecting work to be your life. I work 50-60 hour weeks at two or maybe three points in the year but I take the time back as owed to me.

Sounds like a shite employer.

Jsa1980 Sat 04-Jul-15 10:26:50

Has she signed the 48 hour opt out form? If not i don't think she can be fired for choosing to work less hours.

yellowdinosauragain Sat 04-Jul-15 10:27:58

What is the reason the work has to be done this weekend? Would there be significant negative impacts on the business of she didn't work? That would affect my response really

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