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AIBU to complain about less than 11 hours between shifts?

(25 Posts)
LegallyEntitledToSleep Sun 05-Jul-15 14:46:25

Namechange because if my managers ever find out it's me, I'm out of a job.

I work on a casual zero hour contract. As far as I'm aware, workers are legally entitled to 11 hours between shifts. On several occasions, us casuals (not just me) have been given shifts in which (for example) we finish at 2am and then are back in at 9am. On a couple of occasions I've finished at 3:30am only to be back in at 7.

None of us are in the financial position to refuse shifts, so that isn't an option. This had been boiling for a while, and seeing as it only started when we got a new manager, we thought maybe she just didn't realise when she was doing the rota. I brought it up with her, and she apologised but it hasn't made any difference. My DP is a manager in a different department and has.told me that the rest of the managers in my department are pissed off, the main manager even said "well if the casuals don't want to work we don't have to give them shifts". There has been history of when people rock the boat they are just taken off the rota and don't get given shifts.

Obviously there's no way I can complain to the managers as none of them care, but it's getting ridiculous - half the staff come in sleep deprived and then the managers wonder why mistakes are made. A few months ago we were made aware of the organisation's whistleblowing policy, and I was wondering if you think it would be a step too far to give the number a call? I know it's supposed to be for stuff that's really bad and criminal etc., but it is illegal...

Before anyone says, almost all of the casuals are looking for new jobs - I have two interviews next week, so fingers crossed for that!

Angeale Sun 05-Jul-15 14:47:42


My workplace isn't as bad but we have similar issues.

Mistigri Sun 05-Jul-15 14:50:06

You are absolutely NBU, especially if the mistakes that are being made have the potential to put employees or clients at risk.

dinosaurkisses Sun 05-Jul-15 14:51:05

Is your workplace unionised? It might be worthwhile speaking to a rep- this issue can be raised collectively on behalf of all the casual workers rather than one or two people risking their shift allocation

FayKorgasm Sun 05-Jul-15 14:52:25

YANBU. My workplace is the same, finish at 12am and back in at 7am. No one can afford to lose shifts.

MrsItsNoworNotatAll Sun 05-Jul-15 14:54:18

That's horrific.

FayKorgasm Sun 05-Jul-15 14:56:04

Just wondering, those of us affected,who is in a low paid job?
I am.

dinosaurkisses Sun 05-Jul-15 14:56:20

You might find this link useful OP- they're definitely out of line here

LegallyEntitledToSleep Sun 05-Jul-15 15:02:40

Unfortunately our union rep retired last year and no one in the building took over, so I don't actually have anyone to go to.

My job isn't minimum wage but it's certainly not well paid - after rent and bills I'm lucky if I have £50 to spare each month for food etc.

VivaLeBeaver Sun 05-Jul-15 15:06:01

I don't know if it's actually illegal. I was told by our union that an organisation can opt out of the regulations if they wanted.

I work for the nhs and we used to have less than 11 hours. The hospital decided to change shift times and cited european working time regulations. We didn't want them to change as they've made the shifts shorter, so we get paid less and have to work more days a week. We begged them to stay as they be careful what you wish for.

dinosaurkisses Sun 05-Jul-15 15:06:36

argh that's so frustrating about your rep! If youre a union member get on to their head office- they will be VERY interested to hear of this. It will be completely anonymous and they'll probably start with a gentle, general message to your area's management that they've been made aware of an issue with breaks between shifts and remind them of what their legal obligations are.

FayKorgasm Sun 05-Jul-15 15:08:14

Legally They know we know better than to kick up a fuss or else we are back at the job centre.

StellaAlpina Sun 05-Jul-15 15:32:13

YANBU, DHs work have 12h min between shifts and it's strictly enforced, as in if got asked to stay late one evening the next day he would come in late because of the 12h rule.

EllaBella1 Sun 05-Jul-15 15:36:29

Depending what your job is will depend on whether the working time regs apply. For example emergency services, care and hospitality where it's not practical to have 11 hours between so regs don't always apply.

Also the employer can have a clause in your contract where you opt out

contractor6 Sun 05-Jul-15 15:43:51

With **Ella, working hours directive is a waste of paper and people are just expected to opt out. Or it often gets ignored

EeyoresTail Sun 05-Jul-15 16:15:18

Have you signed out of the working time directive? What they are doing is illegal

Charlesroi Sun 05-Jul-15 17:20:42

Technically you should get 11 hours between shifts (does not include travelling to/from the workplace), but there are a number of loopholes involving 'continuity of service/production' and shift pattern changes. And - you are right - they don't have to offer you shifts when on a zero hour contract. This model is WIDE open to abuse (and, indeed, it is routinely abused).I suspect there is a strong correlation between those who complain about the shifts and a decrease in the number of shifts offered.
What the actual fuck has happened to this country? It is so depressing when hard working people get treated like the bottom of the food chain in a Victorian workhouse.

googoodolly Sun 05-Jul-15 18:11:09

It's awful but are you sure you haven't opted out of the working hours directive? Read your contract very carefully, because a lot of industries "opt out" as standard and it's included in your contract.

Our workplace is pretty strict about it and you have to sign to say if you're opting out, otherwise they have to give you 11 hours between shifts. And like Stella said, if you stay late one day, you have to start later the next to avoid them breaking the law.

LegallyEntitledToSleep Mon 06-Jul-15 09:31:30

Ah. We do a variety of different roles depending on what shift we're on, but some of them are hospitality based. Casuals are used for all departments, and so you could be working the evening/morning with one department, then back in the morning with another, but one manager does the rota so they will be aware of the time between shifts.

Going to dig out my contact now and see if we've opted out - we're employed by the council and seeing as we work in all different departments I'm hoping that there isn't a clause about that.

LegallyEntitledToSleep Mon 06-Jul-15 09:34:50

Although actually I'm sure we wouldn't have opted out, because our old managers (who I miss dearly) would make sure we had 12 hours between shifts, and if a shift overran for any reason, would tell staff they were not too come in the next day until after 12 hours, no matter what their original start time was (and if practical would let us stay on shift longer when that happened so we didn't lose out on hours just because we worked harder the night before)

ThinkIveBeenHacked Mon 06-Jul-15 09:38:02

Do you work in Hospitality? It clearly states on Gov websites that certain industries (hospitality being one) are exempt in that workers can be expected to start work again within 11 hours of their shifts ending however they must have reasonable rest periods within the week.

I work in hospitality. Some days I finish at 11.30pm and need to be back at 7am. However I then finish at 3.30pm and am not expected back til 3pm the day after that. This is classed as reasonable rest periods.

LegallyEntitledToSleep Mon 06-Jul-15 09:47:46

My trouble is that my shifts can be hospitality-based, maintenance, catering, reception, ticket-seller or museum-based depending on my shift that day - so while some is in hospitality I guess, the majority isn't.

And I really hope my managers don't see this post

Checked my contact, it says we follow the European Working Time Directive, but some employees won't and this will be covered in your induction - well they never mentioned anything about time between shifts or opting out of it in the induction, they just mentioned that we'll have a half hour break each shift. So if we did opt out it's not in my contract and has never been mentioned.

DisappointedOne Mon 06-Jul-15 10:21:07

You can only opt out of the 48 hour maximum working week (and it must not form part of your employment contract).

You cannot opt out of the rest break regulations, but as others have said, some industries and situations are excluded from the 11 hours between shifts rules.

(And its unlawful rather than illegal)

lushilaoshi Mon 06-Jul-15 10:25:10

YANBU if you're not being paid that much. Sounds rough.

You're in a difficult position though. I'd be gritting my teeth while looking for a different job.

DisappointedOne Mon 06-Jul-15 10:28:05

I'm more than happy to whistleblow on it for you, BTW.

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