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Is this unreasonable?

(20 Posts)
poppetsocks Sat 13-Feb-16 17:47:59

Hi, I'm hoping someone can help with this as it is stressing me out. I was unable to cover someone else's shift this week at work, it is expected of me to cover this shift in the event of absence but I had no childcare. I was asked with only 3 days notice but already knew that day would be impossible, but was told that if I was unable to cover every time I should look for another job. I must stress that I have covered all time off in the last year. I always do try to sort child care out to do this but there are reasons I wont go into now that have made child care really difficult recently. These hours are outside of my usual arranged working hours? can someone please advise me? Thanks

dementedpixie Sat 13-Feb-16 17:53:44

What's in your contract? I don't think they can force you to do hours outside of what you are contracted to do. They sound like a shit employer anyway

Quoteunquote Sat 13-Feb-16 17:57:46

You were asked, you were unable to get unexpected child care, so it's not your fault,

who ever is running that business, is not very good at their job, they need to look at having more staff on their books, that is their responsibility not yours.

StealthPolarBear Sat 13-Feb-16 18:00:46

I'd just not answer your phone. SurEly you can't be expected to be instantly contactable when you're not meant to be working

mommy2ash Sat 13-Feb-16 18:08:35

It depends what is in your contract. If you are to be available to cover absences for this shift three days notice isn't bad.

If you are not contractually obligated to cover then yanbu.

Who said you should look for another job

BlueJug Sat 13-Feb-16 18:20:51

Check your contract

IssyStark Sat 13-Feb-16 18:23:46

Yes it is unreasonable to expect childcare at three days notice.

Do check your contract as to how much notice you need to be given and what hours it is expected that you be available.

Also investigate what unions you could join.

poppetsocks Sat 13-Feb-16 18:56:17

Thanks everyone, I work part time school hours, my hours were changed due to the fact that there was one colleague who because they liked doing morning shifts and was there much longer than me was not compromising by sharing the shifts even though when I started I was told this is what happened.

Nothing was ever done about this and I saw no option but to request a change in my hours. This person is now on sick leave. I was always from day one expected to cover the later shift if the person who usually does it is off even though the responsibility for cover should have been with me and the morning shift colleague they somehow always got away with that too.

My circumstances have recently changed which means childcare is much more difficult but as the person on sick leave has not been replace the responsibility in solely mine for cover. like I say I have covered all holidays in the past year even though I have really had a hard time trying to sort childcare but have now been told if I can't cover I should look for another job, might i also point out that my job is never covered as nobody has been trained to do what I do. It was the manager who said this to me.

dementedpixie Sat 13-Feb-16 18:59:48

It should be the manager sorting out cover not you. Are you sure you want this job, sounds like you don't benefit very much from it

dementedpixie Sat 13-Feb-16 19:00:11

What sort of job is it?

GloGirl Sat 13-Feb-16 19:02:08

Are you on a zero hours contract? What did you sign with the company and how long have you worked there?

poppetsocks Sat 13-Feb-16 19:46:03

I have a contract for 20 hours per week and have worked there for nearly 12 years. Other than these issues I love my job.

RB68 Sat 13-Feb-16 20:00:25

if it was holiday its not unreasonable - but 3 days notice isn't sufficient or reasonable, but if she is off long term sick they need to look at other solutions such as a temp as its unreasonable to suddenly double your hours. so basically occasional as has happened in last year OK, regular as is now seems to be happening is unreasonable esp if there are other members of staff should be splitting this extra work. Your manager is unreasonable to be threatening your job as a result of this - and this could be constituted as Bullying and Harrassment (at intimating you won't have a job unless xyz) and you can raise a grievance.

Try the ACAS website of hotline/helpline they are really good for both sides of the fence

jay55 Sat 13-Feb-16 20:05:54

They'd lose an employee of 12 years over 1 shift? They are crazy.

poppetsocks Sat 13-Feb-16 21:46:15

Thank you for your responses its pretty much what I thought and I have written a letter which I will be submitting to HR first thing Monday morning. Should I give a copy of this letter to my manager also?

poppetsocks Sun 14-Feb-16 13:52:46

I think the problem they have is because I can't say straight away when asked that I can cover. I have to make sure childcare is available before agreeing to cover but I always let them know the same day. Unfortunately in this case leave was granted before I was asked and on this occasion I really had no childcare and had to say no.

poppetsocks Sun 14-Feb-16 19:15:50

Sorry to keep popping back in but can anybody tell me whether I should cc my manager in when i send this grievance letter to HR? I would be grateful for any advise anyone can offer as I am a bit nervous about this and worried about doing the wrong thing. TIA

poppetsocks Sun 14-Feb-16 19:16:59

*advice blush

RatherBeRiding Sun 14-Feb-16 19:25:24

At this stage I would simply be asking HR what your are contractually obliged to do regarding covering shifts, and say you are concerned you have been told to look for another job if you can't guarantee that you can cover.

If HR confirms that there is no contractual obligation then I would raise a grievance. No need to cc your manager - leave all that to HR to deal with as per your company's formal grievance policy.

poppetsocks Mon 15-Feb-16 22:08:02

Well I have read my contract and it states that I may be required to work additional hours for cover, nevertheless I have now submitted my grievance letter to HR and am now so stressed as the atmosphere is already very frosty and what with everything thats currently going on in my family life at the moment (which is the reason childcare is so difficult) and this I am dreading what it will be like now. My heart was literally beating out of my chest as I sent it and i didn't get to sleep til after 3 last night sad Thanks for all your replies.

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