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to think the staff shouldn't have been made to do this??

(29 Posts)
ilovewelshrarebit123 Sat 23-Apr-16 22:41:55

I work in a call centre, its not my weekend to work but a colleague text me to say all the computer systems had completely crashed. No work can be done without these systems, and they had been down for four hours when she text.

Staff were told they had to go home and make the time back on another day. For some people this would mean 7 hours!

To me this is not right, they were in work on time and its not their fault the systems crashed. While I understand you're supposed to be productive at work this was beyond the employees control.

Thankfully I wasn't in as I know I'd have struggled to keep mytrap shut!

Palomb Sat 23-Apr-16 22:44:03

Absolutely nbu.

WhyCantIuseTheNameIWant Sat 23-Apr-16 22:46:47

Your car breaks (or similar) you use your leave or make up the time.

Work things break, work makes up the time.

ilovewelshrarebit123 Sat 23-Apr-16 22:51:53

Oh yes they are very quick to ensure we make hospital time etc back. They are ruthless and I'd have refused to go home if I'd actually been in.

VimFuego101 Sat 23-Apr-16 22:55:33

YANBU - the staff were available to work, the systems were not. They should have a back up plan if systems go down. In similar circumstances I've been asked to clean out cupboards and do general cleanup and tidy up tasks to fill the time.

mayoketchupchocolate Sat 23-Apr-16 22:55:46

YANBU- that is disgusting! Surely HR don't agree with that?!

FarelyKnuts Sat 23-Apr-16 22:57:35

Feck that. I'd have refused to go home and sat out the shift I was available and there for

tinymeteor Sat 23-Apr-16 23:00:13

Let me guess, everyone is on a zero hours contract? This kind of crap is precisely why they are unfair. The risk of systems failure should be worn by the employer. "Flexible" employment terms let them pass the risk and the loss on to staff.

FuzzyOwl Sat 23-Apr-16 23:03:55

It depends what their contracts state but if it isn't in there and they don't want to go home (can't say I blame them) alternative work should have been found - even if it was just answering the phone to tell customers the systems were down.

What would have happened if the system came back up again before the end of the shift?

notbread Sat 23-Apr-16 23:05:37

I used to work for a large organisation which had a call centre in cardiff. Usually in circumstances like this, staff were never sent home but management would try and sell going home as being a really good idea. So the conversation would be "it's a lovely sunday day and nobody wants to be here on a saturday. Would anyone like to volunteer to go home?" Of course, everyone wants to leave but as they 'volunteered' then they have to make the time back. Ruthless is the correct word.

TyneTeas Sat 23-Apr-16 23:05:42

given the option to go home and make the time up is probably fair enough, but not if they had to!

ilovewelshrarebit123 Sat 23-Apr-16 23:06:05

No zero hours contracts, just young staff who won't stick up for themselves. I'm a lot older than most so won't put up with them bullying.

HR weren't involved as its a weekend, I don't think they'd have agreed to be honest.

lem73 Sat 23-Apr-16 23:08:54

That's disgusting. That really pisses me off on their behalf. Grrr.....

Gide Sat 23-Apr-16 23:09:14

It was VU to make them make up the time. On snow days, we are not made to do extra time for the weather preventing work from opening.

ImNotThatGirl Sat 23-Apr-16 23:16:50

They are being VU. shock A month ago, our systems went down for 8 hours for the first time in a decade and the big boss sent us all home to "further our professional development"....and I work for the govt!

sleepyhead Sat 23-Apr-16 23:17:40

Yep. Dh has had similar to notbread in a couple of large call centres. They can make you work it back if you "volunteer" to go home, but if they tell you to go home then you don't have to make up the hours.

Dh always make sure he had a good book to hand and sat tight...

VeraStanhope Sat 23-Apr-16 23:19:13

I'm not sure if this gov.uk page will help but it's similar.

If the workplace is closed :
If the workplace is closed because of disruption and the employee doesn’t usually work from home, employers can’t usually deduct pay.

It depends on what your contract says however I would expect this is the case:
The employer closed the workplace, the employees were available to work but this was refused by the employer. The employer has to pay the employees unless their contract reads otherwise.

Good luck

LowDudgeon Sat 23-Apr-16 23:29:02

I used to work in an incoming-call centre (leisure industry)

When systems went down we all stayed put & answered the phones to say they were down & to call back in X amount of time - as dictated by management

Granted this was 5-plus years ago but should still apply, surely?

NotMeNotYouNotAnyone Sun 24-Apr-16 00:27:09

I work in a call centre and unless the phones themselves are down we generally have to answer them and deal with generic queries and ask everyone else to call back. They might try and sell the idea of using holidays or making time back, but most people would prefer to just sit tight and get paid, but then we're full time employees with decent enough contracts, not zero hours bullshit.

KoalaDownUnder Sun 24-Apr-16 04:11:00

YANBU. What bullshit.

Surely this is not legal? (Am not in the UK.)

curren Sun 24-Apr-16 07:08:50

I worked in a call centre. When this happened, staff hung around and did other jobs. Sorted their drawers, lockers out. Cleaned their desks. Filling etc. While we waited for the system to come back up. If it didn't, it didn't.

I have to say though, from speaking to people who work in other call centres, mine was far batter than most.

On the odd occasion we were sent home (there was a small fire once) we never had to make the time back.

ivykaty44 Sun 24-Apr-16 07:40:55

Get your colleague to contact thier union rep to sort it out, you cannot send staff home and expect them to make up the hours.

ChemistryHunt Sun 24-Apr-16 07:46:02

In my experience when systems go down no one is forced to go home. Generally other things are found to be done until they can be got back up.

Even contact centre staff, whose whole role depends on certain systems running, such as phone, email or chat, are found other stuff to do.

Management could use it as a great opportunity to get the staff all together to discuss policies and processes and that are not working and need improvements to make everything run better.

So no YANBU. I would not expect to be forced to go home and make up the time unless I asked to go home as systems were down.

SeaMagic Sun 24-Apr-16 08:00:20

I agree with a PP who said this sort of situation is exactly why zero hours contracts are unfair.

That said, they are pulling this sort of shit in private hospitals with permanent staff. I once worked for an American company that owns a group of very well known private hospitals in central London. One of these hospitals has recently been the subject of a television program.

If you look at their recruitment material they will give you all sort of bumf about being a top notch opportunity with access to training and competitive salary. This is in the main untrue for those who work at the coal face.

I know of a theatre nurse who came in for her shift, say 8am - 8pm [12 hour shift]. A theatre list was cancelled in the middle of the day and the nurse was told she should take herself off shopping or whatever [as she lived too far away to just go home] and then return in the evening for the later theatre lists. However she would have to make up the hours she took off in the middle of the day when she was not needed! shock

They are also always trying to change shift patterns at the last minute. So you have your monthly rota and say one week you are due to work Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. You make plans for your life around this schedule - childcare, social life, etc. Then on Thursday the theatre manager calls you and says 'Oh, Friday's looking quiet and we won't need you so don't come in. You can make the hours up at a later time [at a time which conveniences the needs of the department but not necessarily convenient to you]'. For example, the theatre department might need you to come in on a Saturday in a couple of weeks time and it's then a way for you to get rid of these hours you owe them [but you are paid the Friday rate which is less than you would normally get for working bank hours on that Saturday angry]

This is one of the reasons I got out of nursing tbh and couldn't be lured back for love nor money. It is basic disrespect for their work force and I empathise OP.

queenoftheworld93 Sun 24-Apr-16 08:19:16

Something similar happened to me once when I worked in a fast food chain. We had a power cut (batteries covered essentials like safe and clocking in/clocking out). Our boss instructed us to shut everything down and clock out immediately afterwards. We were then expected to wait in the dark restaurant at the tables, supervised by our manager, for the power to come back on so we could clock in again. It didn't before the end of my shift so I went home. Eventually, the manager told us that he would actually be paying us for the entire shift, but I don't think I ever received that money. Ridiculous.

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