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to think work have no right to tell me what I can and can't do on my day off

(110 Posts)
Ellybellyboo Fri 27-May-16 08:31:29

DH runs a smallish local business. There's the business owner (who is never there), DH, his colleague Jane (not her real name) and an apprentice.

Yesterday the business owner had to talk to Jane about her behaviour at work (always late, 4 hour lunch breaks, etc), but it didn't go very well. Jane got very upset and walked out.

DH is having a new machine delivered today. The apprentice it at college today, the business owner is away so DH is on his own and it will all be a bit manic

I had booked a day off for today ages ago. Long weekend, wanted to decorate my dining room, make some new curtains, etc, but in light of the above I said to DH I'd go in when the machine arrived and answer the phone, deal with customers and just help out a bit.

Was chatting yesterday afternoon at work and my boss asked me what I was planning for my long weekend. I said about best laid plans and all that, and that I was now going to help DH at work for a couple of hours.

Just before I left last night my boss took me to one said and informed that I wouldn't be allowed to work with my DH today. It's against company policy for employees to work for someone else during their employment and would be subject to a disciplinary

AIBU to think this is ridiculous overkill for me helping out my husband for a couple of hours and they can bugger off and mind their own business

I have checked my company handbook and there's no mention of it that I can find. Only stuff about not working with direct competitors within 3 months of leaving

LouBlue1507 Fri 27-May-16 08:33:25

You're not being paid so technically you're not working! You're volunteering grin

dementedpixie Fri 27-May-16 08:35:42

None of their business. You are not being employed by anyone else, you are just helping out

acasualobserver Fri 27-May-16 08:35:59

I thought these sorts of restrictions only applied to paid work for another employer. Will you be paid?

Dizzydodo Fri 27-May-16 08:36:05

It is common to not be able to work elsewhere is many workplaces but if you weren't getting paid and you're not an employee of your husbands company (ie not on the payroll) I think you could argue you weren't working elsewhere, you were just helping your husband

Itisbetternow Fri 27-May-16 08:36:25

If it is Annual leave then technically your leave is paid. Unless you take unpaid leave or get paid by the hour? However sounds like over reaction to me.

suitsyousir79 Fri 27-May-16 08:36:50

I work for other companies in my time off from my day job. Ive always been open about it and my boss often asks about it (in an interested way rather than being nosy).

If you are volunteering anyway its definitely none of their business but if there's nothing in your contract/handbook i would not be worried.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Fri 27-May-16 08:37:14

It's none of their business. Just say you're spending your day off with your dh and leave it at that. Don't be so open about it again.

BlueberryJuice Fri 27-May-16 08:37:13

Your not working there tho are you, your volunteering on your day off, if you was pulling a sickie in order to do this then fair enough, but thats not the case, is the business your dh runs a direct competitor of the business you work in?

AnchorDownDeepBreath Fri 27-May-16 08:37:36

Have you checked your contract? Most of these clauses say you can't work elsewhere without consent but consent won't be unreasonably withheld.

If there's no mention of it anywhere then I don't think they could do anything.

LunaLoveg00d Fri 27-May-16 08:38:04

Many companies have rules about not taking additional employment when you're employed by them, which is pretty sensible. You don't want someone working 9-5 then going off to work 9pm - 3am and being constantly knackered. Fair enough.

But in the circumstances the OP describes of helping out, unpaid for a couple of hours as a one-off, there's no problem.

msrisotto Fri 27-May-16 08:38:10

Well they probably wouldn't be insured for non employees. It strikes me as weird that you want to tbh.

freshprincess Fri 27-May-16 08:38:37

We have a clause in our contract which forbids paid work whilst in employment. I just don't tell them when I'm doing a some freelance work.
A disciplinary seems very heavy handed for helping out at your DHs business.

treaclesoda Fri 27-May-16 08:38:44

Sounds like an overreaction to me, but I do agree that it's common to not be allowed to work elsewhere, so technically I can see where your boss is coming from, and I'd guess that he does have a right to demand that you don't do it.

insancerre Fri 27-May-16 08:39:00

Next time, don't tell him anything

Ellybellyboo Fri 27-May-16 08:39:45

I'm not being paid and I did point that out to boss. I'm just helping my husband out of a tight spot for a couple of hours but boss was insistent that it was against company policy.

I might give HR a ring and get them to clarify as there's nothing in the company handbook.

Work would never know anyway, but, bloody cheek!

treaclesoda Fri 27-May-16 08:40:26

In my old workplace we weren't even allowed to do voluntary work, or help out with PTA, Scouts and stuff like that, without our employers permission. They were real arses though...

LouBlue1507 Fri 27-May-16 08:40:43

OP isn't working for anybody else! She's volunteering and helping out her husband!

Ellybellyboo Fri 27-May-16 08:42:17

Sorry, I'm not being paid by DH's company, but I'm on paid annual leave from work

And yes, I should have kept my mouth shut, we were just all chatting after lunch, he asked, I told him

whois Fri 27-May-16 08:42:22

It's common to have clauses saying you need consent - like they would probably say 'no' to you working in a strip club j see your own name if you were a primary school teacher for eg.

However this sounds like total overkill. You're not employed, just helping DH out!

Now you know your boss is a bit of a plonker and best to keep things vague with him!

StealthPolarBear Fri 27-May-16 08:43:19

It is better the volunteering comment was in relation to the work shs doing where her dh works

DailyMailAreAFuckingJoke Fri 27-May-16 08:44:56

I've had this before.

- You aren't being paid. You are volunteering.
- The business is not a direct competitor to them.
- There is nothing specifically outlined in your contract to prevent you from doing this.

Use an analogy; would they 'forbid' you from volunteering at the local Oxfam shop?

Ring HR. Explain it to them and make it clear that you are volunteering to help as an unpaid receptionist for a few hours and that you do not expect your manager to dictate what you can and cannot do on your day off, when it is not relevant to them.

Ellybellyboo Fri 27-May-16 08:55:15


There's no one in HR until 9:30 so I'll give them a ring in a bit.

There's definitely nothing in my handbook. I've been over it and over it and the only thing I can find that is vaguely relevant is not working for direct competitors within 3 months of leaving employment. DH's company couldn't be less of a competitor if it tried. The industries are poles apart

They have been a bit funny about volunteering in the past - someone is with the RNLI and they tried to stop him doing that. In the end they just refuse to release him on shouts during working hours.

ParadiseCity Fri 27-May-16 08:59:10

If it is not in the handbook they can't expect you to abide by secret rules, let alone utterly bonkers ones!

toastedandbuttered Fri 27-May-16 09:00:20

I would wonder if they were trying to get rid of you and this is an excuse to do that

Are you generally well thought of? Do you read the rule book and talk to HR a lot ?! grin

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