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To contact dds work?

(141 Posts)
Isadora2007 Mon 19-Dec-16 09:01:50

Dd1 is 16. Still at school but recently got a waitressing job at local hotel. She has worked three shifts - well four if you count the first 6 hour "trial" shift for which she won't get paid (her staggering £3.80 an hour) for.
Anyway. Yesterday she came home from a 2-8pm shift at 8.45 (ten minute walk home) knackered and a bit tearful. She hadn't had a break and hadn't felt able to ask as "no one else had a break".
Aibu to call her work and ask about breaks? She thinks they will sack her if I do. I think they're breaking the law as I believe 16-18 yr olds are required to have a half hour break every 4.5 hours of work.
Help... I'm really not usually an interfering mum but my mama bear instincts are kicking in as I think it's so wrong to pay crap wages and take advantage of young workers like this. (But I realise I may be overreacting)

Strongmummy Mon 19-Dec-16 09:06:43

No, I don't think you should call, but I think you should have a chat with your daughter about assertiveness and give her the emotional strength to ask her employers about breaks.

crumpetsforteaa Mon 19-Dec-16 09:08:23

Sadly this is the norm in my experience. We weren't even allowed to pop to the loo!

Isadora2007 Mon 19-Dec-16 09:10:03

She did message about festive shifts last night as she was upset being put down to work both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I helped her write an email stating her availability over the whole festive period and suggested she ask at that point about a wee (even just 15 mins to eat a cereal bar and take shoes off!) break... but she felt it wouldn't go down well. And she doesn't want to rock the boat.

But I will try to talk more about it to her about how else to maybe word it or when to ask?

elvis86 Mon 19-Dec-16 09:10:58

I really don't think you'll do her any favours by doing this. Unless you actually need her earnings, surely part of the idea of a teen working is to develop life skills associated with it? I think you should encourage her to raise this appropriately herself.

Having worked waiting on from the age of 13, I recall that breaks weren't as guaranteed as they perhaps should have been, but the benefits of that job in terms of as socialisation and experience of teamwork etc were massively valuable to me. We were also treated well in terms of being fed and treated at Christmas etc (of course I can't assume the same is true of your daughter's employer, but maybe give them a chance?).

Isadora2007 Mon 19-Dec-16 09:12:09

Yeah Crumpets I do get that. But it's really not acceptable in this day and age is it? We used to have left handed people forced to use their right. Black people called names at school openly. Girls treated differently to boys in the classroom.

It all "happened to us" but that doesn't make it okay for employers to not give legal breaks. Does it?

ghostyslovesheets Mon 19-Dec-16 09:13:13

show here this www.gov.uk/rest-breaks-work/young-workers

she is legally entitled to a break

CauliflowerSqueeze Mon 19-Dec-16 09:15:00

I think you should suggest to her that she raises it. If she doesn't then it's up to you really. Yes the law says that she should have at least 30 mins break if she is working more than 4.5 hours at her age. Presumably she has signed a contract that states the hours?

Isadora2007 Mon 19-Dec-16 09:15:27

Yes Elvis you're right about the life experiences and I may be pleasantly surprised by them. It's just hard when she comes home in a state because she has held it together there... but felt shit for the last two hours of the shift etc. Hence my over protective bit kicking in I think.

I will speak to her about how she can broach it. We wouldn't dream of touching her wages and she doesn't "need" to work at all. She wants to have a bit of money and her older brother has left home and is working and she said she wants to save for driving lessons so I said I would match what she earns or was happy continue giving her pocket money.

crumpetsforteaa Mon 19-Dec-16 09:16:15

I didn't say it made it ok, not at all. But it's the reality in a lot of places and an email from a mum is just going to cause workplace gossip and 16 year old waiting staff are easily replaced.

Isadora2007 Mon 19-Dec-16 09:16:25

Cauliflower I will ask. I know she took in her inland revenue details etc for a form. But I will ask re contract.

DJBaggySmalls Mon 19-Dec-16 09:16:57

Would she contact ACAS and let them deal with it?
The Acas helpline number is 0300 123 1100. It is available Monday 8am-8pm, Tuesday 8am-6pm, Wednesday to Thursday 8am-8pm, Friday 8am-6pm and Saturday 9am-1pm.

www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=2042

lostoldlogin2 Mon 19-Dec-16 09:18:55

Don't call her work! Also....like it or not this is pretty standard for hospitality and whether it is ok or not doesn't look likely to change....also....it's only a 6 hour shift....sure she might be entitled to a break by law but it's hardly backbreaking if on that occasion it wasn't possible. If she was tearful after 6 hours then catering isn't for her. May sound design harsh but it is true. The hospitality industry is harsh. ....but can also be very fun. It takes a certain sort of character. Good luck to her....she'll soon toughen up don't call her work though. Seriously . Do not!!! She will be laughed out the door .

Foldedtshirt Mon 19-Dec-16 09:19:50

Don't email. But if she doesn't need the job, she's in a strong position to agitate and get those rights for herself and the other workers. Investigate Union membership for her, but don't contact them!!

NapQueen Mon 19-Dec-16 09:19:52

Waitress in a hotel was almost certainly always going to include working christmas day. Maybe she could consider retail if having christmas day off is that important?

Parents calling up on behalf of their working dc really seriously gets my goat. If your dc is old enough to work they are old enough to deal with work themselves. You can by all means support her at the home end by building her confidence or having some practice conversations. But really honestly do not call on her behalf.

If she should be having 30 mins for every 4.5 hrs worked then they either need to facilitate the break or only schedule her for 4.5 hour shifts (or less). But she needs to be the one to discuss this with her supervisor.

CauliflowerSqueeze Mon 19-Dec-16 09:19:53

She must have signed something I think. They would need to have that filed. Could they have overlooked the fact she is 16 by accident? Other workers are not entitled to a break unless they have worked 6 hours and as you said her shift is 2-8 then maybe they haven't taken this into consideration.

QuestionableMouse Mon 19-Dec-16 09:21:38

If they're treating her like this now things aren't going to get better. You (or she) can talk to them until you're blue in the face and nothing will change.

I'd tell her to look for something else. It's shit having your first job treating you like worthless crap.

DollyMcDolly Mon 19-Dec-16 09:22:18

I used to work in catering. There's no way I'd have got a break for a 6 hr shift even though I was entitled to it. It's just too busy at this time of year. Even 12 hour shifts I'd have been very lucky. Please don't call her work. It will get around and she will get laughed at

I don't think you'll do her any favours by calling but it depends on what you want to get out of the situation. Sadly, after only 2 shifts it will be easy for the company to let her go by saying she hasn't met the criteria etc. It's not legal, but I bet they would be able to find a legal loop hole by the way they word it.
If it's that bad then maybe she could look else where for a better employer

AdoraBell Mon 19-Dec-16 09:22:52

Don't call.

Speak to her about assertiveness as suggested, but don't make her the employee who needs mummy to sort every little thing.

I know that's not your intention, but I also know how people who really shouldn't gossip love to gossip.

Whatsername17 Mon 19-Dec-16 09:24:40

It's a tough one but she should be getting a break. Id encourage her to ask when her break will be and if she won't, I'd step in and speak to someone on her behalf. A phonecall whilst she is on shift asking when her break will be as you need to speak to her privately/give her something ought to be enough to open a dialogue without you seeming like an overbearing mum. I worked for BHS in the canteen when I was the same age and was told I had to work Christmas eve, boxing day, New Years Eve and New Years day. My mum phoned my manager and explained that I wasn't available on Boxing day due to a family commitment. I got into a teenage strop about it, convinced it would be the end of the world, but it wasn't. They tried to put the weekend staff down so that the regular staff could have the time off over Christmas. We didn't 'have' to work any shifts that were not on a Saturday or Sunday as they were our contracted days. They tried it on. At 16, I needed a bit of help from someone more experienced to help me see what was reasonable and what wasn't.

CauliflowerSqueeze Mon 19-Dec-16 09:26:30

I don't think there's a problem ringing her work if they are not adhering to the contract, once she has been given some tools to try and approach them herself. If it was the other way round and she took an unauthorised break they would soon be on her back. A contract works both ways. She's in Year 11. If she was suddenly expected to work from 8:30-2:30pm at school without a break, that wouldn't be fine either and I don't think any parent would just shrug it off. At that age, if she feels unable to approach her boss about this then that is exactly what her parents are there for.

QuestionableMouse Mon 19-Dec-16 09:28:37

I work in the same industry. If it's so busy staff can't have legally required breaks then they need better planning or more staff.

Think a few people are missing the fact what they're doing is breaking the law.

NapQueen Mon 19-Dec-16 09:29:48

Honestly the first thing her boss is likely to say if you call is "really? She's never said anything to me. She really needs to come and talk to me first about this"

If you feel the need to get involved at leads insist she speaks to her boss herself first. If nothing then changes by all means.

Honestly though she works in hotel catering. She's going to have to become more robust. What is going to happen when she gets her first big complaint? And it will happen soon!!!

lostoldlogin2 Mon 19-Dec-16 09:31:11

I cannot believe that ANYONE thinks that ringing her work will achieve anything other than her being sacked or at the very least laughed at mercilessly. What do you think will happen? That the boss will bow down to the power of mum? They will get rid of her and get someobe who can handle tbe work. This is why 16 year olds struggle to get jobs now......because interfering parents don't understand that if a person is working .....it's not appropriate for mummy to call and talk to the boss unless there is an emergency and information needs to be imparted. Bizarre.

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