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To be annoyed at this work/life balance?

(81 Posts)
MummysBusy Wed 01-Mar-17 16:40:31

DH's place of employment keep changing his usual 9-5, 5 days a week working hours into 4 or 5 12 hour shifts, usually at short notice. They are non negotiable, and he doesn't get time in Lieu, or any overtime payment. On the rare occasions that they've been planned more than a week in advance, he is not allowed to take time off during that week. Its probably happening once every 6 weeks and he's always knackered by the end of it. His contact states that he may be needed to work "a reasonable amount" of overtime without expecting anything back, so the company consider what they're doing to be legal.

On top of that, he's usually 45 minutes late on any given day. I could live with it all if he ever got the time back (he used to but it seems to be manager's disgression) but right now I feel like our family time isn't respected. I'm fed up of cancelling plans or just not being able to make any. It doesnt help that I dont drive and rely on him somewhat to get out of the house (public transport isn't great here either). I think part of the solution would be to learn to drive but we don't have the funds.

Surely being expected to work 45-60 hours in a week can't be considered "reasonable"? Or am I being naive? I feel like telling him to find another job, but it took a lot to get this one and I'm worried that maybe that's just what is expected these days.

HermioneJeanGranger Wed 01-Mar-17 16:42:46

What does he do? Is he salaried or hourly?

Slightlyperturbedowlagain Wed 01-Mar-17 16:45:39

Is he in the U.K.? Has he signed to opt out of the maximum 48hr working week? If not his employer is breaking employment law if it averages more than 48hrs over a period of several weeks.

MrsGB2225 Wed 01-Mar-17 16:49:26

My DH works a minimum 12 hours a day, 5 days a week, every week. But it's London and he earns a good salary so we expected those hours. His contract said 9-5 with reasonable overtime grin

MummysBusy Wed 01-Mar-17 17:09:25

He is salaried, it's a good one but completely obliterated by how expensive the area is. I'm a bit worried about outing us, but it's the kind of career you need a masters degree on entry for.

MummysBusy Wed 01-Mar-17 17:14:57

Slightlyperturbed I'm not sure that he has. He did mention that law back when this first started, but seemed to think it all evened out over the time period. Thank you for replying, I probably need to log his hours and find out.

TeamSteady Wed 01-Mar-17 17:15:49

Depending on the career i think you may have to suck it up... which i appreciate isn't much fun.

Dh is out from 7-11pm everyday at the moment and I'm on my own with three kids, inc the worlds most godawful sleeper, i sympathise greatly.

TeamSteady Wed 01-Mar-17 17:16:29

That's 7am btw

Allthebestnamesareused Wed 01-Mar-17 17:17:11

DH and I are both solicitors. We'd love to be able to cut down to 60 hours a week.

Salary is our salary - no overtime in our profession.

I don't know of any jobs that need a Masters as minimum entry but if there is such a job I assume it would be in a "profession" and those hours would be typical in that field.

HermioneJeanGranger Wed 01-Mar-17 17:20:33

Sadly it seems pretty typical for lots of "careers" these days. I wish it wasn't.

MrsGB2225 Wed 01-Mar-17 17:20:49

But even if he was doing over 48 hours, what's he going to do? Refuse to work the extra hours? It's not going to help him progress in the company if he's the only one not doing the same hours as everyone else. If he doesn't think the hours are going to change and he's not happy with the work/pay relationship, he has to find another job.

StealthPolarBear Wed 01-Mar-17 17:21:02

Erm so they've just increased his 8 hour working day into a 12 hour working day and they're making it clear these are 'shifts' and the hous are set?
That sounds like the worst of both worlds to me.

TeamSteady Wed 01-Mar-17 17:22:25

i did read a while back about an american law firm, who played an April fools "joke" on their employees. They sent out an email saying that from now on, no one would be expected to answer calls or emails between 11pm and 6am because the firm really cared about work life balance... Genuinely it was a joke. Apparently there were some very fucked off employees who did not see the funny side of it.

Rhayader Wed 01-Mar-17 17:25:10

Really depends what he does, DH works long hours but he earns good money and a large annual bonus to reflect those hours. If he doesn't like it, it sounds like his main option is to find another job.

MummysBusy Wed 01-Mar-17 17:27:02

Allthebest need is maybe the wrong word. You are expected to have stayed on to Masters is probably more accurate, so yes, a profession.

I suppose it bothers me most because the area is so overpriced that it doesn't feel worth it to have him gone all the time. Its not even a pleasant area, just a boring commuter town. I'm not sure what I should be expecting but I thought we'd at least be able to stop renting.

MrsGB2225 Wed 01-Mar-17 17:32:07

Unfortunately that's what it's like for most people in London (esp in the early days).
Long commute, long working hours and big out goings so not much money left!
I do agree it sometimes seems a better idea to have a 9-5 job in a cheaper area as disposable income could end up being the same.

MummysBusy Wed 01-Mar-17 17:32:34

Rhayader he seems to want to just suck it up, as the company really like him. I don't enjoy living here and the only other options within the company are abroad. We agreed that we'd give it a few years and see how it goes, but I'm not moving abroad and I don't particularly enjoy being alone all the time. I feel really selfish expecting him to do something about it, especially when I don't even know what it is that I want him to do!

MummysBusy Wed 01-Mar-17 17:37:39

MrsGB2225 it's not London, I could just about understand if it was. We are stuck in a commuter town that services London, but he works locally. The town is dead but still extortionate due to the easy commute.

missyB1 Wed 01-Mar-17 17:40:43

OP I hear you, my DH does loads of unpaid overtime too and easily puts in 60 hours a week (Doctor), its crap for family life isn't it? I also often feel lonely even though I do drive and go to classes / hobbies. Unfortunately in some professions it's considered the norm (although that doesn't make it right). We tried living abroad and yes his work life balance was better, but the Country didn't really suit us and ds missed his extended family.
Would relocating in this Country help?

MrsGB2225 Wed 01-Mar-17 17:42:57

Could you move out of the town so he has a longer commute but you aren't in the commuter belt area?

c0nfused Wed 01-Mar-17 17:43:48


It takes the absolute piss.

They want overtime off him, they should pay for it or give him the time back. Not just expect something for nothing. An employee wouldn't be allowed to say "I will be taking a couple of hours off each day but I still expect to be paid"

Career progression should not depend on essentially being forced to work for nothing.

ComeOnSpring Wed 01-Mar-17 17:44:36

EU law would protect him for these unreasonable hours... - hang on a minute [eyeroll]

Llanali Wed 01-Mar-17 17:48:18

To be honest, you both seem stuck between a rock and a hard place.

You don't like where you live, he likes where he works, he earns good money with this company, you don't like the hours, he could work abroad but you won't move, he can't work elsewhere in the U.K..

Not sure what the answer is, you are NBU to feel annoyed, but I don't think there's an easy answer if you feel you don't earn enough money, so presumably his wanting to climb the ladder is with a view to earning more..... unfortunately for career progression, this is the norm I think.

Llanali Wed 01-Mar-17 17:49:24

Is there a reason you won't move abroad?

chickenowner Wed 01-Mar-17 17:49:38

Unfortunately this is becoming normal in many professions. I'm a teacher so I know all about working crazy hours for no overtime pay or time in lieu.

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