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Can they seriously do this??!

(22 Posts)
lisad123 Fri 03-Jun-11 17:41:51

MY DH has a 9-5 contract with being called in now and then as needed. He couldnt go in 2 weeks ago, as i was on crutches and couldnt really move and DD1 was sick too (both our girls have autism)
From this, his boss has now decided between him and his 2 other work collueges, they now have to work out a rota and be on call at the weekend. HOWEVER, he will only be paid for the hours he has to go into work.
If his oncall we really cant go far and we currently have one car too. Can they just change his contract like this? What are the normal pays for being on call??
He has had to go in for 4 weekends running and Im getting a bit sick of the fact that no one else can go in, so fulls on dh sholders to do it.

His boss moans if he leaves ontime, and says his inflexible [angry

lisad123 Fri 03-Jun-11 18:50:15


lisad123 Fri 03-Jun-11 21:17:04


seemsiwasntloved Fri 03-Jun-11 21:44:36

I have no idea but would ACAS be able to advise?

twinklytoes Fri 03-Jun-11 22:12:36

sounds bad. I'm paid an oncall payment, per period - this is 12 hrs, so earn 4 periods over a weekend. It's about £14 per period. This covers being disturbed by phonecalls. If I have to go in then I am paid time and half from the moment I decide I'm going in till the time I return home. I rarely have to go in though - I think it's been 5 hours in the last year. I share the roster with 3 others, so on average cover one full weekend and about 8 weekday evenings a month. The policy states I can't be any further from work than my regular commute (1 hour so not too restrictive). Oh, i also get my transport costs reimbursed as this would be above my regular commute and toil of 7.5hrs if I am oncall on a bank holiday or whilst on annual leave.

meditrina Fri 03-Jun-11 22:21:08

Presumably if there's a rota he won't have to be going in 4 weekends running in future? And instead of potentially having any weekend ruined, you would know with certainty which ones are genuinely free? So it could have a upside?

I'm afraid I don't know about on-call allowances, but hope another poster will come along who does.

lisad123 Fri 03-Jun-11 23:15:37

We dont mind him being on call at all, but his boss seems to think he should be oncall when needed with no money to cover the fact we cant go far.
It would be better as the last 3 times they have called at the weekend, the other guy who is meant to help, has been "out of town".

I think his boss has forgotten what its like to have a young familiy and seems to think DH isnt comminted and is inflexiable becaus ehe leaves at 5pm

Putthatbookdown Sat 04-Jun-11 18:17:57

I think- i am not sure- you feel a bit unappreciated by the firm so maybe a chat withthem may help. is this on-call stuff common in that industry ? If so you may have fewer grounds for complaint. Usually you get a higher hourly rate if the work is more casual since you get fewer benefits than if you arefully contracted -maybe look for something else if possible?

flowery Sun 05-Jun-11 13:47:14

"He has had to go in for 4 weekends running and Im getting a bit sick of the fact that no one else can go in, so fulls on dh sholders to do it."

Doesn't sound as though a rota for being on call is the problem. If your DH is going in when someone else is on call that's the issue isn't it? Why is it 'no one else can go in'?

In terms of pay for being on call, what was the arrangement before - you said he was called in as needed?

lisad123 Sun 05-Jun-11 14:13:43

The rota would help as saves dh going in every weekend. Currently he is only paid if he has to go in. His other work mates are always "away from home" at the time these things need to be dealt with (one person is never able to do it!) There has been no real arrangement before, just if there's a problem someone has to deal with it (normally dh).

aliceliddell Sun 05-Jun-11 14:23:47

TUC website, Labour Research, main advice is join the relevant trade union before doing anything else. Then you have some protection. Good luck .

campergirls Sun 05-Jun-11 14:26:24

so why can't your dh be 'away from home'? how come his colleagues can do it but not him?

lisad123 Sun 05-Jun-11 19:13:29

That's the whole problem, because it's just been an general thing and nothing set in stone previously it has fallen to him as we lice closest to his office and the others were "away" when needed. Now they want it to be rota oncall, so everyone can be called at their oncall weekend, and the rest don't have to worry. My complaint is that they want staff oncall, so close enough to office to get in BUT not pay them unless they have to go in.

fgaaagh Mon 06-Jun-11 11:55:24

So they're expecting him to be available, on call, without compensation for the fact that you can't go too far from his work, or even enjoy a few beers on the weekend, just in case he is called in?

It sounds like they're tying a virtual leash on him for the weekends he's down for, without any pay for it.

The way to stop his colleagues being "away" or "unavailable" is to pay them compensation for the fact that their activities in their leisure time are being limited.

Otherwise, your DH has two choices:

Continue to go in as a total mug.
Become "unavailable" himself.

It's as simple as that.

slug Mon 06-Jun-11 12:14:46

Golly. Dh works occasionally for a friend with a small business. If he's on call i.e. if his number is the one the automatic dialler calls when one of the alarms is tripped, he gets £50 per week plus he's paid for any hours he works. If he's second line on call i.e. if the guy who is the guy on call calls if he's too drunk unable to attend a callout, he gets £10 quid per week plus any hours worked. In practise he's only been called in once when on-call and never when on second line. However, if he's on call he makes sure he's capable of getting into work swiftly if necessary.

The system works because it's obvious who is responsible and there's a back up if necessary. If he was constantly being called in while on second line support, it would be obvious and the boss would have good reason to question why the person whose responsibility it was to deal with any issues that week and who was being paid for it couldn't attend.

DamselInDisarray Mon 06-Jun-11 12:19:21

Do you think that maybe the reason they're coming up with the rota is actually because all the other staff are always 'away' or 'unavailable' rather than to 'punish' your DH. It sounds like it'll mean that he's actually on call less often than he is at the moment. As it is now, it sounds like he is always on call and still only paid for the time he goes in, while his two other colleagues get away with never being on call.

edam Mon 06-Jun-11 12:22:15

It does sound as if the rota is actually better for you as it won't just be your dh who is on call. BUT he should certainly be compensated for being on call and available for work. Check the ACAS website or get him to join a union!

WillbeanChariot Mon 06-Jun-11 12:39:13

Sounds like it will be better for him if there is a rota, and I don't understand what the difference will be if he already covers weekends without pay. My office has an on call rota, we are expected to cover our share and we don't get paid unless we do some chargeable work in the on call time. Phone hassle, staying nearby, staying sober etc is not compensated.

footballmum Mon 06-Jun-11 13:46:31

Basically, what your DH's employer is trying to do is to change his terms and conditions of employment. They cannot do this unilaterally (i.e. they cannot impose it upon him) but they can suggest a change in terms and conditions and your DH can agree. Your DH should therefore use this opportunity to indicate that he is, in principle, willing to agree to an on call rota but only if an on call allowance is incorporated into the agreement that is reached. These are not necessarily high but do compensate the employee for the fact that they cannot be completely free to enjoy their time as they would wish. If the employer refuses, your DH should say that he is not prepared to agree to the rota and that if he is forced to do so he will consider resigning and claiming constructive dismissal.

lisad123 Mon 06-Jun-11 13:51:00

thanks for all the imput.
The difference is with this, is at the moment they are all oncall but theres no restirction on what we do at the weekends, but as it happens we have been close by when the calls have come in, so his gone in.
The rota is better, as it means he is less likely to be called in for weekends at a time, as he'll be oncall four weekly. I do think they should pay for the fact the weekends his oncall will resttict where we can go sad

magicmummy1 Mon 06-Jun-11 22:18:15

I used to be on call one weekend in every four, for no extra pay. Couldn't drink, couldn't go far away etc. I don't think there is a legal requirement for them to pay you for being on call. However, it seems like they are changing terms & conditions. Does it say anything about being on call in his contract?

In my current job, I am effectively on call all the time now, but in practice they never ring me. If they did, I'd be pushing right now for a rota!

fgaaagh Mon 06-Jun-11 23:59:53

Yes Magic - it's a bit crap that you had that, but I think a key issue here is between accepting a salary package/renumeration based on knowing you're going to be on call and have your participation in family life restricted.. that's part of the decision of taking a job.

But to formalise it in such a rota'd way now - that's the key thing. As you say, it's essentially a change of terms and conditions of employment.

A totally different ballgame.

I would have serious issues if my employer (or my DH's employer) tried to pull this one.

Having said that, DH is actually on call every few months anyway - he's the 3rd most senior in his dept (very large dept, time critical IT systems stuff) and has to be available if the two co-heads of the department are both off. It is fortunately quite rare. He's not needed from a practical standpoint (there are plenty of techies to rota for), but he's there more as a signoff if something needs to be done which is later questionned at a senior level. It's only happened once in the whole time he's worked there.

BUT DH took the job knowing that was what was expected. And I have to say it's a bit shit when he does need to cover - one of the weekends fell on a family wedding weekend at the end of last year, and he couldn't change it (since he's 3rd in line - gets a bit much passing it on again to someone else when he's only been asked rarely!)... no drinking, we were just fortunate that the venue was local to us. So I have to admit we're quite lucky in this regard, tht DH has a job which involves this BUT it's certainly dealt with reasonably by his employer.

Let us know how you get on, OP!

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