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Are my colleagues being taken advantage of?

(12 Posts)
Dieu Thu 26-May-16 10:32:11

Hi. I work at a small, privately run after school club. It was set up nearly 2 years ago and I've been there helping with it since the start. My boss is a lovely person and is doing her best with it. Our children, parents and staff are great too.
I am leaving soon, as I need a job with more hours and pay. This was great as a 'pocket money' job for a while, but I now need to find something that will safeguard my future a bit better (single parent) with decent pay (inc sickness!), pension, etc.
My boss has decided, in keeping with the parents' requirements for childcare, to operate in the summer holidays. In order to save money (as the take-up hasn't been great for the hols), she will not hire our premises during the summer break. This means that staff and children will have be out all day, with no 'base' for down time and relaxation for the kids.
Not only that, but the staff have been told that they will have to work for £2 less than their usual hourly rate, during the long summer holiday.
I can see it from my boss's point of view, but she has a great young team, and I believe that she should take the hit in finances and treat them as they deserve to be treated.
They don't have contracts, so no doubt can't do anything about it. They seem fairly passive about the situation, but I (as the oldie of the team!) can't help but feel annoyed on their behalf.
Perhaps I am being incredibly naive, and that this is just what happens in the early days of a new business, before any 'proper' money is coming in. It probably wouldn't be so bad if our boss was involved in the actual running of the business, but she is quite hands-off with the children side of things, and is involved mainly in admin and marketing. Maybe if she got more involved herself during the hols, she could pay the staff their normal rate.
Please could you let me know your opinions, as I feel like the 'baddie' of the team for even having these thoughts!
Many thanks in advance.

Dieu Thu 26-May-16 10:33:37

I should add that she is charging more per day for holiday club, than any other ASC in the area, but I guess has to as not so many children attending.

StealthPolarBear Thu 26-May-16 10:34:43

I'd hate that as a parent. All meals and naps to be out and about?

Dieu Thu 26-May-16 10:37:06

Yup. The manager (a great young girl who does many hours of unpaid planning and preparation) is going to ask the boss if she will hire a smaller room, rather than our usual large hall (as cheaper). Fingers crossed this will work out.

Dieu Thu 26-May-16 10:38:07

To be fair, they're a bit old for naps. We've never had one child fall asleep on us! I guess it would be nice to have the option though ...

Fluffy40 Thu 26-May-16 10:39:14

She will still have to pay the minimum wage to her staff over the holiday period, wether they are busy or not.

StealthPolarBear Thu 26-May-16 10:40:46

Yes sorry I realise after I'd posted you said after school clubs! Same applies though just for a bit of relax/reading time

Dieu Thu 26-May-16 10:50:48

She will be paying £8 per hour over the holiday period, rather than the usual £10. I can understand it, as she'd go under if she paid them the normal rate but over a much longer day! I still don't think it's right to fluctuate staff wages like this though. I have a great rapport with my boss and have been extremely helpful during my time there, but the finances aren't really the staff's problem, surely?
Thanks to you both for the replies.

Berthatydfil Thu 26-May-16 20:25:27

What about inclement weather, loo breaks and basic hygiene if they don't have a premises as a base.
I wouldn't be happy paying for this sort of a set up.

Dieu Thu 26-May-16 20:56:23

Hi. They won't be going anywhere without toilets/handwashing facilities. And the children will bring their own packed lunches, so there's no food to prepare. Agreed about the inclement weather though!

Stillunexpected Thu 26-May-16 21:34:18

I would be really unhappy with this arrangement and if I was made aware of it beforehand definitely wouldn't sign my child up. Are the parents going to be aware that there is no indoor provision? Or is she hoping to sneak this past them until it is too late for them to do anything about it?

Where are the parents supposed to drop off? At the usual location outside the door or somewhere different each day? What is she going to do on days when it is pouring rain at drop off? How is everyone going to get to wherever they are supposed to be that day? And how is she going to afford all the activities when they are out all the time? She can't occupy a whole summer with free activities. What about the children who turn up and want the toilet immediately - or who want to go after half an hour of hanging around for everyone else to arrive? Summer schemes usually allow drop off (and pick ups) within a time range. What is a parent supposed to do if they arrive to pick their child up at 5 only to have to hang around for 30 mins while they come back from wherever they are that day? And as someone else mentioned, it's summer, children don't want to be dragged around all day, where is the base for downtime, DVDs, crafts, board games?

Dieu Fri 27-May-16 09:33:03

I quite agree with you, which is why I posted. The parents will drop off at the usual premises, as it has a cafe and toilets etc. The children they're expecting are our usual children from the ASC, so we know that the parents will be at work all day. We live in a city where free activities are possible, and plentiful, and the transport system is great too. And I concur re the lack of a base for relaxation and indoor activities.

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