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Advice on responding positively without sounding irritated(21 Posts)
My line manager is a very ambitious person who for the most part I just do as I am asked - she does not respond well to criticism or even observations that her way might not necessarily be the best. I’ve no ambition at all and am happy in the job I am in as it challenges me enough but doesn’t encroach on my personal life etc. All in it’s a great role. Increasingly my line manager seems to becoming more and more difficult to read. One minute I’m the best thing she’s ever come across and she can’t belive I don’t want to better myself, the next she speaks to me like I am a child. Today was an example. I am contracted to do certain hours but I always arrive early, a good 45 mins as it gives me peace and quiet to get on before the craziness of a busy office kicks in. I never leave before the designated time I should. She is aware of the hours I keep and has never commented on them. Today I requested a half day on Friday and a day in late May using time owed to me. She requested a meeting and proceeded to reprimand me For expecting to take time off that I had built up through choice of getting in early. If I did add up the extra time I do actually work they easily get loads off me that I never claim back. I reacted appropriately but she spoke to me like I was an idiot - she does do this- over explaining that if everyone did extra hours and wanted to claim them all back the business would fail. I reiterated that I’m happy doing more than is required as it makes my own job easier to handle, all I’m asking is for a small favour of a bit of time owed being honoured. I guess I’m frustrated that she was in full possession of the fact she gets more out of me yet has only addressed it when I called in the favour. Additionally she informed me at the meeting that I can now only accumulate time in lieu when she deems she needs me to do extra hours. For example if she needs me to do a late night she will allow me to come in late the next morning. Not that I can choose to take the hours to suit me. This is not how other staff operate and I feel she is just being dictatorial for the sake of it. I’m not up for conflict about this as I’m simply not that bothered I just want to know if rolling over and nodding yes to her is the best response?
I would say just agree. It is unusual unless stipulated in a flexi time type policy that you could come in early without being asked to/expected to and then ask for that time back.
If she says ' I need you to work until 7 tonight for X reason' then that would be acceptable to ask for time back.
Is anybody else given the flexibility to build up time as you wish, and then claim it later?
Sorry but I'm with your boss on this - it's your choice to come in 45 minutes early, your choice to use that time working. I'm sure the company is grateful for the additional work that you give so freely, that they didn't ask you to do, and for which you can expect no recompense in the form of money nor in the form of time off in lieu. If the company asks you to work extra and offers time off as payment, that is a different situation made by arrangement.
I did this in my first job.
I got in early daily for a week. I was paid hourly so expected extra pay.
I didnt get it and when i questioned it i was told that it wasn't agreed so no pay and no time off.
I've never worked extra anywhere since.
If it hasn’t been formally pre agreed you can build up hours to take half or full days off then YABVU.
I get in early, work through lunch and often leave late.
I never take time off in lieu but do take an extended lunch hour and leave early very occasionally. I don't put in a formal request. Just disappear at lunchtime when my boss isn't around to notice and request to leave a bit earlier on the day.
Companies are happy to take but rarely do they give.
I'm with your boss on this one. I've never worked for a company where overtime can be paid or done as lieu time off without authorisation BEFORE the fact. You can't just pick and choose when you're going to do overtime, sorry.
I used to have a boss like this. I left for a more flexible employer. My time is not free. Now I am paid more and trusted to manage my time and the job efficiently and effectively. Always be professional, use the job to maximise your skills and develop and then move on to a more modern employer.
I'm sorry, but your boss is right. You haven't been building TOIL, you've been choosing to arrive at work early for your own convenience. TOIL is something that is accrued when you have been required to work extra hours by your employer, and they have agreed that those hours can be taken as leave at a later date. Or your contract allows for flexible working.
I work flexibly, so I know that if I arrive 15 minutes late one morning, I'll make that up later, and if I work an extra hour, I'll take it back over the course of a few shifts. But that is because it's part of my work agreement.
Did the other thread you had going on this not give you enough response?
I also agree with your boss.
It's your business if you get in early. No one has told to do that.
If there isn't an agreed time in lieu policy that applies to everyone, you can't expect extra time off because you choose to do extra hours.
Anywhere I've worked that did allow TOIL in certain circumstances, line managers had to approve the time that was being accrued in advance and sign off when it could be taken.
I cant believe people actually think that by choosing to turn in to work early that they can claim it as TOIL of OT !!
Just no !
You’re not owed time you were never asked to work.
Well, I guess it depends what the circumstances are. Previously, I've had to pitch up in work on a Sunday
and spent most of the day there because some bastarding Sales Director couldn't get his arse in gear to send me a vast quantity of papers that were needed for a very important meeting on Monday.
If you can complete your work in the hours available then you should not expect TOIL and either suck it up or work your hours.
I only get toil or extra pay if it agreed in advance. Otherwise it's just free time for my boss
I'm also with your boss. I used to manage a small team and once had an employee tell me (not ask) that she was taking three hours off and then presented me with a list of the days when she had come in at ten to nine 😂. There were months and months. I kindly explained to her that most members of staff arrived in the office before 9am in order to make a cup of tea, take their coat off, get organised at their desk etc....
It's your choice to come in early, it's not expected by your employer. If you are asked then that's different. I often come into work at half eight when I don't start till nine, work most of my lunch etc. I don't get paid anymore. ....it's my choice.
Funnily enough this came up for me yesterday and my response was exactly what everyone else has said.
I've got an employee who likes a chat during the day but then finds they need to stay 30 mins extra to meet deadlines. They asked about taking some time back and couldn't grasp why I said no to that.
Planned events, overtime etc totally different. The odd request for personal reasons like medical appointments, absolutely fine.
Accruing time without agreement - not ok and an administrative nightmare to keep track of.
I have done this - been willing to do work in my own time, come in early etc but for me it had a happier ending. I never asked for anything back but got a unexpected pay rise to acknowledge the extra even though I don’t get the extra pay per hour back. My boss is also quite flexible if I need an hour here or there and often pays it. However this is a gradual build of trust situation and not one I would take for granted.
So I think you are right to feel a little put out that the extra you put in isn’t acknowledged but also shouldn’t expect it unless extra time has been requested.
I'm with your manager. If she hasn't explicitly asked you to work extra hours then you have no right to claim those hours back (unless your contract says otherwise).
You said it yourself - you come in early for your own convenience, not for business reasons or because she's asked you to.
"she does not respond well to criticism or even observations that her way might not necessarily be the best." You sound a delight to manage.
I agree with your manager, I work with someone who talks all day and then complains that she has to stay late because she 'has so much work to do'. She can be rude and abrupt, because she falls behind due to her non stop talking and interfering in every thing else going on. Toil is meant for extra hours as agreed by the manager.
Your manager is right:
As PP have explained, these are not hours you were asked to work (for which you should, naturally, be offered overtime pau or TOIL) but hours you chose to work on your own initiative.
Thought I'd give you some of the reasoning why it doesn't work like this, though; maybe it helps someone understand what the issue is:
In a nutshell, what allowing this would amount to is a right to determine your own hours. Which, to be fair, some jobs and employers allow. But it's not the default contract.
Businesses will often have a need for employees to be available at certain times (e.g. opening hours), so they have a reasonable expectation to determine that these are the hours they pay their staff for.
More importantly, perhaps, is that - depending on your contract - hours eligible for TOIL may also be hours eligible for overtime pay. There may be neither a business need nor budget for these additional hours.
Your manager is wrong in one respect, though: IMO, if you've been doing this for a while as you say, you shouldn't have gone unchallenged. If I see an employee of mine work overtime I've not authorised, I will ask them why. If there's a valid business need, I will either find a solution that means they won't have to work overtime or I will make sure the hours are accounted and they're being compensated but will remind them that I expect to be notified if this becomes necessary (for their sake as well as because I need to know if one of my projects is in danger, and excessive overtime is a definite tell). If there isn't a business need, I don't allow them at work. That's because as their manager I'm meant to ensure to the best of my ability that my employees stay healthy and don't burn out and that my company isn't in breach of any laws.
So, YABU to want the time back - but your manager shouldn't have let you build it up in the first place.