Arrghhh. I can't carry on like this.(9 Posts)
I work full time (8.30-5.30) in an internationally owned mainly male (not really relevant) company owned business that is normally franchised, the fact that this branch is not a franchise appears to be the issue in so far as their working practices must be more akin to the country the company originates from
I'm desk based in a paper pushing role. I'm the only one here who does this specific role and has any idea how to do it. I was recruited a few years back because I could hit the ground running knowing what I was doing. The UK Head office are rather naive in their knowledge of this role and how to do it. When I joined the company they had recruited someone else untrained to assist me but having spent a year training that individual they were let go due to not really having the right personality for the role so I've been working solo since. Slowly gradually the workload is increasing to the point I never leave at 5.30, often work some of my lunch break and feeling increasingly stressed. The company does not pay overtime nor do you get time off in lieu for any additional hours worked, not that the workload would allow me to take time off in lieu anyway. I'm always playing catch up now, I can't keep up with the workload which is definitely at least a full time and part timer too but the company isn't recruiting more staff. It's not just me here that is like this, most staff are over worked. I'm happy to work overtime if I'm paid for it but why should I do it for free. I'm a lone parent to a SEN child plus have a just adult child who is a new parent so often needs help/advice. I'm burning the candle at both ends and am exhausted.
So the question is can I make the company pay me, or can I refuse to do more than my contracted hours? It will very quickly have a bad effect on the company if I do but am worried I'd head to disciplinary quickly for reasons I can only assume will sound like I'm slacking. I've already made noises that I'm not coping with the workload but the response is either silence or we're the same too, sorry.
What does your contract say about working hours?
It says no paid overtime and 8.30 - 5.30 as my working hours, 5 days a week.
There are tasks that have to be completed by set times each week and I'm struggling to get those done on time and it's all beginning to fall apart. My basic workload is running about 6 weeks behind at present.
the fact that this branch is not a franchise appears to be the issue in so far as their working practices must be more akin to the country the company originates from
If the company employs UK-based staff then they must abide by UK law. Things to consider:-
- if your weekly hours exceed 48 hrs over a continuous average period of 17 weeks, then they're on shakey ground if you have highlighted it and haven't opted out (check your contract, they may have sneaked in an opt-out!)
- is your excessive workload causing you to regularly lose a proper +30 min rest break during your 9 hour working day?
- is your workload preventing you from taking statutory holidays during the year ?
If the above is happening regularly it means they are flouting the law. But that doesn't mean to say you don't have responsibilities of your own to point out the conditions you're working in, setting up regular meetings with your manager to highlight that due to your 6 week backlog it is forcing you to work longer hours, and they need to help you get things back on track.
I don't think the solution is paid overtime, that will mask the root case of the problem, understaffing and/or insufficient clarity on your priorities, as potentially you could drop non essential tasks, to bring the backlog under control.
You need to quantify the problem, how long it's been going on and the direct impact on you and offer them recommendations eg: help you set priorities and drop any non essential work, or (if they say it's all important) they need to employ another member of staff, even if a short term contractor to get the backlog under control.
At least you'll have tangible evidence if they ever tried to begin disciplinary proceedings. Sounds like you've worked there over 2 years, so they can't just dismiss you without that process being enacted.
Given them the chance to resolve the matter, otherwise if they are unsupportive, start putting your CV out there, as your health is more important.
It’s odd for a contract to just say ‘no paid overtime’. Does it say nothing about unpaid overtime, or a requirement to work the necessary hours to complete the job, or anything like that?
Step 1: Meet with your boss and explains workload has become unmanageable so the only way to get things done is to work systematically over time. Ask for his honest opinion whether he agrees with you. If he agrees, ask what the plans are to change the situation. If he disagrees with you, ask what they think you need to improve on to be able to do all the work in time. If you agree with him, change some of your practice. If you disagree, decide if he could be right to some extent or whetherthry don't care and just expects you to continue as you are.
Step 2: if they don't care, time to look for another job. If they decide that indeed something needs to take place and they take step to implement change, be patient. If they show sympathy and agree with you, but do nothing to better the situation for you, work your hours and leave on time, making clear what you couldn't finish on that day and don't feel guilty for it.
This is the sort of job where they will expect you to manage, then you leave & they hire several people for your role.
Who does your job when you're off sick or on holiday?
I would look for a new job.
In the meantime I would ask for a meeting and put in writing that the work can no longer be done within your working hours and you are not able to working daily unpaid overtime nor should the expect you to. Ask them to prioritise your work load giving the consequences for each area of work if it isn't done. Write down a list of duties that could be easily delegated and ask who they can be given to.
You have nothing to lose by working to rule...
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