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Unpaid work outside contracted hours - do I challenge this?(31 Posts)
I am going to try to keep this vague so I don’t get outed but I also don’t want to drip feed. I work in retail banking, I am salary paid (18.5k per year) in my contract it states that I work a 35 hour week and my hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm with some Saturday’s as required by the business, my contract is not Saturday inclusive which means I can be paid extra for the hours I do on a Saturday (not have to take as TOIL) and for example if I ever did do any overtime (worked till 6pm one evening for team meeting etc.) I would be paid for it.
My question however is this, my colleagues and I, in my branch as well as all other branches of our company are expected to put the tills on and prepare the branch ready to open at 9am, if our systems aren’t set up for 9am we will get a report from our head office asking why. We arrive at 8.45 to do this. Then we are also not allowed to close down our systems or take the tills off until after 5pm when we close (if we take them off early, another report asking why). This means on a good day it is usually 5 past 5 by the time we have counted cash and put it away and are able to leave the branch. This has been the way since way before I started, but we do not get paid for this time.
Recently the company recognised that this was causing a bit of upset with branch staff and offered two hours of TOIL to each colleague in branch each week however this hasn’t quite gone to plan and has now been revoked.
As the company now recognise that we are effectively working an extra 20 minutes each day 5 days a week, do I challenge this and ask what they are going to do about it? When I work out how much extra over the 4 years I have worked there that this works out to be pay wise it is quite a shock, but legally I don’t know what I stand with it.
Any opinions or advice is really appreciated.
I genuinely have never worked anywhere where you are not expected to do a few extra minutes set up and take down at the start and end of the day outside of contracted hours, and don't know anyone else who has either.
Recently the company recognised that this was causing a bit of upset with branch staff and offered two hours of TOIL to each colleague in branch each week however this hasn’t quite gone to plan and has now been revoked
So what happened? Why was it revoked and what was there alternative solution?
Don’t know what to say but I agree with you. We are increasingly expected to work over/through lunch, before and after working hours. No appreciation, reward, acknowledgement or time back. Even finishing 5 minutes late I now begrudge.
The company has already previously recognised that the situation is inappropriate - thus the TOIL offer. So there's already precedent. This is neither correct nor reasonable, and you should take it up with HR and encourage others to do the same.
I'm intrigued as to what went down with the TOIL thing - did management not let people take their two hours?
TheFlis Just because lots of places do it, and people go along with it, doesn't make it right. The contract says X hours a week, that's what should be sufficient to work the job.
TheFlis yes and I get that point entirely which is why for 4 years I haven’t really said anything about it. Why I am now is the fact that the company have now recognised this across the network is causing tension and unhappiness (comes up as a dissatisfaction point every year on the staff surveys). A few minutes yes but 15 minutes each morning, to be able to open on time, if we didn’t arrive at 8.45am to set up, the branch would not be open at 9am, those 15 minutes are vital to the company and it’s business hours but there is no recognition of that.
thankyouforthemusic it was revoked because it just wasn’t working as the higher ups expected, for example some branches were unable to take it due to short staffing, causing arguments about who was taking it and when between colleagues in branches, no alternative has been offered.
Yes, I think you should challenge this. I also think you should encourage colleagues to.
If you are on a professional contract, then people usually are expected to work the hours needed to get the job done, but you aren't. You are being paid for fixed hours. You therefore can't be made to work more than those hours. The bank have acknowledged that, but not yet found what they are going to do to deal with it. Staff need to keep pressing to ask when you will be either given overtime or have your contracts changed to increase the hours with appropriate remuneration (ie, not increasing hours without increasing pay), or for the staff to start work at the time they are paid from and the branch open later if that is what it means.
Does your contract mention that you need to be available to ‘commence work’ at 9am until 5pm (or some similar wording) even if it doesn’t specifically mention switching systems on/zigged etc? And are you paid a salary or an hourly wage? If the former it’s probably covered but if the latter then you probably would have a case for remuneration for the additional time worked.
Ah sorry missed that you are on a salary. So contract wording is key. So they would pay you overtime to work til eg six pm but not before 9am?
Judas I’m going to find my contract out in the morning and go through the wording but from previous experience I would also get paid for coming in early, should there be the business need for it, for example when previous redundancies were being announced we were asked to arrive at 8am so the message could go out to everyone at the same time, I was paid overtime for this.
I think it's splitting hairs. 20 mins a day is really nothing. Yes, legally you could take them to task but ask yourselves whether it's a battle worth fighting!
So many banks are closing branches - my local bank will close its doors for the last time in 2 weeks, I expect those employees would much rather finish at 5.05 each day than have to find another job.
* potentially legally - depending on what your contract of employment states, and how specific it is about hours of work.
I feel for you op, but my contract states I cannot apply for overtime for less then an hour outside my normal hours as this is reasonable
20 mins a day over a year means she is working a couple of weeks unpaid a year. I am sure banks have enough money to pay their employees to do this. It's intrinsic to their business. Employees exchange their labour for pay, they need to pay for that labour. If staff were leaving 20 mins early every day they would soon do something about it. They are being exploitative.
Challenge it at a higher level. I used to work for a large dept store years ago with the same bullshit policy. I challenged, after a year of doing 30mins a day unpaid, and got given it all back as retrospective pay.
It's not okay to work for free, and it's shitty of an employer to expect it. Work is paid.
I think you need to be in the real world, Sarcelle. Banks are looking for every excuse to automate their processes and reduce branches.
They certainly don't see staff as intrinsic to their business, actually the reverse. They see them as an overhead to eliminate by moving most processes online. Many people never ever visit a branch!
ATM, a website etc don't "complain" about having to work 20 mins extra. They don't get sick, they don't take annual leave. That's the reality of retail banking. Profit, profit, shareholder value, etc
On some salaries (higher paid) extra hours for ‘free’ is given. The salary covers that.
You salary is too low to cover it. Why should you work 3.5hrs extra per week?
However, before you go in guns blazing, you should review oother privileges that could be swapped out (eg extra breaks, additional leave) because the more contractual you get, the more contractual your employers will get.
Artificial intelligence and RPA (Robotic Process Automation) are being introduced into a lot of commercial organisations, such as banks, financial institutions etc.
This isn't 'sometime in the next 25-30 years' it's now. That's how much banks value people as intrinsic to their business, I'm afraid.
@PersonaNonGarter, she's not working an extra 3.5 hours a weeek, she's working an extra 1 hr 40 mins (20 mins x 5)
Thanks everyone for your responses, I’m going to take a deeper look into my contract and see what it says. I would never go in all guns blazing but I do feel I should raise it as a matter of principle. Yes it’s only 20 minutes a day but look at it over the whole year and it’s roughly an extra £875 on my current salary, it’s also worth pointing out that leaving at 5.05pm is a good day, sometimes (yesterday) we can be there until 5.15pm or even later. If we have a customer come in at 4.59pm then that customer needs to be served and we can’t start packing away or doing our end of day banking until they leave.
I think you need to raise it , they must of agreed at some point so ask for a mutual agreed alternative.
Saying that as someone else said banks are closing all over and in my experience working conditions seam to be getting worse not better for the employee so be prepared for a no .
Do you have a union you can involve in this?
It doesn't sound difficult to solve on the face of it. Either pay you overtime or adjust working patterns so some people work 8:45 - 16:45 and others 9:15 - 17:15 - this could be on a rota basis.
The above suggestion is a good one. Just wanted to add that my mum once worked somewhere where they were expected to be there 10 minutes early to open up and 5 minutes after, so they'd get the 15 minutes back as a break during that shift.
Over four years at 20minutes it's more than £3,300. Multiply that over all staff and it's a nightmare but not your problem op, I would pursue it.