Anyone familiar with employment laws/employees rights etc?

(23 Posts)
Newyorkcityyy Fri 12-Jul-19 12:16:15

I have already posted this in another section however it was the wrong one!

I’m just looking for advice really as I have no clue about employment laws etc.

I work in a nursery which is quite large in the area with around 6 nurseries in total.
I’ve been with them since November and whilst I get on well with my colleagues and love the children, the company itself isn’t great and they’ve been known to break a few employment laws I guess.

The owners are very money driven and this shows, for example ratios aren’t always followed properly in order to cut costs. There’s been times when I’ve been on my own with 5 babies when the ratio is 1-3.

I have set days and hours which are Mon-Thurs full time 7:30-6:00pm. This is due to the fact that I have another job on a Friday. I’ve always done these hours since I started working for the company. There are 3 floors in the nursery, Pre-school, nursery and the baby unit. I’m normally based in the baby unit, however normally in the morning the babies don’t arrive until around 8:00am therefor I go into the nursery room at the start of my shift until the babies arrive.

There is a new lady who has started on our team and wants to do the same hours as me (none of my business obviously) but due to this in the mornings she will now go into the nursery room with the children so now I go into the baby unit and do paperwork, set up the room, get breakfast ready etc until the babies arrive.

When I checked my timesheet the other day I noticed my manager had put 8:00am down for the start of my shift, when I queried this and explained I had actually started at 7:30 like I always do she replied with “well yes but there weren’t actually any children in your room”. I’ve since spoken to her and explained that if my hours are 7:30-6:00 and it saids so on the rota then it shouldn’t matter if there are children or not in my care I should be paid from 7:30 like I always have unless I’m late to work or something. I also mentioned the fact (and maybe I shouldn’t have) but that they shouldn’t of agreed to the new lady doing the same hours if that meant I would lose mine, after all I have done mine since November of last year.

My manager has now basically told me that if there are no children in my room that I will need to let her know or whoever is in charge what exactly I’m doing at 7:30 otherwise I won’t be paid until the babies have arrived in my room.

Am I right in thinking I shouldn’t have to justify why I’m working at 7:30 when that is the start of my shift and that they can’t expect me to come into work for 7:30 everyday if some days they aren’t actually going to pay me until 8:00 or whatever time suits them? My manager also said that if their are only children In one room then the other lady and I should share our hours and take it in turns at starting, for example one day I start at 7:30 and the other day she does however we both still have to be at work for 7:30 just incase. I know their just trying to have their cake and eat it too because they still want two staff on at 7:30 just incase children arrive both in the nursery room and baby unit at the same time.

They are basically asking me to be on call but I’m not being paid for it!! I feel anxious every day going into work because if I don’t have paperwork to do until the children arrive then I won’t be paid! The parents will have paid for a full day anyway so I’m unsure as to why it matters what time they arrive. I guess their just trying to save on a few quid?!

I know ex colleagues have taken them to tribunals before for the exact same reasons, however I’m unsure as to what has actually come out of it. Rumours have been circling that the directors have paid them off to not take it any further which is why I guess they still keep on doing it.

What are my rights here?? It’s pointless speaking to the managers because it’s the directors who ask them to do this so I do understand them being in a difficult position.

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leghairdontcare Fri 12-Jul-19 12:45:35

Do you have a copy of your contract? Does it state how many hours per week you work? If yes, they should pay you for those hours. It is possible you're not contracted to work the hours you work, as usually you wouldn't have to complete a timesheet if you had fixed hours.

Something else to consider if if they're paying you minimum wage they might be breaking the law by not paying you for the hours you work.

Newyorkcityyy Fri 12-Jul-19 12:54:42

I do have a contract (not in front of me) however all it saids is that I’ll be working 40 hours per week between Monday to Thursday. There is also a clause which states that the company will aim to give me my hours however they can not always guarantee them.

I’ve been on the phone to Acas and they’ve said irrespective of my contract if their asking me to be in work 7:30 then I should be paid from 7:30. If they want to pay me from 8:00 then they will pay me from 8:00.

I’m a supervisor so my wage is £8.21 an hour. 20p than minimum wage lol!

OP’s posts: |
ChicCroissant Fri 12-Jul-19 12:55:08

I agree that you should be paid for the hours in your contract, and if a 7.30am start is stated then you should be paid from then. Can you be moved to any room then if you are not permanently based in one room? Why do you have a timesheet if you have fixed hours, it's not a zero-hours contract is it?

The other person's hours are not your concern tbh and I wouldn't raise them again.

Newyorkcityyy Fri 12-Jul-19 12:55:11

Then I will be in work for 8:00**

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ChicCroissant Fri 12-Jul-19 12:56:12

Cross-post with you there, so your contract does not have fixed hours. Ask them if they want you to start at 8.00am instead as if you come in for 7.30am then you need to be paid from that time.

Newyorkcityyy Fri 12-Jul-19 13:00:25

I’m going to email the operations manager and ask her for an informal chat to see if that will resolve. Would it be okay to mention I’ve spoken with Acas? They might realise then that I’m clued up and won’t take any nonsense so to speak. I think the reason why they do it is because most of the staff are to afraid to speak up.

There are normally 15 minute intervals between staff starting and the other day the person who was suppose to start at 8:00 didn’t until 8:15, person who was suppose to start at 8:15 didn’t start until 8:30 and so on however we all have to be in the building for the original time!

OP’s posts: |
Newyorkcityyy Fri 12-Jul-19 13:02:51

Should I have to give up my hours because of another staff member starting though? I can’t help but feel a little annoyed that I’m losing out on my hours when I’ve done them without any problems since November.

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leghairdontcare Fri 12-Jul-19 13:04:23

I would dig out your contract as the precise wording is important. I think the advise ACAS has given you is very simplistic and I don't think, without further knowledge of your contract, they can confidently state you should be paid from 7.30.

Good idea to join a union if there's one active in your workplace.

Newyorkcityyy Fri 12-Jul-19 13:11:18

It just saids my working hours are 40 per week between Monday-Thurs but that the company are not obligated to give me those hours if they can’t.

But surely they shouldn’t be asking me to come into work for 7:30 if their not paying me until 8:00. Very confused

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Newyorkcityyy Fri 12-Jul-19 13:12:05

They don’t have a union

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QforCucumber Fri 12-Jul-19 13:15:44

£8.21 is min wage

Newyorkcityyy Fri 12-Jul-19 13:17:32

Hi yes I know I get 20p more to be a supervisor

OP’s posts: |
leghairdontcare Fri 12-Jul-19 13:22:33

If you're satisfied you're on a zero hour contract then you need to clarify how many hours they want you for each week and just work that.

They are able to change it due to your contract. The other employee isn't relevant if you're not contracted to work 40 hours per week.

Newyorkcityyy Fri 12-Jul-19 13:30:18

Sorry maybe I’m not making sense! I’m not on a zero hour contract, I’m contracted to 40 hours per week between Monday to a Thursday but there is a clause in the contract which states that the company have no obligation to give me those hours. It saids the same thing on everyone’s contract whether that be part time or full time workers.

It’s because it’s a children nursery and obviously for whatever reason if there are no children or a shortage of them they won’t be making any money to give the staff the hours.

I understand it’s part and parcel of the job and some weeks I may only get 35 hours but my issue is that they want me to come into work for 7:30 (be on call basically) but not pay me for it.

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redexpat Fri 12-Jul-19 13:34:42

The company doesnt use a union, workers do. You pay a subscription and then they help you navigate situations such as these.

leghairdontcare Fri 12-Jul-19 13:42:10

You can't really be contracted to 40 hours and have a clause saying they don't have to give you 40 hours work but perhaps that's another issue.

I think it's perfectly fair to say if they need you in work at 7.30 then they have to pay you from then. Also if you work 2 hours a week unpaid (ie, half hour every day) then they would be in breach of minimum wage laws.

Newyorkcityyy Fri 12-Jul-19 14:00:19

I know it sounds ridiculous but honestly that’s what it saids. Staff joke all the time and say it’s pointless having a contract really then.

OP’s posts: |
TeacupDrama Fri 12-Jul-19 14:08:52

if you are regularly doing an extra half hour it could taken you under the minimum wage 20p x 40 hours is an extra £8 per week but if you are doing more than 1 hour unpaid you will fall below min wage level

flowery Fri 12-Jul-19 14:18:04

You said you have been told you have to inform the manager exactly what you are doing if there are no babies in yet. That sounds reasonable to me, and not as though they intend not to pay you, more that they want to make sure the time they are paying for is utilised.

If they want you to be at work at 7.30 they need to pay you, obviously, but they are also reasonable to expect you to be working, so either find something to do and tell them, or ask your manager what they would like you to do.

Newyorkcityyy Fri 12-Jul-19 14:22:13

Yes I understand they’ve said that which is fine, however on the other hand she also said we should take it in turns at starting which shows they don’t want to pay me but still be there for 7:30

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Newyorkcityyy Fri 12-Jul-19 14:28:37

I’ll have a chat next week with the operations manager and see what happens after that. Thank you all for taking the time out to give me advice etc x

OP’s posts: |
BigSexyCrimeUnit Mon 26-Aug-19 16:39:26

@Newyorkcityyy how did you get on with this?

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