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really stressful work situation

(16 Posts)
emily05 Fri 20-May-05 11:50:42

Please can you help.
DH works in a well paid local job. He used to get overtime when working extra hours. Some very unsociable hours as well. He is in IT and it is not unusual for him to work extra hours at night. One weekend he worked 24 hours straight as well as his working week. This was because some of their computer equipment was relocated.

When he was paid for this we never minded too much. But now his company want to stop over time and give him time back in leiu.

In principle this is great as he wil be at home more. The problem is he will never have the time to take off. He is very very busy and his job is very demanding. He struggles to take holiday off now. As it is if he is on holiday they still ring him at home anyway.
we went on a short break of 4 days recently and they rang him twice a day on his mobile!

So there is a possibilty that for instance he could work an extra 100 - 200 days this year for nothing.

Should we just except that this is how work is nowadays? His wage is about £28,000. Is this a good enough wage to be expected to go above and beyond, or are they taking the piss!?

This is causing a lot of stress at home as his job is becoming more and more stressful and impacting our lives. Also they are talking about not paying sickness for the first 3 days of any sick period, can they do this?

Please can you help me get this into some sort prespective? Do your dh or you have work situations like this?

flashingnose Fri 20-May-05 13:58:15

Good grief, this sounds potentially grim . I don't have any suggestions but am bumping this for you. TBH, I think I'd suggest he looks for another job.

flashingnose Fri 20-May-05 13:58:48

Duh - no suggestions apart from that one !

morningpaper Fri 20-May-05 14:03:30

I would insist on taking the time off, and turn OFF the mobile. If he needs the mobile on, buy another one that they don't have the number for. (It doesn't sound like they are actually objecting to him taking the time off, just that he doesn't feel able to?)

expatinscotland Fri 20-May-05 14:07:43

'time in lieu' is such a crock! i know, i'm from the states, where they salary everyone to get out of paying them overtime. then you never end up taking the 'time in lieu'. it's a big rip off and the fat cats line their pockets w/the money.

any chance of his locating a new job?

i'd turn off the mobile or leave it at home if i were on holiday. that's what that means, holiday.

Tinker Fri 20-May-05 14:11:25

I'd insist on taking the TOIL as well. Is he getting time and half as well? Could he switch to an annual hours contract?

emily05 Fri 20-May-05 17:40:40

Thanks for replying. It is a bit of a mine field. He has considered leaving, but we are worried that other companies are the same. hence why I am posting on here to get an overview of whether this is normal!
I agree about time in lieu. It is not realistic.

I will ask him about his contract. His mobile is definantly beigng switched off as well!
Any more points of view appreciated! Wondered if any body elses dh have the same problem.

SoftFroggie Fri 20-May-05 18:08:05

i earn roughly the same (or would if i worked f/t), but doing something very different. I'm expected to do a 'reasonable' amount of unpaid overtime - in the past (pre-kids) I'd do quite a bit, but now would reckon that 'reasonable' was up to 4 hrs per week (that's 10%). if you think about it - would they see a 10% payrise as 'reasonable'? NO so working over 10% extra is also unreasonable. I'd also refuse to do anything at the w/e without pay.

OTOH my DH does loads of unpaid o/t and some w/e work, and some 24-36 hr stretches, and gets called while on holiday but he (a) gets paid LOADS more, and (b) knew it would be like that when he took the job, so fairly fair.

for your DH, i think if they've always paid o/t and sick leave, there may be some 'contract by what they've always done' thing that means they need to keep doing the same. i think it's the change that's the worst. are there other people in his sort of role? what's their situation?

if not, then i agree - take the TOIL - just don't go to work, and turn that phone off. the 3 days unpaid sick is stat min, is it different in his written contract?

there's someone on these boards who's great at employment law.

it sounds as if the co is struggling - i'd look for another job. best wishes

flashingnose Fri 20-May-05 18:09:06

What about posting another thread with a more specific thread title e.g. Do you/your DP work in IT? or whatever?

SenoraPostrophe Fri 20-May-05 18:16:39

we're in IT - been out of the loop for a while as we run our own company, but as far as I know it is not normal to work very much over normal hours for no pay. We would never expect our employee to do that anyway.

SenoraPostrophe Fri 20-May-05 18:19:42

sorry, let me clarify that - as in every other skilled job, employees are expected to "keep up with latest developments" in their own time, but not be a permanent help line/work weekends etc.

sounds like he should get another job: I'm pretty sure the sick pay thing is illegal but even if it isn't it's outrageous!

Saxy Fri 20-May-05 21:00:37

I work in IT for a law firm in London. Our managers do not get paid overtime and would be expected to stay beyond their core hours if needed but they are earning in excess of 60k. I earn more than your DP and do 8.30am - 4.30pm and would get paid o/t after the 1st half hour. I suppose it depends on where you are located.

WideWebWitch Sat 21-May-05 12:51:03

Out of order imo! If they want him to work substantial hours above his contracted hours they should pay him for it imo. But I agree with everyone who says if he goes for the TOIL (I love that acronym, it's so appropriate!) agreement he should make sure he takes it, absolutely without fail. And if he's not paid to be on call they shouldn't be calling him out of hours and there's no reason he should take the call imo. I'd look for another job is his position. Is that feasible? I think at a senior level a certain amount of flexibility is expected but not hours and hours of extra unpaid work. He's not paid in that league imo.

Freckle Sat 21-May-05 12:53:57

An employee's terms and conditions of work are not always contained in their contract. Many are as a result of practice and can be changed only with the agreement of both parties.

What is happening here is that the company is trying to unilaterally change your dh's terms of employment. He is perfectly entitled to say no and insist that they stick to the practice of paying overtime as this is what has happened in the past.

munz Sat 21-May-05 13:05:10

for the sickness point of view, yes they can do that as legally they're only obliged to pay SSP (ie 63.00 something odd per week) after the first 3 days which are known as 'waiting' days, it's common for a lot of employers to only pay SSP, or pay 10 days sick out of the year or soemthing.

does he have a HR he can talk to? there's also a 48 hr working week rule basically means that u can't work for more than an average of 48 hours per week in any 12 weeks. (or that's the jist or it) unless he signs an agreement.

the best place to look for that sort of thing is acas who deal with employment issues so u can ring them and ask for advice, at least that's what i'd recommend if there's no HR dept.


munz Sat 21-May-05 13:05:50



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