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Should my employer be contacting me at home on my days off?

(16 Posts)
cocojojo Sat 25-Jul-09 15:25:04


I only work 3 days per week. On my days off I am being contacted by my employer with non urgent questions and queries that could easily wait until the following day when I would actually be at work. Is an employer allowed to do this?

CybilLiberty Sat 25-Jul-09 15:25:50

Well there are no 'rules', just common decency. Have you tried not answering the phone?

PrincessToadstool Sat 25-Jul-09 15:26:31

I'm not sure - what do you mean by 'contacting' you - phoning, emailing? What happens if you don't answer your phone/reply to an email?

cocojojo Sat 25-Jul-09 15:26:41

Yes but if they can't get me at home they call my mobile and leave messages etc untill I call them back!

cocojojo Sat 25-Jul-09 15:27:27

Its usually by phone but I have had the odd email asking me to call them if I've been out and my mobile is switched off!

TeamEdward Sat 25-Jul-09 15:29:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cocojojo Sat 25-Jul-09 15:30:53

Yes thats actually a very good idea, especially as if they can't get hold of me and I have to call them back I'm the one paying for the call. ideally I would prefer to spend my days off with my family and not answering silly queries that could easily wait with, but am I within my rights to tell them that?

TeamEdward Sat 25-Jul-09 15:34:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

idranktheteaatwork Sat 25-Jul-09 15:35:11

Have you tried putting an "out of office" message on your email and phone on your days off?

idranktheteaatwork Sat 25-Jul-09 15:35:16

Have you tried putting an "out of office" message on your email and phone on your days off?

pinkteddy Sat 25-Jul-09 15:36:09

Hi coco, presume you are only being paid for 3 days a week? Sometimes a gentle reminder that you are not paid (and therefore not working) the days you are not in is enough to stop this. People do forget! And yes I do think you are within your rights to politely say that you are busy on your days off!

In addition, what are the arrangements to cover your work on your days off? Maybe if you can sort that out, this will stop?

cocojojo Sat 25-Jul-09 15:45:11

Yes only being paid for three days. most of the calls take place on the day that the office I actually work in is closed and the calls are put through to another office - if they don't know the answer to something (its a customer service role) then I get a call - I have told them that it would be better if they could just take a message and I'll call them back the next day - but no joy there, infact it seems to be getting more frequent!
I think I'll have a chat with them on Monday and inform them again that I'm not happy with the situation and guage the situation from there!!!!!

bran Sat 25-Jul-09 16:03:50

What is it that you have to do when they contact you? Is it generally a quick question with a short answer that nobody else can answer, something that involves a bit of thinking and talking or something that you need to log on to work/check stuff/physically do something? They shouldn't be contacting you at all, but if it's the quick question/quick answer scenario they might think that you don't really mind. The team that are phoning you might not even know that they're not supposed to, they might believe that it's normal procedure.

I can be a bit too confrontational about things, my team leader once gave someone in the office my mobile number. When I got the call I refused to do anything about the query and then I fired off an email to the team leader, cc'd to everyone else on my team, telling them to delete my number from anywhere they had it stored or I would be changing my number. There was lots of swearing in capital letters, just in case they didn't get the message that I was pissed off. blush

I think perhaps you need something a bit stronger than a chat, but less fiery than what I did (everyone stopped talking and looked scared when I walked in the next day). Tell them that you will no longer be answering queries unless it is a genuine emergency, then when you get a call just say "I don't work on x days. Send me an email and I'll deal with it when I'm back at work". If they never get any joy from phoning you they'll stop bothering.

cocojojo Sat 25-Jul-09 17:05:49

Thanks Bran, yes perhaps you're right a 'nice' chat probably won't do any good at all - it certainly hasn't in the past.
Sometimes its just a quick answer but sometimes it involves me having to call an outside supplier to get an answer and then relay it back to them - but all of the queries/questions that I've received have not been urgent and could most definately have waited until the next day. I really think that a lot of the calls are just a case of 'well we have to answer her bloody calls when she's not in, so she can bloody well deal with it' - well thats my opinion and certainly the feeling that I get from them when they call, albeit dressed up in a nicey nicey way! I really wouldn't mind if it was an absolute dire emergency BUT there will always be a grey area, if I allow those calls to continue- what could be construed as an emergency to one could possibly be deemed as non-urgent by someone else!!

PuppyMonkey Sat 25-Jul-09 17:14:42

Change your phone number and don't reply to emails. They will soon get the message.

bran Sat 25-Jul-09 18:17:48

The trouble with telling a work place that you're not happy is IME they are not particularly concerned with the happiness or otherwise of their staff. Mostly they want to get the most possible productivity for the least possible wages. So if you say that you're not happy about something they will be sympathetic but disinclined to do anything about it unless it affects your productivity.

If you go in with facts and figures and state your aims then they will be more likely to take you seriously. So tell them in the past x weeks I have answered an average of y number of calls per day on my non-working days. I have spent approximately z unpaid hours per week sorting out things that could have waited until I got back to work. From now on I propose to either not answer work calls or take calls but only deal with emergencies, I will judge whether or not a particular situation is an emergency. If I have to spend more than 10 minutes sorting anything out I will charge the company/take it off one of my working days at my convenience.

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