Is it U to expect nursery workers to do training on a Sat - for free?

(45 Posts)
MerryMarigold Fri 13-Sep-19 08:12:35

Not putting this in employment as I know everyone will say it is VU and I am more interested in a direct comparison with other nurseries.

My workplace have organised training from 10-3 tomorrow. It has not presented as optional, but it is not paid, or TOIL. This is because it is 'for our benefit'. The training is on the new EYFS framework and is being delivered by an OFSTED inspector. However, the main reason it has been organised is that we have been reported to OFSTED recently and they are worried about an inspection imminently. The nursery has been inspected yearly for at least 5 years and we finally received a 'good' on the last inspection so they were hoping for a break, till this incident was reported.

They see it as they are paying for the training and all we have to do is give up most of our Saturday. I see it as compulsory training at the weekend which is not even being offered with TOIL.

Is this normal? Is it reasonable? Is it legal? (Although there is nothing in writing to say it's compulsory, it would definitely go against you not to turn up and they would find a different reason for a disciplinary). How annoyed should I be? I am seriously considering leaving, but I have very good hours which is the only reason I am there.

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EasterEgg80 Fri 13-Sep-19 08:13:55

I think if it’s ‘compulsory’ it needs to be paid. Say you are busy

MerryMarigold Fri 13-Sep-19 08:21:10

Thanks Easter Egg. It has not been written anywhere as compulsory. They are very clever to never write anything down. It is just verbally compulsory and knowing how they treat people who don't do what they're told...

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TwatCat Fri 13-Sep-19 08:28:30

Fuck that off. I'd be making sure I'm getting paid or I'd be finding something else that needed my attention.

MerryMarigold Fri 13-Sep-19 09:26:36

Thanks Cat! Like your attitude. Need to borrow some balls!

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itsaboojum Fri 13-Sep-19 10:14:41

I agree with PPs. They should pay you for attendance and they have a duty to train you as part of your paid hours. As for it being for your benefit, whom do they think they are kidding? The management are worried about an inspection of their business. If they were concerned about benefitting your career progression they’d have consulted staff on what sort of training you think would be beneficial.

I don’t see why your employer is in such a hurry to train you all on the new EYFS framework. It is in the very early stages and not due to be implemented for another two years. It’s a waste of resources, as your nursery is likely to turnover a good few staff members by then. If your boss is worried about inspection being imminent, they’d do better to train you on the current EYFS framework and the new EIS framework.

Perunatop Fri 13-Sep-19 10:19:52

Rather than refuse just say you have other commitments that prevent your attendance. IMO it is not a reasonable request, especially if at short notice.


MerryMarigold Fri 13-Sep-19 10:27:33

I think it is the EIS framework actually, but both have been mentioned and told to read them all (in our spare time of course). Doesn't that relate to the new EYFS framework? I thought it was starting this September. I am confused. Too many frameworks going on and not enough decent interactions with children.

If they were concerned about benefitting your career progression they’d have consulted staff on what sort of training you think would be beneficial.

Don't make me laugh! You could not make up the way we are treated here. I thought it was perhaps because I am used to a corporate environment. I've written a speculative letter for a new job, still in EYFS but just not here. The training is only for my benefit if I leave and can put it on my CV!

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itsaboojum Fri 13-Sep-19 10:49:18

The unavoidable underlying problem is that most nurseries are very close to going out of business because parents can’t/won’t pay sufficient fees to cover the rising costs of delivering care, and government rates for funded children are even lower. This results, amongst other things, in a squeeze on staff. Not good, but we might as well face facts.

I very much sympathise and agree your points about too much regulation/bureaucracy and not enough focus on children (don’t get me started.)

Without meaning to be rude, your posts betray a degree of confusion over certain matters that underpin the childcare industry. Your employer should be addressing this, but I’ll guess they aren’t. But it would be in your own interests to address this gap in your knowledge/understanding, particularly if you’re looking to impress a new prospective employer, or go self-employed.

I’d recommend you check out the Ofsted website regularly, as well as publications like Nursery World, and subscribe to email newsletters such as Foundation Years.

MerryMarigold Fri 13-Sep-19 11:20:46

itsaboojum, I am becoming increasingly disillusioned and I've only been there a year. I somewhat agree with the squeezing on resources. The Nursery has struggled to make money in the past, but it also treats its staff very badly, has a very high staff turnover and is constantly cutting corners which ends up costing more. Staff are paid minimum wage but are expected to invest in their own career development in their own time, and do hours of outside work on books, observations, planning, write ups etc. Being committed to that level of 'career progression' within a minimum wage environment? It's really ridiculous and it needs a major rethink, because you will constantly lose good people who have choices.

I am confused. Being new to it (relatively) and part time plus all the bureaucratic changes. All the frameworks have been mentioned consistently in meetings (which also happen in our spare time), and no distinction made between them. And no, I am not going to spend more hours of my spare time reading Nursery World on governmental fiddling which hasn't been explained properly by senior staff, simply because it's not worth my time. I can get a minimum wage job in Aldi or much higher than minimum wage at Amazon. I would much rather work with children, and it's a shame considering the shortage of workers and what I feel I can bring to the table in terms of engaging children, teaching them etc. I'm good - with the children! But perhaps this is ultimately not for me. I will try somewhere else first. I have heard from others that our place is particularly bad but not tried anywhere else so I need to do that and then make a decision for the future.

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Apple40 Fri 13-Sep-19 11:44:53

As a childminder all my paperwork, training is done in my own time, evenings, weekends and at my own expense if I went to day courses I would lose my clients. However if I was employed I would not be using my own time if not being paid for it.

timshelthechoice Fri 13-Sep-19 11:57:58

I'd tell them I have another job and can't go to the training unless I'm paid.

insancerre Fri 13-Sep-19 16:02:40

Find another job
I work in a nursery and all training is done during work time
What they should do is send one or two people who can cascade the training at a staff meeting
They will be failing to pay minimum wage if they are not paying for training as you are still working

Missingaclue Fri 13-Sep-19 16:15:02

I've worked in nurseries for years and in my experience yes this is normal sadly. Training almost always takes place on a Saturday or sometimes after the nursery closes and staff are never paid for this or offered toil.

ChildminderMum Fri 13-Sep-19 16:50:06

It's a new inspection framework, not a new EYFS (curriculum). I don't see why you need to go.

Management should do the training and can cascade any new changes to staff during work time.

I wouldn't go.

ChildminderMum Fri 13-Sep-19 16:50:53

Also if you are paid at or around minimum wage, then asking you to do extra hours may mean your pay falls illegally low.

HunterHearstHelmsley Fri 13-Sep-19 16:53:39

It does seem pretty normal for nursery workers, unfortunately. Some friends and my sister work in nursery and they're always expected to do training or meetings etc. for no extra pay. The latest I heard about was prom hmm

I don't agree with it at all.

MerryMarigold Fri 13-Sep-19 17:57:43

Prom? For nursery kids?

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glenthebattleostrich Fri 13-Sep-19 18:01:07

There isn't a new EYFS framework yet. They are offering training on the new inspection framework which has just been launched, basically what Ofsted are looking for now and how they will inspect you.

glenthebattleostrich Fri 13-Sep-19 18:02:51

Sorry, hit post to soon.

I'm a childminder with an assistant, I pay Cher for her training or she does online stuff while the kids nap. Personally I think it's unreasonable to expect you to do compulsory training for free. I built the training costs into my hourly rate.

glenthebattleostrich Fri 13-Sep-19 18:03:27

Not Cher, her. Although how great would it be having Cher in the setting!!

MaverickSnoopy Fri 13-Sep-19 18:09:57

Haven't read responses as am about to get into the bath as am shattered after a busy day childminding.

The inspection framework was released months ago so people knew back in May I believe what was going to happen. Why did they not train people back then? Everyone had access.

My DH has worked in nurseries for over a decade and this is my absolute bug bear. Training etc on a Saturday let alone at short notice is the biggest load of rubbish. It's bad planning. They could easily do it after work and tbh the changes to the inspection framework can be done online. There is an Ofsted video on YouTube and a webinar to name a couple. Not paying people or getting toil is bollocks. Sounds like the work of bright horizons. Look at the working time directive- whoever it is needs to make sure that they are paying minimum wage once all working hours are included. Check your contract too but statutory legislation overrides everything. My DH voted with his feet with his last employer who did this - the new ones are better (just).

MaverickSnoopy Fri 13-Sep-19 18:15:38

itsaboojum not all nurseries are on the cusp of going out of business. My DH has worked for a couple of chains who having enormous profits and treat their staff APPALINGLY - no paid overtime, lots of paperwork in their own time, no toil, short notice of shift changes, lots of working on Saturdays, refusal of annual leave full stop, paying below minimum wage, not fulfilling their duty of care especially when people should be under occ health etc. Sorry but I've seen him and his colleagues put up with so much rubbish over the years. Yes there are lots of nurseries struggling but there are plenty who are working their staff to the bones and not giving a single damn about their staff. Managers driving swanky company cars and getting manager parties and wellbeing events. I could go on!

LynetteScavo Fri 13-Sep-19 18:28:28

They should pay you.

I'd go to the training, put it on my CV and wave goodbye to them ASAP.

moonriverandme Fri 13-Sep-19 22:50:45

Retired Pre School manager. I never expected staff to do any training that was unpaid. Training on Saturday only if couldn't source on other days. I would ring ACAS and HMRC as the nursery could be in breach of employment law and taking wages below minimum wage. You can speak anonymously.

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