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Working as a waitress, 18 weeks???

(7 Posts)
Colarelli Wed 21-Sep-11 23:53:41


I'm just wanting some advice about my working conditions. I'm 18 weeks pregnant and work part-time as a waitress. My manager went through a risk-assessment with me, and at first I was happy with our new arrangements.

However, a few weeks ago I asked to take a 15 min break during my evening shifts so that I get a chance to have a bite to eat, a drink and a sit down. Since then, this has not been carried out at all. I work from 5pm until at least 10.30 pm on my feet the whole time, carrying plates and trays of drinks, it is really hot, I literally sweat from the work. The thing is the managers have been told by head office that they need to cut back on hours, but this means that they are putting on the minimum number of staff to carry out a shift. I do not stop for one minute, hardly get the chance to even have a glass of water.

I am getting really stressed and upset that this is going to harm our baby. I want to stand up for myself but not sure what my rights are and what the best way is to do it??? Can I threaten not to work if they don't provide me with the support I need?

Any support/advice would be greatly received :-)



LikeACandleButNotQuite Thu 22-Sep-11 00:03:41

Is there a way they could look at who does what in the restaurant, for instance, put you on greeting/seating guests (no heavy lifting, less rushed?)

Or, could you ask for a smaller section to wait on?

Will keep my thinking cap on for you!

boxoftricks Thu 22-Sep-11 01:14:42

hmmm. you dont happen to work for a company that rhymes with skitchulls and cutlers do you??
is there anyway you can get easier shifts. eg, setting up in the morning, mid week shifts?

cravingcake Thu 22-Sep-11 07:18:21

Did your risk assessment cover taking a short break? If so rather than ask your manager, just tell them you have to sit down for 15 minutes. You could always say that if you dont have the break you need then you may pass out which could harm the baby, or end up with you dropping something on a customer.

Can you speak to someone in HR rather than your manager?

SunSoakedStone Fri 23-Sep-11 22:17:10

I worked as a waitress in first pregnancy, absolutely knackering!! Didn't quit til eight months either and I was really worked hard, inadequate breaks, long hours etc.

Make sure you get enough breaks to function and make sure you put on enough weight! I really wish I'd stood up to the management more.

Actually once I did just park myself at a table after having 15 minutes off in a 9am-9pm shift!

BumpinBlue Sat 24-Sep-11 00:40:48

I understand exsactly what your going through Colarelli. Waitressing is such a demanding non-stop job, especially during the evening shifts when tables are constantly on the turn. You must be knackered hin.
If the managers are being difficult/cutting staff (I've experienced this before aswell) - how close are you to the rest of the floor staff? Could you not grab 10 minutes at some point and hand your tables over to a couple of the others/any bar staff on hand? Or just say your desperate for a wee and go sit on the toilet for 10 minutes (I used to do this all the time because the smokers would go get their '5 min tab break' on top of their usual food break so I would demand a 5 minute toilet break, where I would literally sit on the toilet and just rest my poor feet)
I've found working in the customer service role and being pregnant has its advantages at times, where sometimes people would be completely arsey for no reason I feel like I get a lot more sympthy (shocking I know) so milk it while you can, Iam sure you'll be making a bomb in tips too if your showing ;) treat yourself to something nice. Hope you get your well deserved break soon.

saoirse86 Sat 24-Sep-11 10:26:31

I really feel for you, it must be really difficult. I was working in a pub which could be incredibly demanding at times, but pretty quiet at times too.

On st Patrick's day parade (by FAR the busiest day of the year) my sister and I were both pregnant and were given supervisory roles rather than working permanently behind the bar. To my boss, it was just one of those things and he absolutely had ours and our babies' best interests at heart even if that meant he felt understaffed.

As far as I'm concerned, if you feel like you need a break then you do need a break. If they agreed to the 15 minute breaks previously, is that in writing anywhere? That would definitely help when it comes to sitting down with your manager.

Also have a look here and take a copy of any useful info, guidelines etc that you find.

Good luck smile

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