Who is BU? Work or me?
Teatimeted · 30/10/2018 19:11
Until recently I worked a 90 min commute from home. When I returned after mat leave, my boss was very supportive and flexible, allowing me to compress my hours, drop three hours a week and work through my lunch.
I then found a job five minutes from my house on £10k a year more. Firstly they denied publishing the salary (they did, because I never apply for a job without knowing the salary) and tried to offer me £10k less. We finally met halfway, and I reckoned it was worth it due to no commute or petrol costs etc...
I asked about compressing my hours (I worked a four day week) but they refused. For context, I have an 18 month at home. They finally allowed me to take half a day on a Friday but unpaid. They wouldn't let me work through my lunch to make up the hours, and this reduced my salary by £4K so I'm now on the same salary as I was in my old job.
I've been there a month and as it's so close to home, I go back on my lunch, walk the dog, sort out washing etc...
Today my boss commented that it wasn't really 'the done thing' to take a lunch break and that no one else really did.
Now I'm pissed off that 'to show willing' I have to work another four hours a week for no extra pay, and be flexible with them, but they're not willing to do the same for me.
Should I just suck it up or should I say that I'll not take a break if they reverse the decision not to let me compress my hours??
Villanelle123 · 30/10/2018 19:16
Surely it’s the law to get a break?
You are not being unreasonable. I made a point of taking my whole hour as you get no thanks for doing any extra and it hasn’t got the people who do it anywhere. Also meant I could work it at times to make up time.
summacummamumma · 30/10/2018 19:16
I would report your boss to HR for telling you to not take your lunch break? It is a legal requirement that you have a break and they are completely taking the piss!!
Jimmers · 30/10/2018 19:18
Legally you’re entitled to a 20 minute unpaid break for every six hours you work. Commonly referred to as a lunch break. As these breaks are unpaid, you can do whatever you like during that time. It might not be the “done thing”, but it’s illegal for an employer to deny staff those breaks.
It’s worth negotiating the flexible working with them. Have a look at the ACAS website for advice.
Cherries101 · 30/10/2018 19:20
Say you what that confirmed in writing. (They won’t do it as it’s illegal). This is why I’ll never give up my London commuter job — You might work long hours but most professional London based jobs understand flexibility.
CantSleepClownsWillEatMe · 30/10/2018 19:21
I don't think I'd try to negotiate the lunch v compressed hours thing again as it seems pretty clear they're unwilling to be flexible. I would have thought when you suggested it the first time it should have been obvious you intended taking your lunch break (and rightly so!) so why is your boss bringing this up after a month?
Unfortunately they just don't sound like a great company to work for and a comment like that, on top of the salary issue and their inflexibility, wouldn't make me feel confident that this is going to work out long term. Sorry, I know it's not what you want to hear but I think I'd start looking around again.
Pursefirst · 30/10/2018 19:29
Sorry OP, I'm confused. They won't let you work through your lunch to make up the compressed/unpaid hours, yet taking a lunch break "isn't the done thing"?? So they want you to work an extra four or five hours for zero pay?? Are they having a laugh?
SEsofty · 30/10/2018 19:34
How senior are you and are you getting all the work done?
Pretty much everywhere I’ve worked most days people just worked through lunch because there was too much to do- public sector. Eg lots of meetings starting at two so needed to do the meeting prep
If you are getting all the work done then keep on taking lunch but if not you will need to think about what to do
SwizzelsFizzers · 30/10/2018 19:37
Compressed hours and working through lunch don't work in a business/organisation where everyone effectively does that anyway- works longer hours that contracted and only has a break when there is time.
DontTouchTheMoustache · 30/10/2018 19:38
Tbh I'd be looking for abother job. You are absolutely bot being unreasonable but if you fight your corner all you will do is doom any chance of moving further up in the company. It sounds like a lose lose scenario for you.
MeredithGrey1 · 30/10/2018 20:21
Ive worked somewhere were it wasn’t the “done thing” to take a lunch break, or to leave on time, if someone new started and negotiated to work through lunch and therefore leave an hour early everyone else would’ve been pissed. It wasn’t a good place to work and was seriously understaffed but in that situation even a sympathetic manager isn’t going to let you work through and leave early when everyone else works through and doesn’t. It’s not fair and shouldn’t be your problem but there isn’t an easy way around it.
I’d keep taking lunches and start looking for another job.
TedAndLola · 30/10/2018 20:28
They're definitely being unreasonable about the lunch break, but you were incredibly naive to take a job and assume they would allow flexible working. It's something you agree before you sign the contract, not something you bring up when you've already started.
CherryPavlova · 30/10/2018 20:34
I think it would depend on the level you were working at. I don’t know anyone who would make it explicit but plenty of jobs on around £50k plus where there were unwritten rules but which also incorporated a degree of flexibility.
Teatimeted · 30/10/2018 20:41
Tedanslola - the negotiation was pre contract signing.
Teatimeted · 30/10/2018 20:44
I think I am going to start looking though, it feels very old school in a lot of ways, inflexibility being just one.
I am a manager and am on top of workload. Whether this is the case in a few months when I get into things, I don't know. If that does happen, I'd rather negotiate my hours back up to the original wage than sacrifice my lunch break.
Polkapjs · 30/10/2018 20:56
Realistically who can work all day without a break and then get the hours back? I’d guess only somewhere super flexible. That would never happen at my work but not would the earlier finish. I do 4 days and try to get in earlier than start time, traffic permitting but have to leave on time. I frequently work at home and do emails on day off out of guilt as I feel much less of worth now I’m part time
For true flexibility I think you need a flexi time place of work where the flexi is for all. Not easy to find though
As for not taking lunch, you’ve kind of done yourself out of the working through option by taking one- this is so unfair but how it will ge seen.
Working with kids is really hard - you have my sympathy
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