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AIBU?

Missed 3 hours of lunch break

366 replies

ThereIsNoLeftFalangie · 21/11/2019 05:48

AIBU to feel quite pissed off that I've missed out on 3 hours of my lunch break.
Work in a school, have been on quite a few trips for the last term. On trips the children get 30 mins lunch with staff eating alongside and supervising. Normally at school staff will get an hour lunch which is not paid. I don't mind missing out 30mins on the odd trip but it's taking the micky when im owed 2 hours. We're all expected to do things out of goodwill but thoses favours are never reciprocated by management. If they had to pay me for all the times I've worked passed my finish time they'd be in for a shock. Should I mention the 3 hours im owed?

OP posts:
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BoomBoomsCousin · 21/11/2019 06:48

How, practically would you get a break in the context of a school trip unless you can have a 30 min timeout on the bus or train bit where you are not called on to deal with anything and can have your sandwiches ?

She isn't asking for a break, she's asking to be paid for the unpaid hour that she's working instead of having the break.

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Littleunicorndreams · 21/11/2019 06:49

Teachers also get less than minimum wage on residential trips....

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Vanhi · 21/11/2019 06:49

This must be a joke. I've never worked in any job where missing the odd break is something people moan about. It's part of working life

Why should people accept it? Why should we accept that employers will screw us over? They'd be quick enough to kick up a stink if employees took extra long lunch breaks.

OP I agree with pp - if you're in a union talk to them. Keep track of all the hours you're owed. I don't really trust employers and it may pay dividends in future to have a record of the things they do. If being THAT person means standing up for employee rights, then be that person.

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Cherrysoup · 21/11/2019 06:50

If you go on trips (bonus!), you expect to miss lunch hours. Are you seriously going to complain? I took lots of TAs on a day trip to France, we left at 4am, got home about 8pm. Nobody complained, we all had a fabulous time. In future, say you don’t want to go on trips, although you’re probably needed.

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exLtEveDallas · 21/11/2019 06:51

It’s normal, but it is wrong. I’m not a Teacher or TA but I work in a school. I could count on one hand how many lunch breaks I manage to take in a school year, and regularly work over my hours in the evening. It’s the only way to get all the work done.

We’ve got an overtime ban - but it doesn’t stop the SLT expecting the work to be done...and complaining when it isn’t. It really grates when the people complaining are earning 2, 3, 4 times the wage.

Good job I love the kids smdh

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Ivebeentohellanditscalledikea · 21/11/2019 06:54

@BoomBoomsCousin our lunches aren't paid they and we haven't gained anything from losing the time. It was sold to everyone as take the cut or there will be redundancies. Teachers still get the full time though. They did say they would look into letting us leave earlier but that never happened as it wouldn't work.

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hibiscus71 · 21/11/2019 06:56

Errr, I teach and I only get an actual lunch break once a week as lunchtime is when I need to see children.

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hen10 · 21/11/2019 06:57

I'm a teacher and that's part of my job. However, I wouldn't expect a TA/ LSA on fixed hours to forgo their lunch break. You should get it back in TOIL or added hours paid, OP. Do you have a teacher that you work with who can support you on this? I'd be asking the bursar where I fill in the details of the extra TA hours worked if I was the supervising teacher on the trip. It's not OK to take advantage of people and TA is a tough job on a relatively low salary.

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BoomBoomsCousin · 21/11/2019 07:03

@Ivebeentohellanditscalledikea so have they cut your hourly pay or are you not contracted hourly?

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Yellredder · 21/11/2019 07:08

I work in education - rarely actually get a lunch break!

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BarbaraofSeville · 21/11/2019 07:09

I don’t know anyone that does

Why do people say things like that when there's no way that they know the lunch arrangement of every person they know. Plenty of people get an unpaid hourly lunch break and do take it.

The point for the OP, who sounds like a TA, is that it is highly likely that not taking a lunchbreak takes her below NMW, even if the other relevant rule about having a 20 minute break if she works 6 hours or more isn't broken, how long did you work on these days OP?

And does it say anything in your contract about hours and pay on school trips or any other occasions where you might lose breaks or work longer than necessary?

If you are hourly paid you should be paid for all the hours you work, especially if you are very low paid and any missed breaks or extra hours mean that you've fallen below the NMW, which you can report to HMRC if they don't pay you the extra or allow you to take the time off in lieu.

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Theducksarenotmyfriends · 21/11/2019 07:10

I'm just here to echo pp - why should anyone accept shitty work conditions? People need breaks, we're not robots. Just because your company encourages people to work through lunch breaks doesn't mean people work any better or more efficiently/productively. Quite the opposite I would bet.

Also, there is no "finish time" for teachers. It is a salaried job, not paid by the hour.

This is crap. So anyone working a salaried job must work all the hours they can without any further remuneration or time off in lieu? That has not been the expectation in any of my (salaried) roles and I would never accept working conditions like that.

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Ivebeentohellanditscalledikea · 21/11/2019 07:19

@BoomBoomsCousin we have a salary our hours are in our contract but as they are only a year long they can change them quite easily.

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Pinkblueberry · 21/11/2019 07:21

OP is definitely not a teacher. Teachers don’t take an hour for lunch and don’t count their hours of work to the precise hour either - the job doesn’t work that way.

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Goldenbear · 21/11/2019 07:22

YANBU I think as a TA you can expect different working conditions as you are a not a salaried employee. I work in a school in a one off post, not on the education side of things, hardly have anything to do with the children and I take my lunch break every day and can work from home as my core hours.

I think in other industries, the private sector, the people I know like me husband who is an Associate Architect often has a full hour. My friend is an accountant and it is the same. Of course, in my husband's case he works late so doesn't get until 7 earliest 12 latest but he never works at home and he therefore needs his lunch hour or wouldn't be able to have the energy to keep going.

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Loveislandaddict · 21/11/2019 07:24

Simple answer. Don’t go on school trips then.

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Pinkblueberry · 21/11/2019 07:26

This is crap. So anyone working a salaried job must work all the hours they can without any further remuneration or time off in lieu?

Not anyone no, but teachers yes. It’s not an ‘oh I’ve done so many hours, now I’ve finished’ kind of job - you have a set amount of things to do, and you can’t just decide you’ve spent enough time trying to get it done and then stop... if teachers were able to actually clock their hours, including what they did at home, we couldn’t afford them.

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KittenLedWeaning · 21/11/2019 07:26

Why should people accept it? Why should we accept that employers will screw us over? They'd be quick enough to kick up a stink if employees took extra long lunch breaks.

I completely agree with this. If OP is a teacher/TA, it isn't like she's on some megabucks salary where it might be reasonable to expect to work over and above normal hours. People meekly going along with that kind of thing is why so many people in 'ordinary' jobs end up with shitty working conditions.

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BendingSpoons · 21/11/2019 07:27

My mum is a TA. She gets an hour for lunch, although she rarely takes more than half an hour before going back to the classroom to do jobs. This is her choice, albeit driven by workload, so she doesn't get paid.

Sometimes she gets asked to do a lunch duty to cover staff sickness so only gets 30 mins lunch. She does get paid for this.

YANBU to be annoyed. TAs are not gighly paid roles and you have to work a lunch break when on a trip so it's not your choixe.

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IceCreamAndCandyfloss · 21/11/2019 07:28

Maybe working in a school is the wrong job for you if you count minutes “owed”. I’d imagine everyone who works in a school works extra due to the nature of the environment.

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Straycatstrut · 21/11/2019 07:29

This is why I decided against becoming a TA despite a lot of people telling me that's the job for me. The pay isn't enough to support me as a single parent, and it's long, long days with extra thrown in. Teachers work harder as they've trained more, but their salary reflects that.

I think someone posted on here before "You have to really, REALLY love what you do to be a teacher/TA" and the passion isn't there for me. I'd end up like you.

I'd look into a different career as a PP suggested, that's what I've done.

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SandraOhshair · 21/11/2019 07:30

I'm not a teacher and regularly work through my lunch and work after my finish time. I dont even bother to add it up. I'm salaried too. It wouldn't even cross my mind.
Have you been in employment long OP?

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Goldenbear · 21/11/2019 07:32

I'm sorry but I don't think that is true.

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SandraOhshair · 21/11/2019 07:33

But if you're hourly paid, and low paid I'd raise it. Highly paid and salary is different.

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fedup21 · 21/11/2019 07:34

This is why I decided against becoming a TA despite a lot of people telling me that's the job for me. The pay isn't enough to support me as a single parent, and it's long, long days

Just out of interest-what hours are the ‘long long’ days you mean?

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