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Who’s good at drawing up staff rotas to give 10 shop staff 1 weekend a month off?

57 replies

LuckySeventhWave · 25/11/2019 12:52

My new place of employment has 10 staff including two managers.
Managers both contracted to work one weekend day every week, which they alternate between them.

I have worked one weekend day every week since I started, and am now down for two-day weekends.

My job was advertised as a 6 hour contract. I have worked up to 20 hours a week so far. It didn’t clarify at interview I’m required to work every weekend, and when queried, was told it’s compulsory ‘because everyone in retail works weekends’.

The shop is open 7 days a week:
Mon-Sat 9-8pm
Sun 11-5pm

Staff all work various hours, no set shifts or days. Most are aged between 18-25; a student, a work experience, one staff who takes regular sabbaticals, and myself, the oldest by far.

Can anyone see a way I can present a rota to the manager, where all 10 staff can have at least 1 whole weekend off a month each? Managers in this company known for being poor at drawing up fair staff rotas.

It would be fairer for everyone not to have to work every weekend, and especially me where I’m now being assigned two-day weekends and no other staff is.
The sabbatical staff is the only one doing 40+ hours presumably to pay for their jollies, before returning to the job. All the remaining hours are dished out between the rest of us. Some work 3 hours a day, some 6.5, some 8, some 2...

I’m the only staff with young children at home, everyone else is single/no children.
I’ve been given evening and weekend shifts only. It’s impacting a little at home because it means my husband has to finish his work early to get home in order for me to get to work.

I fully expect to be given Christmas Eve, Boxing Day, NYE and NYD shifts as they all fall on the exact same days of the week I’ve been working shifts on so far!...

I’m in my 3 month probation period, and no doubt my hours will reduce to 6 a week after busy Christmas is over, and probably a weekend day too, so is it even worth rocking the boat now?

There must surely be a way of doing the rota better so we all get fairer hours? Everyone is contracted on this minimum hours by the way, I don’t know exactly each staff, but the few I have spoken to are on 6 or 8 hours like me, and the company is notorious for not employing full time staff, so it’s likely .

I’ve never worked in retail before, so this is all new to me.

AIBU to present a fairer rota to the manager? I haven’t actually figured out how to draw that up yet mind you!

I’m grateful for this job, and happy to work as many hours as will fit around school runs (which the manager has accommodated actually, but that was in week 1 of employment and coincided with a staff holiday booked off so I must have been covering their daytime shifts anyway, I haven’t been given any weekday shifts since).

I’ve since learnt retail is not great for weekend or school friendly hours, so despite absolutely loving this job, I’m going to have to job hunt unless I can figure out a better rota.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

LuckySeventhWave · 25/11/2019 12:53

Actually it’s for 8 shop staff, because the two managers have to work weekends anyway.

OP posts:

Greywalls12 · 25/11/2019 12:56

I'm not sure the managers would take too kindly to you designing a rota for them and saying it should be this way etc..
You've only been there three months, i think you should look for another job if the hours don't suit


Jeezoh · 25/11/2019 12:58

I’d find a new job, it sounds like a total shambles. They’re open 7 days a week but the staff are only on short hours contracts? It sounds chaotic and they’re relying on staff to be unreasonably flexible


TeenPlusTwenties · 25/11/2019 12:58

123 567
12 456 8
1 345 78
234 678

2 staff each get 1 weekend off every 4 weeks,


Lougle · 25/11/2019 12:58

You haven't said how many staff are required each day?


walkingwoods · 25/11/2019 12:59

I agree - I don't think it would go down too well telling them a better way to do their job to suit you.

You can ask for time off at weekend but I wouldn't provide a rota.


LuckySeventhWave · 25/11/2019 13:00

@Greywalls12 Manager already complained she struggles with rota.
Looking for another job not feasible, it took me 2 months to find this one. I was redundant in August and only offered one interview in 2 months after that (this job).

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Gabrielknight · 25/11/2019 13:00

Unfortunately retail is a bit like this. And I echo the previous poster, management won't like it if you've only been there 3 months. I would ask if possible you can have different hours, but if not I eoukd look for other work. Retail hours are dreadful, I used to end up never actually seeing my partner because of them.


LuckySeventhWave · 25/11/2019 13:01


At least 1 manager every day.
One keyholder.
2 shopfloor staff minimum.

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RaymondStopThat · 25/11/2019 13:02

As someone who had to write rotas for years, there isn't enough info in your post to be able to answer your question. You'd need to know how many staff have to be on duty at any one time, what the total staff hours/week are, how many hours each person has agreed to work/week and if there are days/times that each person isn't available. Once you've t that info, it may be possible to find up with a rota proposal. I'd tread very carefully being so new.


LuckySeventhWave · 25/11/2019 13:03

It’s not just to suit me, I want all the staff to have at least 1 weekend a month off.
I wasn’t told at interview I’d have to work weekends and especially not every weekend. My fault I should have asked, but because it was only a 6 hour contract advertised I assumed it wouldn’t be more than one shift a week anyway.

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Stefoscope · 25/11/2019 13:15

Agree with not drawing up a rota and presenting it to management. If someone on probation did that with me it would set off warning signals that I'm dealing with someone who is trying to run my business for me. I have one staff member I put in on a weekend as he needs closer supervision and it's easier for me to train him on days when I have an extra staff member in. There may be a reason the rota is drawn up a certain way.

Asking for more weekends off is perfectly reasonable and clarification of what shifts you're likely to be working going forward. Don't present it as an issue for other people wanting weekends off as you're creating an unecessary problem for management.


Beautiful3 · 25/11/2019 13:16

Retail is like this. I had a part time job in a shop. My hours were always over the weekend because that's when they needed me most when it was busy. You could try with the rotating. Me personally I'd keep looking for another job.


LuckySeventhWave · 25/11/2019 13:23

Thankyou so far. For clarification, the manager was promoted from till staff to store manager within 3 months, as the company likes to promote staff rapidly. I was asked at interview whether I’m interested in rapid promotion and I said no thankyou, but manager said she’ll just put down yes anyway as they like staff to do this Confused.

I don’t want the cashing up, keyholding or regional sales stats and targets comparison responsibilities, it didn’t mention those in the job position advertised.

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Nikhedonia · 25/11/2019 13:24

If your contract is for 6 hours per week, you can decline any hours that aren't convenient, outside of those 6.


LuckySeventhWave · 25/11/2019 13:28

I love this job, but it’s looking like the hours just aren’t going to suit Sad

Such a shame, finding work you enjoy is ... hard work !

I can put up with the daft corporate nonsense that seems to be filtering down negatively to shopfloor staff, but with young kids, maybe I need to find better hours elsewhere.

Might be better if I just talk to manager again and figure out a way between us. I have tried already in general conversation, but stock replies have been, ‘it’s retail, it’s how it is’, or ‘were understaffed and everyone needs to cover’.

If you only need 3 staff in the shop each day, and there’s 10 total available who can work every and any day, there must be a better way to do the rota?

This is why I’m not a manager anyway, and just shop staff, I don’t have a clue what I’m talking about.

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LuckySeventhWave · 25/11/2019 13:29

@Nikhedonia do you mean I can decline the weekend hours as long as I work 6 hours elsewhere?

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CremeEggThief · 25/11/2019 13:33

There's absolutely no way that management are going to take it kindly when someone on probation draws up a rota for them! I've never worked in retail and I'm not saying you're wrong to think there must be a better way of organising staff, but unfortunately it's not your place.


thecatsthecats · 25/11/2019 13:34

I think if you get into your niche a bit more, sympathise and show willing to assist, then suggesting a new rota'ing system somewhere down the line, and show willing to do the legwork BEFORE you present it as a fait accompli, then the right manager might appreciate it.

My husband worked at Phones4U and they were no-ifs-no-buts required to work every Saturday, and every Bank Holiday. Including the Royal Wedding, where ever single staff member was in to a ghost town, save for poor retail staff.


GiveHerHellFromUs · 25/11/2019 13:35

Just decline the extra hours. You're on a 6 hour contract and if you don't want to work more than that you don't have to.


WinterBerry7 · 25/11/2019 13:38

You could only work your 6 hours and refuse all other shifts, but I doubt it would go down well.
I am a previous retail manager and when interviewing Christmas temps I always make it crystal clear that the hours will be long, days will be manic, flexibility will be needed and you won’t really get to pick and chose days. If they didn’t explain that to you then that’s on them - although I’m surprised you didn’t expect that applying to work in retail at Christmas.

Please do not come up with your own rota. Christmas is a bloody hard time in retail and this would not have gone down well with me.


WTFdidwedo · 25/11/2019 13:40

To those saying decline the hours, I assume you haven't worked in retail/hospitality. My company employs many people on 10-16 hour contracts but all contracts have clauses to say their hours will change to reflect business needs, as most contracts in these industries do. Otherwise at Christmas they'd have to hire 10 people to work for a month then sack them all off in the new year.


WinterBerry7 · 25/11/2019 13:41

Also as an aside - I know it’s tough but I’d look for something else. Retail is only going one way in terms of staffing and flexibility. Basically everyone needs to be able to do anything at any time and people are being made redundant where that isn’t the case (I had to do the consultation with staff. It was shit)


Tensixtysix · 25/11/2019 13:44

Problem is that you are the newest and you will be given all the crappiest slots. Last in, first out as they say.
Retail is horrible!


WinterBerry7 · 25/11/2019 13:44

@WTFdidwedo I worked in retail and that’s exactly what we did. Took on about 20 staff for November/December on temp contracts who were then let go in the new year.
I worked for a long running high street business and some of the staff there were on contracts 20 years old or plus, there was no wiggle room with hours. Hence the consultation period to get them onto newer more flexible contracts.

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