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  • FIRST POST
    • thescouselander
    • By thescouselander 18th Oct 16, 9:09 AM
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    thescouselander
    Employer can't meet the basic requirements for work
    • #1
    • 18th Oct 16, 9:09 AM
    Employer can't meet the basic requirements for work 18th Oct 16 at 9:09 AM
    I found myself in a rather strange position yesterday. My employer has been increasing the workforce well beyond what the accommodation can deal with. At first they tried to deal with this by implementing a "flexible desk" system but this is now well over subscribed.

    The problem I had is I had no desk or computer to work at - being in a desk based role this presented some serious problems and I was unable to work properly. It looks like this might continue to be a problem and although I might have better luck booking a desk in future someone else in the team will end up in the same position as I did yesterday.

    Is there any provision in law that forces employers to provide the basics required for the job?
Page 1
    • paddedjohn
    • By paddedjohn 18th Oct 16, 9:14 AM
    • 6,854 Posts
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    paddedjohn
    • #2
    • 18th Oct 16, 9:14 AM
    • #2
    • 18th Oct 16, 9:14 AM
    If you can't get a desk what do you do?
    Be Alert..........Britain needs lerts.
    • Helvetica Van Buren
    • By Helvetica Van Buren 18th Oct 16, 9:30 AM
    • 208 Posts
    • 292 Thanks
    Helvetica Van Buren
    • #3
    • 18th Oct 16, 9:30 AM
    • #3
    • 18th Oct 16, 9:30 AM
    If you can't get a desk what do you do?
    Originally posted by paddedjohn
    ^^^This.

    The next time you can't get a desk, go to your boss and say: "I haven't got a desk. Where do you expect me to sit and how do you expect me to work?"

    If it continues, look for another they job. That place sounds shjt.
    • Undervalued
    • By Undervalued 18th Oct 16, 9:46 AM
    • 2,076 Posts
    • 1,773 Thanks
    Undervalued
    • #4
    • 18th Oct 16, 9:46 AM
    • #4
    • 18th Oct 16, 9:46 AM
    I found myself in a rather strange position yesterday. My employer has been increasing the workforce well beyond what the accommodation can deal with. At first they tried to deal with this by implementing a "flexible desk" system but this is now well over subscribed.

    The problem I had is I had no desk or computer to work at - being in a desk based role this presented some serious problems and I was unable to work properly. It looks like this might continue to be a problem and although I might have better luck booking a desk in future someone else in the team will end up in the same position as I did yesterday.

    Is there any provision in law that forces employers to provide the basics required for the job?
    Originally posted by thescouselander
    Only regarding toilet facilities, safety equipment and minimum temperatures etc. Beyond that they are entirely free to fail to provide the things somebody needs to work efficiently if they so choose!
    • YouAsked
    • By YouAsked 18th Oct 16, 11:27 AM
    • 95 Posts
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    YouAsked
    • #5
    • 18th Oct 16, 11:27 AM
    • #5
    • 18th Oct 16, 11:27 AM

    Is there any provision in law that forces employers to provide the basics required for the job?
    Originally posted by thescouselander
    Your contract is probably the best place to start! Have a look in it to see what your company's contractual obligations to you are. Then you can also have a look at any related policies.

    Are you unable to do your job in any capacity when you don't have a desk? If so, this seems a strangely uneconomical way for a company to run a business - are you SURE that the powers that be know this is the situation? What do you *do* when you have no desk? Do you say to a manger "erm, what am I supposed to do?" - and if so, what do they say?

    Also, you're probably doing this already but if your job has a target/bonus element then make sure you keep a detailed record of any times you did not have the equipment to do your job, who you informed of this, and what you did instead.

    If this is a short-medium term issue, you might want to see if it can be worked to your advantage - so maybe a rota of working from home to ease the pressure on resources?
    • ohreally
    • By ohreally 18th Oct 16, 2:49 PM
    • 5,724 Posts
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    ohreally
    • #6
    • 18th Oct 16, 2:49 PM
    • #6
    • 18th Oct 16, 2:49 PM
    You don't have a problem, you're line manager does, over to LM.
    • motorguy
    • By motorguy 18th Oct 16, 6:18 PM
    • 13,798 Posts
    • 7,304 Thanks
    motorguy
    • #7
    • 18th Oct 16, 6:18 PM
    • #7
    • 18th Oct 16, 6:18 PM
    You don't have a problem, you're line manager does, over to LM.
    Originally posted by ohreally
    Absolutely agree.

    If somebody wants to pay me to stand around and scratch my plums all day because there are no desks, then thats fine by me.
    Regards

    Paul
    • ThemeOne
    • By ThemeOne 18th Oct 16, 6:43 PM
    • 692 Posts
    • 539 Thanks
    ThemeOne
    • #8
    • 18th Oct 16, 6:43 PM
    • #8
    • 18th Oct 16, 6:43 PM
    It looks like they'll have to set up their IT so people can work remotely from home, but that's for them to worry about not you.

    In the meantime I guess you just keep going in and getting paid for not doing much!
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 18th Oct 16, 7:01 PM
    • 2,735 Posts
    • 4,276 Thanks
    sangie595
    • #9
    • 18th Oct 16, 7:01 PM
    • #9
    • 18th Oct 16, 7:01 PM
    I found myself in a rather strange position yesterday. My employer has been increasing the workforce well beyond what the accommodation can deal with. At first they tried to deal with this by implementing a "flexible desk" system but this is now well over subscribed.

    The problem I had is I had no desk or computer to work at - being in a desk based role this presented some serious problems and I was unable to work properly. It looks like this might continue to be a problem and although I might have better luck booking a desk in future someone else in the team will end up in the same position as I did yesterday.

    Is there any provision in law that forces employers to provide the basics required for the job?
    Originally posted by thescouselander
    Ok. So that was your problem. What did you do about it then? You spoke to your manager, and their response was...? You surely didn't sit there all day doing very little and then come here to post about whether there is a law to guarantee you a desk, did you?

    Yes there have been a load of helpful suggestions here, but surely you actually have said or done something already? You know the workplace better than anyone here!
    • thescouselander
    • By thescouselander 18th Oct 16, 10:06 PM
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    thescouselander
    Actually I'm in a management position myself. My manager has the same problem also. The problem with our workplace is that it's so large decisions get taken in one part of the organisation which can have profound effects but these cannot be overturned even by senior managers locally. I have escalated the issue higher up but there's not much that can be done by anyone locally to me.

    My reason for asking about the legal aspects is that the organisation normally responds to legal issues where are other complaints get ignored.

    As for the alternatives - I can't work from home as I'm often required to attend meetings in person. Fortunately I had a lot of meetings yesterday which mitigated the lack of desk somewhat but I still struggled when I needed to access a computer.
    • takman
    • By takman 18th Oct 16, 10:16 PM
    • 1,532 Posts
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    takman
    Why don't get you request a laptop computer. It's easy to justify the cost of a laptop if your attending lots of meetings and need access to a computer to be productive.
    • thescouselander
    • By thescouselander 18th Oct 16, 10:24 PM
    • 4,851 Posts
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    thescouselander
    Why don't get you request a laptop computer. It's easy to justify the cost of a laptop if your attending lots of meetings and need access to a computer to be productive.
    Originally posted by takman
    I've got a laptop. The problem is it needs to be connected to the network and the connections are on the desks which means it's just a paperweight if I can't get to a desk.
    Last edited by thescouselander; 18-10-2016 at 10:32 PM.
    • ThemeOne
    • By ThemeOne 18th Oct 16, 10:33 PM
    • 692 Posts
    • 539 Thanks
    ThemeOne
    I've got a laptop. The problem is it needs to be connected to the network and the connections are on the desks.
    Originally posted by thescouselander
    They don't have wireless? As I said they need to get their IT sorted out. Plenty of organisations now operate from offices which are too small to accommodate everyone in person.

    Even meetings can now be attended remotely using webcam etc.
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 18th Oct 16, 10:36 PM
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    sangie595
    Logging into a network without a direct physical link is easy - if your IT department haven't mastered that, they need to. The laptop sitting next to me is logged into my workplace network this minute, and I am definitely not there!

    But there is no law that you want, so you must find another way. Can other staff not work from home to free up space?
    • Mersey
    • By Mersey 19th Oct 16, 12:15 AM
    • 1,243 Posts
    • 565 Thanks
    Mersey
    It's an increasing problem, so much so that it's actually become a regular comical posting on Rollonfriday and another legal blog re which top 100 firm this week is playing musical chairs and removing yet more desks and PCs. Hot desking is fine when there's eg 100 fee earners and 80 desks, but not when it gets down to 50 desks & PCs.


    Though as ThemeOne & Sangie595 say: they really should have wireless at work and allow remote access at home. [Although I do know a top 100 law firm that won't allow either, strangely even though they employ a huge IT dept]
    Last edited by Mersey; 19-10-2016 at 12:19 AM.
    Please be polite to OPs and remember this is a site for Claimants and Appellants to seek redress against their bank, ex-boss or retailer. If they wanted morality or the view of the IoD or Bank they'd ask them.
    • Xbigman
    • By Xbigman 19th Oct 16, 2:02 AM
    • 2,751 Posts
    • 1,026 Thanks
    Xbigman
    In my warehouse they cut down the number of electric trucks so that on busy nights we are are up to 5 short. What has this got to do with desks you ask? Well, there were increasing numbers of staff coming in early to get a truck. The result being that it was nearly always the same few people (who came in a few minutes before their shift start) who couldn't start work on time each night.
    The management response was not to get in more trucks but to tell the staff involved it was a pattern and that they were not trying hard enough. Now almost everyone is on site at least 15 mins early, with some coming in over an hour early. Unpaid.

    My advice - don't be the one without a desk all the time. In theory it is the managements problem. In reality they can make it yours.


    Darren
    Xbigman's guide to a happy life.

    Eat properly
    Sleep properly
    Save some money
    • thescouselander
    • By thescouselander 19th Oct 16, 7:04 AM
    • 4,851 Posts
    • 4,261 Thanks
    thescouselander
    Logging into a network without a direct physical link is easy - if your IT department haven't mastered that, they need to. The laptop sitting next to me is logged into my workplace network this minute, and I am definitely not there!

    But there is no law that you want, so you must find another way. Can other staff not work from home to free up space?
    Originally posted by sangie595

    Well, the original idea was that some staff would work from home or be off site for other reasons. That worked for a bit but now the staff to desk ratio is so bad it just doesn't work anymore.

    As for WiFi it should be provided but the fact is its not there and won't be arriving any time soon.
    • prowla
    • By prowla 19th Oct 16, 7:23 AM
    • 9,446 Posts
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    prowla
    It seems to me that this is an opportunity for a manager to take the initiative and sort it out.

    Maybe a Wi-Fi access point would solve the network connectivity issue, maybe introducing remote working would be an idea, maybe taking on overflow office space (eg. Regis) might help.
    • ThemeOne
    • By ThemeOne 19th Oct 16, 7:54 AM
    • 692 Posts
    • 539 Thanks
    ThemeOne
    It sounds like the company is burying its head in the sand over this, but the problem won't go away it'll only get worse. It's no good expecting people to work around the issue as there's no way to work round it if they won't even provide wifi.

    Someone needs to pick this up and get something done, otherwise some kind of crisis will occur, then IT solutions will be rushed through without proper testing resulting in more chaos. I've seen it all before, I'm afraid.
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 19th Oct 16, 8:07 AM
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    getmore4less
    Where are all these meetings being held.

    Camp in one of those rooms.

    There must be a network point close enough to run a cable and a stick a switch on it so everyone in the room can have a wired connection.

    Is there any floor space all you need is a desk big enough for a laptop
    Homebase do some sturdy portable tables for less than £30.

    There are also purpose built portable workstations for mobile workers like nail techs which would work well for a laptop.


    The reality though this is something for local management as a group along with the person in charge of the building to sort out.
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