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Constantly asked to work overtime

40 replies 1.6K views
My wife works as a deputy manager of a private nursery and is constantly asked to work longer hours. Her contractual hours are 37.5 however she normally works way more than that. The part that is starting to bother me is that she is constantly asked to work a few extra hours on various days through the week.

The part that annoys me the most is that she could walk into work on a 7am-4pm shift and be asked to work until 6pm with some guilt trip thrown in for why they need her (normally that she's the only person who can supervise as there are no other deputies with it being a small private business).

I have explained to my wife that even those on zero hour contracts are expected to get 24 hours notice of any changes to their shifts and this is happening at least 2 or 3 out of her 5 shifts per week where anything from 1-4 hours are added on to her shifts. I have also told her to refuse the extra hours but she doesn't want to let them down since no one else can work those hours. I even said that she should demand some form of compensation in the form of overtime payments such as time and a half or double time but she doesn't feel comfortable asking for this.

What rights does she have here? surely they can't keep asking her to work longer on the day of her shift without prior notice! surely she should be entitled to some form of compensation as a result! she's my wife and a mother of 3 and doesn't get to see our kids as much as she wants as a result of this. The afternoons she gets off are often amended as our plans go out the window once they throw in a request to stay an extra hour or two during her shift.

Any help would be very much appreciated. Obviously she's grateful to be in a job right now with everything going on but I know she's not being treated fairly here.
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Replies

  • Takeaway_AddictTakeaway_Addict Forumite
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    Perhaps she just needs to sit down with the owner and go through the issue and see if it can be resolved another way. IE more training for other staff to get them up to standard etc?

    Don't trust a forum for advice. Get proper paid advice. Any advice given should always be checked
  • matticus7matticus7 Forumite
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    In their setting they have the owner (manager), my wife (deputy) and then the staff so when she is asked to do overtime it's because someone at a supervisor level needs to be there which is basically my wife when the owner doesn't want to do it. She's discussed reducing her hours just last week when we realised she's working over 50 hours per week when she's contracted at 37.5 and you're not supposed to work over 48 hours per week unless you've signed an agreement according to gov.uk.
  • AskAskAskAsk Forumite
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    employers apparently have the right to ask staff to work overtime without overtime pay.  i think the limit is extraordinarily high.
    if you don't want to do the extra hours then you can always leave.  i did at one employer when i felt i was being taken advantage of when they asked me to do overtime over a month without overtime pay.  they can shove their job up their behind.
  • General_GrantGeneral_Grant Forumite
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    Has she signed an opt-out from the 48-hour limit?  If not, would she be working over 48 hours on average over a rolling 17-week period?

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  • SandtreeSandtree Forumite
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    Is she salaried or hourly rate? Ie is the overtime paid or unpaid?

    I am guessing its paid in which case its just a inconvenience matter which is offset in part at least by the extra money. As they give her a sob story why they need her for an extra few hours she can give her own sob story as to why she needs to be at home. Though the more long term approach, especially given she is supposed to be a manager, is to sit down with her boss and discuss/agree better ways of working so either she gets more notice or that she doesn’t do the overtime other than by exception.


  • edited 19 November at 1:04PM
    matticus7matticus7 Forumite
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    edited 19 November at 1:04PM
    My wife is pregnant, upset, struggling with her own mental health issues and feels she can't say no as there's literally no one else in her position who can work the hours. When I say I'm upset about it I'm upset because of the impact it's having on my wife. 

    As for her hours she regularly ends up working 45-50 hours per week as a result of the extra hours being requested nearly every other day but has not opted out of the 48 hour limit nor has it happened consistently over a 17 week period, there was probably 3 or 4 weeks where she did under 50 hours. 

    God help them when she's on maternity leave.

    Edit: @Sandtree I didn't see your post as I was busy replying. She is on an hourly wage and overtime is paid. This is often another factor brought in when they say "think of the extra money" bla bla bla. She doesn't need extra money, she needs a healthy work/life balance lol.

  • edited 19 November at 1:08PM
    EmmiaEmmia Forumite
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    edited 19 November at 1:08PM
    matticus7 said:
    My wife is pregnant, upset, struggling with her own mental health issues and feels she can't say no as there's literally no one else in her position who can work the hours. When I say I'm upset about it I'm upset because of the impact it's having on my wife. 

    As for her hours she regularly ends up working 45-50 hours per week as a result of the extra hours being requested nearly every other day but has not opted out of the 48 hour limit nor has it happened consistently over a 17 week period, there was probably 3 or 4 weeks where she did under 50 hours. 

    God help them when she's on maternity leave.


    There being no one else, is not your wife's problem, it is the owners problem and they need to recruit - she needs to say "no" to the extra hours (perhaps use the pregnancy as an excuse). 

    I'm sorry if that's a bit harsh, I've worked in places like this where you're basically guilt tripped into doing the hours - by accepting, all she's doing is kicking the problem down the road. Staying "no" for the first time is hard, but  can be hugely powerful.
  • TealblueTealblue Forumite
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    elsien said:

    But that isn't her problem, it's her employers.
    There is someone else; there is the owner. It is up to the owner to find alternative cover and potentially employ someone else if the hours are needed on such a regular basis.
     
    Got it in one - but while OP's wife continues to allow herself to be put upon, there is no incentive for the owner to do anything about the situation.

    I rarely think it's a good idea to get other family members involved, but where someone is pregnant and has mental issues, and for whatever reason can't or won't do anything to help herself, maybe this is that rare occasion where direct contact between spouse and employer is going to be the only way to improve matters.
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