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  • FIRST POST
    • EliotBee
    • By EliotBee 6th Dec 18, 5:53 AM
    • 4Posts
    • 0Thanks
    EliotBee
    Employer Doles Out Punishment for the Pettiest Things!
    • #1
    • 6th Dec 18, 5:53 AM
    Employer Doles Out Punishment for the Pettiest Things! 6th Dec 18 at 5:53 AM
    I feel that my ex-employer pushed me out of my job by enforcing the pettiest rules and doling out disproportionate punishments for absence & lateness. The 'rules' are thus. Only three instances of absence or lateness are allowed in the first six months of employment before your contract is either terminated or put on an extended probationary period. This is fine on the surface, but this also includes lateness of mere SECONDS. If your start time is 09:00 and your computer freezes for a few seconds too long, making it 09:01 when you signed in, you are pulled into a 20 minute long meeting to discuss why it happened. If it happens a second time, you have another meeting, plus a 'letter of concern' (a written warning, basically) and a third time, your contract is at risk of termination.

    What i found happened to me, is the worry of being late seemed to only make things worse! I would be so worried about being late for work in the morning that it would keep me awake at night, and it eventually caused a breakdown, which ultimately forced me to leave the company. This in turn meant i had to go back onto Universal Credit and now I am even deeper in debt than I was to begin with, and all my hard work in fixing my mental ill health has been undone. I did not want to leave my job but they left me with no choice in the matter!
    I feel like the company needs to be held accountable for the damage they have done, but they persuaded me to attend an 'exit interview' with my manager and one of the HR team where they proceeded to put words in my mouth to suit themselves and then made me sign a form, so the chances of that happening are incredibly slim!

    Why are companies allowed to treat their staff like this? Particularly the vulnerable ones. (I declared my mental ill health on my application form, so they knew what they were doing from the word go with their bullying and coercion tactics)
Page 2
    • Ames
    • By Ames 6th Dec 18, 3:03 PM
    • 17,729 Posts
    • 31,347 Thanks
    Ames
    OP, have you posted about this before? I remember reading a very similar thread, including the computer problem, a few months ago. I can't find it now.
    Unless I say otherwise 'you' means the general you not you specifically.
    • Neil Jones
    • By Neil Jones 6th Dec 18, 3:03 PM
    • 1,631 Posts
    • 1,033 Thanks
    Neil Jones
    I don't think its unreasonable to be expected to a) be at work for 9am and b) be ready for work at 9am. Its no different to being expected to come to work in uniform and if you turn up in a Onesie when they are expecting you in a shirt and tie, don't be surprised if you get pulled to one side about it.

    On the same scale if you have to leave home earlier to ensure you get there five minutes earlier than that's you'll have to do. I can drive to work in 15 minutes under ideal conditions with no traffic, but I would consider myself an idiot if I left at 8:40am for a 9am start on a Monday morning.

    In an ideal world we would all walk through a door to work at 8:59:59 and leave at 17:00:01. But in reality that never happens. You agree to the rules of an organisation when you agree to go and work for them and that includes what time you clock on/sign in.
    • ACG
    • By ACG 6th Dec 18, 3:39 PM
    • 17,980 Posts
    • 9,769 Thanks
    ACG
    In an ideal world we would all walk through a door to work at 8:59:59
    Originally posted by Neil Jones
    Despite my first post on this thread, I did actually have a job in Manchester city centre close to the town hall and I would walk on to the floor every day as the town hall clock was chiming at 9am. But it was a job where I would typically work through a lot of my dinner so there was some give and take if I was a few minutes late.

    The alternative was I would be 59 minutes early. My boss was relaxed about it providing I hit my targets each month, which I did.

    But as you say, you work to the rules of the company. If my boss had said I need to be ready dead on 9am, I would be. But I would not work through my lunch.
    I am a Mortgage Adviser
    You should note that this site doesn't check my status as a mortgage adviser, so you need to take my word for it. This signature is here as I follow MSE's Mortgage Adviser Code of Conduct. Any posts on here are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as financial advice.
    • Pension Geek
    • By Pension Geek 6th Dec 18, 4:35 PM
    • 24 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    Pension Geek
    Depending on the nature of the job, your employer, if they are an outsource company, may be fined if they miss SLA's (Service level agreements). This is certainly the case with a former employer of mine, and was the reason why they were very strict on adherence. Its fair enough.
    Not an expert, but like pensions and giving guidance. There is no substitute for tailored financial advice.
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 6th Dec 18, 5:23 PM
    • 5,701 Posts
    • 6,410 Thanks
    TELLIT01
    There also needs to be a bit of common sense applied by all parties involved around time to log in to a computer system. When I worked for a major bank all desktop computers were started up automatically at about 7am so they were ready for staff to log in and start work. When I worked for DWP is would literally take 20 minutes to power up the computer and load the various applications required. I do not think it reasonable for a company to expect staff to start 20 minutes early each day to compensate for their poor systems.
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 6th Dec 18, 5:49 PM
    • 5,702 Posts
    • 9,946 Thanks
    sangie595
    I do not think it reasonable for a company to expect staff to start 20 minutes early each day to compensate for their poor systems.
    Originally posted by TELLIT01
    Neither would most people. But most people would, if unhappy with their employer, live with it until they got another job, not have a hissy fit about having to be in work on time, feign a breakdown over being expected to be in work on time, quit, live off the taxpayers - and blame it on an employer who expected them to attend work on time. And then have the audacity to think that they should be compensated for it! There are, just very occasionally, times when I think sanctions are justified. God help us if expecting your employees to attend work on time regularly is now bullying.
    • Bonniepurple
    • By Bonniepurple 6th Dec 18, 6:07 PM
    • 122 Posts
    • 132 Thanks
    Bonniepurple
    I am very lucky - I have flexi, with no core hours. Saying that, I work my contracted hours (and often more). I catch a train, so I am either in for 8am or 8.35. My boss knows that if I’m not in by 9am and haven’t got in touch that there is a problem.

    FWIW, your former employer expected you to work your hours. You didn’t. Not just once, but several times. You didn’t make contact either. If my train is late or cancelled, I ring or text. I usually stay late too. I’ve taken calls from colleagues stuck in traffic due to major incidents. That’s fine. It happens. If they’d not bothered to call and just sauntered in, late' they would be in trouble.
    • Alice Holt
    • By Alice Holt 6th Dec 18, 6:10 PM
    • 2,639 Posts
    • 3,059 Thanks
    Alice Holt
    One of my colleagues is paid for 5 hours a day, starting at 9.00am.
    She invariably comes in at around 7.00am, and is perfectly happy to "donate" 2hrs a day of her time to the advice charity is employed by.
    She has a demanding client focused role, and these additional hours give her the quiet time she needs to catch up on admin, etc.
    Alice Holt Forest situated some 4 miles south of Farnham forms the most northerly gateway to the South Downs National Park.
    • eamon
    • By eamon 6th Dec 18, 6:10 PM
    • 1,688 Posts
    • 1,196 Thanks
    eamon
    I'm fortunate in that for the last 12 years I've been on flexi time. But can remember many years ago getting a verbal warning for being late.

    It can seem a harsh lesson for lots of people to learn but in reality easy to fix. Go to bed on time, avoid partying on a schoolnight, get up a little earlier, get that earlier bus etc. None of this is difficult and employers like punctuality.
    • stripeyfox
    • By stripeyfox 6th Dec 18, 6:35 PM
    • 192 Posts
    • 95 Thanks
    stripeyfox
    Some people are "early" people and some people are "late" people. I've known plenty of both over the years. The mate who says he'll meet you at 8pm but doesn't turn up until 9 and offers no real apology. I'm an early person. If your job starts at 9 then you should be in your seat ready to go by then. Get in at 8.30, grab a coffee and you've plenty of time to have a chat and be ready to go. You really shouldn't be cutting it so fine.
    • HardCoreProgrammer
    • By HardCoreProgrammer 6th Dec 18, 6:41 PM
    • 125 Posts
    • 52 Thanks
    HardCoreProgrammer
    While I agree with most that OP is trolling and has no case against the company, I would also point out that with the fun and games of the railway timetable change in May, many would not have lasted 2 weeks if their employers has a policy to fire anyone who is late for 3 times in 6 months. My journey to work normally takes about an hour and there were many days I left home before 7am and still did not make it to the office at 9am. A bit of perspective may be advisable.
    • Marvel1
    • By Marvel1 6th Dec 18, 8:32 PM
    • 3,707 Posts
    • 4,108 Thanks
    Marvel1
    I’ve taken calls from colleagues stuck in traffic due to major incidents. That’s fine. It happens. If they’d not bothered to call and just sauntered in, late' they would be in trouble.
    Originally posted by Bonniepurple
    I'm curious about this one as it's tricky one, driver does not have a hands free kit and needs to phone as above
    • keepcalmandstayoutofdebt
    • By keepcalmandstayoutofdebt 6th Dec 18, 8:55 PM
    • 3,435 Posts
    • 1,814 Thanks
    keepcalmandstayoutofdebt
    There also needs to be a bit of common sense applied by all parties involved around time to log in to a computer system.
    Originally posted by TELLIT01
    Hell yes! Contary to popular belief, I worked in a call centre when you couldn't click ready until the very second your shift was due to start - logging in any earlier was detrimental and affected our adherence stats - (ie. we were actually marked down) when it was queried, I was simply told the owner felt you didn't get to go ready until your shift started, however they always liked us there way before the magical start time, telling us who travelled, we simply should get up earlier/catch public transport earlier. Which I'll admit was very odd!

    I soon realised why the call centre was full of those people that only lived 15 minute walk away. As logic to it. Although I have to say in fairness to the call centre they did try and keep you even operating the three instances and your out kind of thing.

    OP surely you are better off out of it? Surely you've been to interviews before now when you've not entirely been told the truth? Some places it works out better to go sick then be late. How you can work at a 3 star hotel and have a locker and 'tradesman' entrance, whereas a 4 star place might not be the same. It's all a mystery.

    Someone recently said you can always get another job but not another life which I intend to live by. I think some people just lose sight that we don't all have the same work place for all this outright calling troll nonsense.
    "If you are caught in a rainstorm, once you accept that you'll receive a soaking, the only thing left to do is enjoy the walk"
    • Londoner_1
    • By Londoner_1 6th Dec 18, 8:56 PM
    • 115 Posts
    • 30 Thanks
    Londoner_1
    Interesting read.

    My start times are 8am to 4.30pm and 9am to 5.30pm.

    I drive to work, during the early shift i get in to work at 7.30am , no one bothers to check to see it i'm in but i always get in early (despite dragging myself out of bed in the dark miserable winter months) and leave 4.30pm on the dot.

    During normal times i get in about 8.45am and by 5.31 i'm out of the building.
    • motorguy
    • By motorguy 6th Dec 18, 8:57 PM
    • 18,030 Posts
    • 11,041 Thanks
    motorguy
    Depending on the nature of the job, your employer, if they are an outsource company, may be fined if they miss SLA's (Service level agreements). This is certainly the case with a former employer of mine, and was the reason why they were very strict on adherence. Its fair enough.
    Originally posted by Pension Geek
    +1

    Sounds like an outsourcing company. They get paid on agent productive hours and operate on very thin margins with tight SLAs.

    O/P - just turn up and be logged on a few minutes early, eh? Not worth the stress of doing otherwise.
    "We have normality. I repeat, we have normality. Anything you still can't cope with is therefore your own problem."
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 6th Dec 18, 9:05 PM
    • 5,702 Posts
    • 9,946 Thanks
    sangie595
    While I agree with most that OP is trolling and has no case against the company, I would also point out that with the fun and games of the railway timetable change in May, many would not have lasted 2 weeks if their employers has a policy to fire anyone who is late for 3 times in 6 months. My journey to work normally takes about an hour and there were many days I left home before 7am and still did not make it to the office at 9am. A bit of perspective may be advisable.
    Originally posted by HardCoreProgrammer
    But it still wouldn't be bullying or coercion. Bad fortune, yes, if the employer wasn't sympathetic, but it still isn't, legally, an employers problem how you get to work, only that you do. Unfair maybe, but life often is. It is lawful to sack someone for almost any reason within the first two years, and the OP didn't have a good reason for being late - and nor did they have two years employment.
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