Employers having a laugh

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  • Employers having a laugh
  • Got a new General Manager at work as we were pretty much rudderless for the last 2 years.
    As soon as he became GM ( was day book keeper ) all of my 11 years of experience count for zilch, and all his previous 4 years of knowledge seem to have disappeared.

    We have been given new contracts of employment. If signed we would be liable to work weekends as and when asked to , for free ( we do now but its totally voluntary and earns us zero pay but we count it as ‘hours’) .
    We would be liable to work Bank holidays , with no overtime payment or time off in lieu. We would also be liable for basically unlimited overtime as required, for no extra pay or again no time off in lieu. Our hours and place of work can also be changed at a whim.

    Sick pay has been discretionary . Its now SSP only, but I work in the food industry and we are not supposed to work with even a cold. His arguement is ‘Its costing the business too much money’ but we have never employed a temp when a member of staff has been off sick. Other staff member have to pick up the slack.

    Pensions . Basic minimum only , no allowance for employee extra contributions ( which have to be matched by the employer ) and brought in on the last day possible next year. We’re all in.

    The new contract also has a clause that our employment can be ended by the employer with no notice. Nice.

    Small business with 5 employees ,, no HR dept or Union. I like the job but this is totally against the way we have been working for the last decade. Everyone works fairly hard and there are no slackers or dead wood. People put in the hours and there has been a degree of flexability, with the understanding extra hours or BH working could been taken as time owed when quiet.
    Its a change of working practices that , once signed could be used to radically change the way we work, is hugely biased toward the employer , and has zero allowance for any overtime whatsoever.

    Just pee’d off with the one sidedness of it all and the way we could be manipulated with ‘ You will work this Sunday , its in your contract YOU signed ‘ .
    buggeration

    Premier Icon cloudnine
    Subscriber

    start working on your CV

    project
    Member

    you should be glad youre not a teacher.

    dont sign it…………

    allthepies
    Member

    That contract sounds illegal to me. But I’m no expert, do Citizen’s Advice dish out info on employment rights etc ?

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Subscriber

    If no unions – and some give advice for non-members to drum up support – try CAB

    Premier Icon NZCol
    Subscriber

    Does your current contract have non compete and non poaching clauses ?
    If not why don’t all 5 of you naff off and setup your own company.
    I mean obviously I would never have done that 😯

    Slogo
    Member

    what do the rest of the employees say? can you be replaced easily?

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber
    Premier Icon bigblackshed
    Subscriber

    Citizens Advice. Don’t sign it. Although if you turn up to work after the stated start date of your new contract then you will have been deemed to have accepted the new terms.

    Sounds like a case for constructive dismissal if you think the new terms are beyond reasonable and or you don’t have a consultation period. 90 days I think. Employers can change anything they like, they just have to do it by the correct means.

    CV time I think.

    ***I’m not a lawyer.

    The new contract also has a clause that our employment can be ended by the employer with no notice. Nice.

    This is an example of a contract being unfair. By law you are allowed a notice period. I’d get advice and do not sign anything, if you ever do have it backdated to your original date of employment.

    You have employment rights as you’ve been there more than 2 years. If they fire you off then you’ll have them at a tribunal

    Markie
    Member

    At least you’re not an ophthalmologist…

    Unless you are, in which case, good luck with the school fees…

    mrmo
    Member

    http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=4096

    If we start with the notice period…

    It would seem the contract is illegal

    http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=1373

    moving onto hours, depending could be on dodgy ground.

    You say GM is he the boss, or an employee, can you go over his head, where have these contracts come from?

    Mind you probably best walking, just figure out the best, for you not the company, way of doing it.

    cynic-al
    Member

    Although if you turn up to work after the stated start date of your new contract then you will have been deemed to have accepted the new terms.

    Really?

    ***I’m not a lawyer.

    Ahhh….

    Mikeypies
    Member

    Don’t sign the new contract dispute it and you will stay on your old one, don’t forget they need you more than you need them good staff are hard to find. He sounds like he is throwing his weight around and he needs a reality check.

    Good luck

    climbingkev
    Member

    That’ stinks. I’m with NZCol, 5 of you, 1 of him, take the initiative. This will depend on the mental and perhaps financial robustness of you colleagues. Even if you go the legal or citizen advice route, he’s shown his true colours……you honestly want to work for him when it sounds like the 5 of you scratch each others back in an honest, informal and workable manner?

    Every cloud….

    Wish you well 8)

    Junkyard
    Member

    Although if you turn up to work after the stated start date of your new contract then you will have been deemed to have accepted the new terms.

    Not true they can claim this but it is pretty hard as you will say you are working to a contract you both signed and agreed to and they argue you are working to the one you have not signed.
    IANAL but which do you think carries most weight?

    Agree you are getting into constructive dismissal grounds and many of the clauses mentioned above are illegal which would likely render the contract meaningless and obviously unfair.

    I would advise meeting with them [ make sure you have a separate copy of the contract off site and off their server. Do all correspondence by e-mail. Make sure you say what they said in the e-mail [ if they do not deny it is evidence]and seeing what they really want.
    I suspect many companies want employees who will work for free and hours they are not contracted to do but they may have some issue enforcing that term on you in a court of law.

    use ACAS as a first port

    In essence it is better to sort this ASAP. Sort probably means compromise on both sides but I am fairly confident that if you refuse to accept an illegal contract and resign you would win at tribunal. Whether you are prepared to do it and whether your employer realises this is a different matter

    GM is trying to up his game from being day book keeper to running a business which seems to be blighted . We punch above our weight and seem to win contracts and new business almost by accident.
    The new contracts are necessary and should protect both the employee and employer . The copy I have is ridiculous and no -one in their right mind would work all day every day.
    Colleague had his wisdom teeth out and had 2 weeks off. I worked 19 days straight to cover his and my tasks. Gm expects same level of process and production with a 50% reduction in staffing in the dept.

    Will contact ACAS as that seems the best way forward

    jekkyl
    Member

    No sick pay? Get gone
    http://www.reed.co.uk
    http://m.monster.co.uk

    Dunno when the last time you’ve applied for a job but if you upload your CV to these sites normally in the first 2 weeks you get loads of calls from recruitment firms, which is annoying but useful as they’ll be able to give you a good indication of what’s available in your area.

    b r
    Member

    A few years ago we got a new head Lawyer at work and he brought out new contracts that we had to sign.

    A few of the more senior employees got together and disputed them.

    It was a bit of a standoff, and lots of bad feeling emerged on all sides. In the end they took out the stupid, illegal and immoral stuff, so we signed. It cost them an extra 2% ongoing employer contribution into our pensions though, as a ‘goodwill’ gesture 🙂

    In your position, only you know what position of strength you have.

    findo_gask
    Member

    Don’t sign. Worse conditions, less security, no recompense. Dude must be crazy. Good luck!

    rene59
    Member

    Don’t sign, easy for me to say, but if you do, what’s next?

    If he knows he can get away with this then there will be no stopping him. Get your colleagues together outside of work and formulate a plan. You could for example ask for a sit down with the company owner to discuss your concerns as a team.

    Premier Icon coolhandluke
    Subscriber

    It never ceases to amaze me, in difficult times employers need good loyal staff. How they think that shafting their staff will help things, I really have no idea.

    Delay signing as long as you can, get your CV sorted, get as much training off them as you can and get the hell out of there when it suits you.

    The place is obviously being run by pricks. There ain’t no turning that back I’m afraid.

    konabunny
    Member

    The workers united will never be defeated. Get together with your colleagues and approach whoever is above the idiot.

    Colleague had his wisdom teeth out and had 2 weeks off.

    I’m not surprised the bloke tasked with trying to get some work out of you lot has tried bringing you in line.

    2 weeks for some bloody teeth out?

    😉

    Bazz
    Member

    And some people on here think that unions are only out to cause disruption and inconvenience for fun 🙄 You and your colleagues could join a union if you all feel the same way.

    Premier Icon BigJohn
    Subscriber

    It sounds like there’s something else going on at the company and your contract is probably not the major problem.

    At the moment it appears you are all working way beyond the terms of your current contract (if you have one) anyway, and the whole set-up only seems to function due to the goodwill and flexibility of the small team. That’s no way to run a business and the owners will know that if one or two of you left the whole thing would fall down.

    You need to ask yourself what the owners want for the firm, and you, and the 5 of you should come back with some changes that stand a chance of getting adopted.

    pitchpro2011
    Member

    Time of for teeth out? A cold? Grow up your not in school. I’ve never had time off for something as trivial as this in 17 years.
    However working for free is a no no. Does the new contract state a ‘reasonable amount of overtime?, or if you fail to meet the contract deadline? I highly doubt your new contract has no basic contract hour stipulated, of which you can legally claim back the time owing. I can’t feel sorry for you working weekends or bank holidays, most people with real jobs have to.

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    pitchpro2011 – Member
    Time of for teeth out? A cold? Grow up your not in school. I’ve never had time off for something as trivial as this in 17 years

    dunno about you but no thanks dont want someone sneezing all over my food!

    Junkyard
    Member

    that is merely because you are not as awesome as they are

    I can’t feel sorry for you working weekends or bank holidays, most people with real jobs have to.because i want to provoke a reaction with my comments

    Tom_W1987
    Member

    Time of for teeth out?

    Rotting teeth can kill you, either through sepsis or as a result of the increased risk of heart disease that such patients have.

    Personally, I’m not going to increase the risk of developing sepsis for many jobs.

    . I can’t feel sorry for you working weekends or bank holidays, most people with real jobs have to.

    And what would those jobs be, retail or hospitality? Do you mean minimum wage jobs that no one with a decent education does?

    hora
    Member

    OP it sounds like that with increases/wages possibly over the time you’ve all been there the new head bloke has done his sums and has been told he could get cheaper people in doing your job?

    It sounds exactly like hes making the role(s) not worth it anymore, to unsettle people then bring cheaper people in. I wouldn’t accept that contract- its designed to be as unpalletable as possible isn’t it?

    If you accepted it he’d have you working to a very low averaged-out hourly salary.

    Speak to others and take legal advice. I wouldn’t accept that contract.

    Good luck though- you are probably settled/enjoy your colleagues and this is like a handgrenade in your life 🙁

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    Do you mean minimum wage jobs that no one with a decent education does?

    I believe doctors (amongst many other professionals) are expected to work weekends, I prefer it if they aren’t minimum educated and minimum wage.

    Not that I’m defending pitchpro’s inflammatory post

    Tom_W1987
    Member

    I believe doctors (amongst many other professionals) are expected to work weekends, I prefer it if they aren’t minimum educated and minimum wage.

    Not that I’m defending pitchpro’s inflammatory post

    Well, apart from some of the obvious professions such as the emergency services/military and a somewhat smaller minority of less obvious, decent industry jobs.

    On the whole though, most of the people I meet who say they have to work weekends are bar staff, chefs or waiters/waitresses. Those are proper jobs, thems are.

    jock-muttley
    Member

    Small Firm… 5 employees – there is your strength. Basically imagine what would happen if you all said “f..k you” and you all walk out together… how long would the company last?

    Point this out and if they don’t budge, start firing round your CV’s and/or seriously look at going it on your own with the rest of your workmates. If you have been working leaderless for 2 years then basically the company is you five, the knowledge and experience is there.

    The biggest issue you have is solidarity, had a mate who was in a similar position years ago but ended up being singled out as the ringleader when the rest lost their balls.

    larrydavid
    Member

    And what would those jobs be, retail or hospitality? Do you mean minimum wage jobs that no one with a decent education does?

    I worked in a shop for a while, for minimum wage, with a PhD.

    On the whole though, most of the people I meet who say they have to work weekends are bar staff, chefs or waiters/waitresses. Those are proper jobs, thems are.

    You sound pretty awesome, a real high flier with talk like that. That or a puffed up self important waste of skin. Forgive me, sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference.

    hora
    Member

    Beancounter has probably been talking to a mate whose told him he could shave £30k off the annual wage bill to employ more junior people. Told owner as he wanted to curry favour/look good who said ‘ok do it’.

    Way O/T but..- I heard recently – a big company employs a lot of gap year degree students in technical roles/etc. So an Employee wanting to curry favour tells big boss that he could get away with offering 1yr unpaid placements, why pay?

    Guess what- new rule, all internships are unpaid.

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    On the whole though, most of the people I meet who say they have to work weekends are bar staff, chefs or waiters/waitresses. Those are proper jobs, thems are.

    yeah but us successful high flyers are going to have difficulty to spend all our hard earned dosh at the weekends if none of the little people are earning a pittance serving us so don’t be bad mouthing them on public forums, save that talk for the bar at the gentleman’s club.

    edlong
    Member

    Although if you turn up to work after the stated start date of your new contract then you will have been deemed to have accepted the new terms.

    Not true they can claim this but it is pretty hard as you will say you are working to a contract you both signed and agreed to and they argue you are working to the one you have not signed.
    IANAL but which do you think carries most weight?

    No, cos here’s what happens – they terminate your existing contract (in writing) and offer you the new one. If you turn up for work the day after your old contract ends, you are deemed to be working under the terms of the new one. IANAL but have done this, with proper advice from employment lawyers. There was a union involved, who had their own legal advice (unsurprisingly).

    On another note, the limitless hours for no extra pay thing – not sure what your basic income looks like, but if you are made to work more hours than would work out at minimum wage, then the employer is breaking the law. You might also want to look at the European Working Time directive if you are regularly expected to work beyond 48 hours per week (it’s averaged, so doesn’t prevent occasional long hours).

    Junkyard
    Member

    Yes you can do it properly with consultation* as you did but what you cannot do is hand out a contract with illegal terms in it then deem that contract to be accepted. Given the contract violates the law it would be unenforceable anyway as it is de facto illegal.

    * they can force it through anyway but it is complicated and given what they are trying to force through is illegal they have no chance of successfully proving it was fair and legal

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