Viewing 29 posts - 1 through 29 (of 29 total)
  • Working out of hours/on call
  • Mr_C
    Free Member

    I’ve been asked to join the out of hours rota at work to provide customer technical IT support from 18:00 to 09:00 weekdays and all weekend and bank holidays. Today I was sent a contract to sign and I was distinctly underwhelmed by the terms.

    The standby payment works out at less than £1.50 and hour and the payment for each call is less than I would earn in one hour on a working day – calls have been known to run into multiple hours in extreme cases. In a previous job I worked on-call, and the payments were about the same but that was 20 years ago and the job was much less technical.

    I was interested in whether anyone else here is involved in providing a similar service and how these payments stack up.

    I don’t really want to be involved in providing this but said I would consider it, as the number of staff covering at the moment are low and feeling a bit stretched. So to be honest they need me more than I need them.

    wwaswas
    Full Member

    I’d find out what the customer is being charged and ask for a reasonable proportion of that.

    I used to get £6/hour for being on call and double time per hour/part hour if I got called.

    I had one call in 18 months of providing 60 hours on call a week.

    It actually became a major issue when I wanted to change jobs as it was such a large amount of hidden salary.

    None of my colleagues wanted to do it initially and I kept quiet when I realised how much I was making. After I left they had to start a rota due to the demand.

    beej
    Full Member

    Years ago I got 0.25 time for standby, and something like 2 x time when I was called out, with a minimum one hour for each callout.

    Being paid “per call” sounds pretty unfair to you – I’d ask for an hourly rate with a minimum hour for each callout.

    jimdubleyou
    Full Member

    Being paid “per call” sounds pretty unfair to you – I’d ask for an hourly rate with a minimum hour for each callout.

    Depends – if you get called 3 times for a 10 minute job each time it could be a moneyspinner.

    Used to have similar when I worked for a software house – overnight payment was about £30, call out was £25 per call. Some things you could fix almost instantaneously, some took all night.

    I’m now in a job where you don’t get paid anything for being on call 🙁

    john_drummer
    Free Member

    You get paid for being on call? Lucky so & so

    In my last job I got persuaded into “helping out” with the on call rota. Got a “thank you” and also a good talking to when I failed to deal properly with one on call incident , but never got paid extra for it.
    Never again

    scaled
    Free Member

    I get 50% of my hourly rate to be on call then 150% if i get called out.

    Normally do somewhere between 100 and 150 hours of on call a month which has led to:

    It actually became a major issue when I wanted to change jobs as it was such a large amount of hidden salary.

    Mr_C
    Free Member

    It’s part of the customer’s contract so there is no direct charge to them.

    I’m not overly fussed about the extra money – the other staff providing this service don’t feel it is very lucrative. For me it’s more about the loss of free time at weekends as I wouldn’t really be feel able to do much away from home whilst on-call.

    toby1
    Full Member

    £50 for a weekday, £60 for a Friday and £120 for a weekend day, plus hourly rate for disturbances; standard rate for week days and 1.5 for Saturday and Sunday and double for bank holidays.

    Not for me just for my team who are on call. They are disturbed reasonably often though and you need to make it worthwhile for the people doing it.

    DezB
    Free Member

    Depends how awkward you want to be. They can’t change your contract without you signing it, but it is pretty much expected that most IT roles include on-call these days.
    In my last place they employed a few of us without stating O/T and on-call were part of the terms, so we didn’t do it until they agreed to pay us – time+1/2 + a daily on-call rate (£30 iirc)

    wwaswas
    Full Member

    more about the loss of free time at weekends as I wouldn’t really be feel able to do much away from home whilst on-call.

    and that’s why they should pay you a reasonable amount for it. If they said ‘you’ve got to go int he office and sit at your desk saturdays and sundays’ you’d want a decent whack for doing it, having to be availabel to answer the phone at odd hours and go online at the drop of a hat is an inconvenience at best.

    It’s ‘part of a contract’ so there must have been an allowance in there for paying for it and it will have been sold to the customer as ‘we have good people available out of hours’.

    scaled
    Free Member

    having to be availabel to answer the phone at odd hours and go online at the drop of a hat is an inconvenience at best.

    It’s a bit more than an inconvenience, it’s massively disruptive to your life.

    If i’m on call on a week day I can’t just nip out on a night ride with the lads, can’t (really) share a bottle of wine with the Mrs. At weekends you’re constantly worried about mobile/3g signal, dragging a laptop about everywhere with you.

    Had to turn down a free weekend in the lakes a few months back because I was on call and the phone signal wasn’t good enough for me to be confident that I’d be able to do my on call.

    simon_g
    Full Member

    In an old job I used to get about £150/month for on-call as I didn’t really know better, and as it was 1 week in 4 and we barely ever got called out I didn’t really mind and didn’t even bother planning my life around it in the end. The couple of times I did get a call (in 5 years) the client just wanted to arrange someone to be on site first thing the next day rather than do anything remotely.

    The people I work with now get something like a third of usual hourly rate for being on call then overtime (1.5x-3x hourly depending on how unsociable) when actively working.

    Even that wouldn’t be enough for me to ruin a quarter of my weekday evenings and weekends.

    sadexpunk
    Full Member

    20% of wage to be on call during the night following each day shift, which means i have to live away from home for 4 or 5 days at a time. nothing extra for the call-outs. dont get a choice (other than to leave job).

    Cletus
    Free Member

    Not that it will be relevant for long but does being on call fit in with the Euro Working Time Directive? Particularly the entitlement to “11 consecutive hours’ rest in any 24-hour period.”

    Do the people here who do on-call do their normal day hours at the same time? – if yes what happens if you have been working on a call all night?

    spooky_b329
    Full Member

    I’ve just come off my callout; 1 week in 4, 24/7 on call with a £200 retainer per week, plus overtime rate/night rate and a minimum of three hours paid per call.

    Seems generous, but when you’ve done a 9hr shift, head hits the pillow and you get called out and have to drive 2 hours to the job, work all night and then try and get home at 5am, its not so great 🙁

    I came off primarily as I wasn’t happy with the size of the patch we had to cover, 80 miles from one side to the other is too big when you are expected to do it irregularly and your head thinks it should be in bed.

    People who are on a formal callout rota are exempt from the 11hrs unbroken rest period, if you have 5 hours between finishing work and then going out on call, when you get back home you just have to top it up another 6 hours to total 11 hours rest, before going back to work. Sometimes we would forfeit the overtime after midnight and it would count towards our scheduled hours for the next day, so just single rate plus any night premium.

    Northwind
    Full Member

    I used to be on alarm/raid callout for the bank i worked for- we got a standing fee just for being on the list, and a pretty decent callout fee. But for some reason, they never ever called me except when I was pissed as a newt, and the police really didn’t appreciate it when the emergency backup poured out of a taxi onto the pavement outside the branch 😆

    Moved jobs, and suddenly I was expected to be on call effectively all of the time, for no money. I got called out exactly once, with that one, and I gave them the service they were paying for.

    sadexpunk
    Full Member

    Not that it will be relevant for long but does being on call fit in with the Euro Working Time Directive? Particularly the entitlement to “11 consecutive hours’ rest in any 24-hour period.”

    our union ‘collectively’ agreed to waive the terms of that directive.

    Do the people here who do on-call do their normal day hours at the same time? – if yes what happens if you have been working on a call all night?

    we get ‘compensatory rest’ if we’ve been out all night which means we can stay in our accommodation a bit longer during the day, but still available on call. we cover every call-out in a 96 or 120 hr period.

    Cougar
    Full Member

    You work to earn money. Is this deal worth you working? If it is say yes, if not say no. Simples.

    sadexpunk
    Full Member

    yes 🙂

    Mr_C
    Free Member

    You work to earn money. Is this deal worth you working?

    No it’s not, but I’m being given the hard sell about others on the rota being on call too often, but the way I see it they had the option to say no, and if they had, then a rethink would have been required around payments to make it more attractive. There are some in the team who would do it for free, I think, they seem happy to work stupid hours for no real gain and in some people’s eyes this makes those who don’t look bad. I don’t play that game – I’ve told my boss before now, that I do this job to pay the bills, it’s not a hobby.

    The company I work for are a huge multinational who (in the sector I work in) seem to piss massive amounts of money up the wall through inefficiency and stupidity but nitpick when it comes to the fine details involving paying staff – for example, someone recently showed me an email conversation they’d had over 15p on their expenses which was the difference between calculating an overseas expense using an exchange rate at 2 or 3 decimal places. IT is not the core business and is seen as a necessary evil to be tolerated, so consequently we are treated as a poor relation.

    Thanks for the replies – I think I was just looking for some validation of my inclination to thank them for their kind offer but on balance I’ll pass.

    mrchrispy
    Full Member

    sounds a shit deal. tell them (as nicely as possible) to stick it.
    the other guys need to kick up a fuss and maybe the payments will change making it worth while.

    I’ve done call out for the last 15 years, payments have ranged from really good to totally sucks and the level of service in return usually reflects what they are paying.

    Current place is 2quid an hour (been like that for 10 years apparently) but I’ve a self imposed minimum claim of 2hrs at either x1.5 or x2 if a weekend. doesnt stop me going out…I’ll answer the phone but i wont guarantee I’ll get online immediately. I also cover a couple of different technologies so I charge double for those days 🙂

    scaled
    Free Member

    If I’m called out overnight for more than an hour or so then I’ll just wfh the next day, do the school runs etc.

    We negotiated our on call package pretty hard but work out arses off for it.

    The total on call bill for my team of 3 is about 100k pa. That’s about 2 hours worth of service credits in a worst case scenario. With that in mind I think it’s a pretty good business case.

    FuzzyWuzzy
    Full Member

    Sounds a crap deal to me, I’m not on-call these days but back when I was it was £2/hr weekdays £2.50/hr weekends then normal hourly rate if called out (in half hour chunks although I always claimed a minimum of 1 hour), x1.5 if weekend call-out. They’ve actually made it a bit worse now (I think £1.50 weekday) but I wouldn’t agree to an on-call that paid less than my normal rate if I was called out.
    A lot also depends on how often you’re called out, I was called twice in a year the last time I was on-call (and was on a 1 week in 3 rota). So it was basically free money (I only rarely factored it into my out-of-work plans as I took the chance I wouldn’t be called).
    To voluntarily agree to a rota I was likely to be called out on it would have to be for a lot more financial reward than you’re being offered.

    DaveyBoyWonder
    Free Member

    I’m on call 1 week in 4 (soon to be 1 week in 5).

    To be honest, its a nice little earner. Doesn’t really stop me doing anything – I’ll regularly go riding etc from my door if I’m on call as long as I can get back within an hour I’m generally ok and we get called pretty infrequently. I can often go a week of being on call without any calls at all.

    Yes, you get the odd bad week but thats to be expected. Its around another £5k a year for me so not to be sniffed at.

    Keva
    Free Member

    I have to be on call for one night during the week Mon-Thurs (rotating))and one w/end in every month Fri-Sun. The standby rate is approx 1.50 Mon-Sat and 2.00 for a Sunday. If I get called it’s overtime by the hour for as long as it takes to be resolved. I need to be able to login within an hour of being called so if I’m out somewhere I either take my PC with me or make sure I can get back to it in reasonable time. I’ve been out for 4hr xc rides before whilst on call, just make sure I don’t go to far out, I’ve spent the day in London before, go swimming and give the pager to the lifeguard, go to yoga and hope it doesn’t go off! I generally leave things that need doing like bike maintenance ’till I’m on call so I’ve got stuff to do at home and arrange w/ends away when I’m not. It’s up to you how much you let it affect your life.

    mrlugz
    Free Member

    Im on call 1 week in 4 for 7 days.

    My on call allowance works out at £1.23 p/h

    If I get called, I get the time back in lieu.

    If Im called during the night, its generally a 12 hour break between finishing the call and going in to work the next day. Depends on the nature of the callout.

    slowoldman
    Full Member

    Mine isn’t quite like yours OP. I’m on call for possible site visits if things blow up.
    On call payment is roughly £45 a night in the week and £90 for a full day at weekends.
    If called out I get standard OH payment (1.5x or 2.0x), travel time included.

    Cougar
    Full Member

    If others are doing it, that’s their own silly fault. I fail to see how it’s your problem (and frankly if they’re going to try to guilt trip you into it then that’d be reason enough for me to tell them to get stuffed).

    Their inability to either offer attractive remuneration as incentive or hire sufficient staff to provide cover is their failing, not yours.

    leftyboy
    Free Member

    We have 3 teams on call 17:30 – 09:00 weekdays & 24 hours at weekends/bank holidays and the payments are:

    Mon – Fri – Flat rate of £40 per day + 1.5 hourly rate for callouts
    Weekend – Flat rate of £50 per day + 1.5 hourly rate for callouts
    Bank holidays – Flat rate of £50 + 1.5 hourly rate for callouts + callout time as TOIL

    1 team has does 1 week in 6
    1 team does 1 week in 4
    1 team does 1 week in 5

    I do 47 out of 52 weeks as 2nd line/management support with a salary adjustment which is less than the above but still decent money.

    For each individual it’s sometimes seems like not much money but the cost to the company P.A. is substantial.

    When I joined my current company the on call teams didn’t have any extra payments so the above was/is seen as OK.

Viewing 29 posts - 1 through 29 (of 29 total)

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