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DrPhil

Reducing hours, not allowed?

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OK, this is long and complicated so I'll try to keep to a minimum.

 

I work as a clerical officer in a hospital, standard 9-5, Mon to Friday.

 

As I was getting married, I took on a second job, evenings, weekends and nights. This job required me to do 4 night shifts each 2 month rota. They are during the week, meaning I'm left having to go to work after the shift. At interview, I stated that my main job was quite flexible and I would be able to take a morning off etc after a night shift if needed.

 

Since I started, my circumstances have changed. Firstly, because of the wedding and honeymoon, I had very little annual leave left so taking mornings off was not possible. Secondly, taking time off after each and every shift would just not be possible so I was happy to work double shifts, midnight to half 8, then 9 to 5.

 

However tha main issues are;

 

My wife also works 9-5 but doesn't drive. This means I have to collect her and leave her to work between the end of one shift and the start of the next. This was no problem before we married as she lived close to our mutual workplace and collecting her was easy. Now we live together, much further away from work so I am unable to collect her. She either has to get a bus, which gets her to work late, or get a taxi which costs £12 a time.

 

I have been suffering from high blood pressure since the summer. This on top of the inconvenience of not being able to collect my wife was the final straw and I asked my boss (the part time one) if I could reduce my hours to leave out the mid week overnight shifts. I would still have weekend nights and evenings but this doesn't mean working 17 hour shifts.

 

My boss refused flat, saying that I had stated at interview that I could do the work. This is true, but the fact is my circumstances have changed. Does the fact that this is affecting my health give me any legal grounds to be able to reduce my hours? If not I will be forced to quit.

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Guest Old_andrew2018

IMHO you correct about working these hours and the risk to your health, why not look for something else with better hours.

I really dont think you can force an employer to reduce hours simply because you have a second job.

 

Andy

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If I was in your situation I would give up the second job and spend the time with your new wife. It seems to me working 16 hours a day isn't doing you any good and this should be the time you devote to each other.

 

On a side note does the extra work you do not cover the £12 cost of a taxi for your wife?

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I only work thes extra job 2 shifts a week at most. I know I'd prefer to quit but without that second wage we can't go on any holidays and we love getting away.

 

From the answers so far though, it seems I have no choice but to stop. I had thought that there may be a medical route to stop the over nights without having to stop the rest. I know people in my work before who have stopped night shifts due to health reasons, but that was a case of moving to days instead of nights.

 

The employer in question can cover my night shifts easily as there are a few "as and when" staff who are keen to take them on, they are just refusing. There tends to be a lot of politics involved. Some people get shift reductions approved, others don't. Tends to be a case of who you know not what you know etc.

 

As regards looking for something else, it's not that straightforward. Generally speaking second jobs are standard pay, no extra for weekends etc. The job I have pays well at basic, and also gives 1.5 and double time on weekends. My wife works for them too on an as and when basis. My other option would be to resign from my contract and request to be kept as "as & when" but I doubt if they'd do that either.

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