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Being contacted on days off - allowed?


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If it makes any difference, mum is an agency worker.

 

Mum works nights, comes home around 9 / 10am and goes to bed after dad (works nights too) gets up and normally doesn't get up until at least 5pm.

 

Today, mum's work phoned her mobile a few times, which dad answered. After a few times, he told them again that she's not up, he doesn't know when she'll get up and no, he isn't going to wake her up. The person on the other end then put then phone down on dad.

 

Anyway, they phoned the land line about 15 minutes later and he yet again told them that she's not up. The lady's response was to call mum lazy! She does 12 hour nights and it takes a good hour (more if there's traffic, accident, etc) for mum to get home. She's then got to wait for dad to get up.

 

Are there any laws regarding calling agency staff on their days off please / are the laws different if the person is a night worker, therefore, will be in bed the following day?

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No laws - other than ones of harassment - but it certainly sounds unreasonable and extremely unprofessional. Suggest a complaint/grievance in writing stating that you do not wish to be contacted outside of any agreed working hours. The calls are affecting rest periods, and must stop. You also find the suggestion of laziness deeply offensive. Of course if these are calls requesting that your mum takes on work, then you might find that the lack of phone calls corresponds with a reduction in work? That though depends on the nature of any agreement with the agency.

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I agree with sidewinder. Harassment comes to mind.

 

It is her day off. They can call to see if she can come in, but once instructed that she is unable to come to the phone, they should not continue contact. At least for a few hours. I would have a quiet word with HR when she is able to. Theres no need to put anything in writing or formally yet. She just needs to let HR know she isnt happy with the situation.

 

If its an agency, then she needs to tread carefully, as agencies tend to look down on workers and treat them with contempt if they cause "problems". Tell her to request a meeting with the "HR" part of the agency or the manager there, and just advise him of what happened.

 

In most agencies, it is the silly desk rep that calls them of their own accord, and most times, management are completely unaware.

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what were they calling for? if to day was the only time they have done this there may have been a good reason to try and contact her or it may be tha there was a new person who didnt know the ropes yet. I wouldnt put in a grievence or complaint at the moment as it may just be a one off and not worth getting into a dispute with them about, give them a ring ask what they wanted and just say that you prefer not to be called unless it is urgent. Also turn the phone off to save being distirbed

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Then they should have stopped after the first call where you informed them, and called back a few hours later. Calling back and then verbally abusing her is not allowed. As AB said, it might be a good idea to either give them a ring and speak to management about it, or have her go in person and speak to the manager. Keep it informal for now, so they know that your wife isnt happy about it, but at the same time doesnt want to turn it into a full blown complaint. She simply doesnt want it to happen again.

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I can understand that they wanted to know if she could work, but they were perhaps a bit enthusiastic about contacting her, so it was not on this time that theykept calling and were a bit rude, but no real harm done a quite word saying that you would prefer it not to happen again, although there may be a lack of overtime forthcoming in the future if they cant call.

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One thing to consider is whether it was the same person calling each time or a different person every time. It's possible that the agency were being hassled by the placement to filt the vacancies early in the week so it was sorted and that different people were trying her but no-one was updating the system to say she'd just come off a night shift and please don't ring until after xx time. Therefore, the next person in the office sees a need for x location, knows mum works there and so rings her first thereby explaining why she got so many calls!!

 

Feebee_71

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its just one of those things not worth getting uptight over, it happened it wasnt good but it appears to have been a one off, i would forget it and just mention at work that she dosnt want calling when she has just finished a nightshift, but keep any complaint to a minimum for now and keep it friendly

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Yes, best just to ask informally just now what the calls were about, it could have been something urgent. But she should also mention that she'd prefer not to be contacted outside of working hours barring emergencies or to be referred to as 'lazy', if that comment was made seriously. Its not severe enough to constitute 'harassment' though.

 

She could switch the mobile off. I wouldn't turn down the volume or disconnect the landline though, there could be a genuine emergency.

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