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faye70

Mandatory meetings without pay

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Hi all

I am contracted to work 40 hours per week and only get paid 40 hours regardless how many hours I work. I did not have an issue with this until the new boss started. It has always been give and take, we work long days usually without a break but we also got shorter days which made up for it. Since the new boss started everyday is getting longer and the shorter days are few and far between.

 

My issue is that once a month my boss is holding compulsory meetings which last for a minimum of 3 hours they are always held late afternoon after my shift. Due to the nature of the business I start work between 5 and 6 in a morning and get paid for 8 hours a day. At the last meeting one of the managers made a very derogatory remark about us which we all took exception to and I was singled out and shouted at in front of about 30 people. He was bang out of order and I told him so in front of everybody. He later apologized but it was very insincere and totally not meant. Since then every time I see him I he gives me filthy looks. I get knots in my stomach and dread going back to the yard in case hes there.

 

They have now called another compulsory meeting but have stated that all work has got to be pulled in before we attend which would put most of us over our hours and they do not pay us for it.

 

I do not feel comfortable attending after how I was treated at the last one so what would happen if I didn't attend.

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He is not a good manager, when you have a "word" with a subordinate, it should be in private and if done properly no one else should be aware you had been pulled up. Saying that there will be exceptions ie; in a risk critical situation.

 

I think you need to read your contract thoroughly first and keep a time log, I've had staff complain to me that it wasn't give and take, but when you actually look at the figures it shows a different story.

 

Also after reading and fully understanding your contract, just respectfully ask that any meetings be held in company time, might be fewer of them after.

 

New manager is just " rearranging his office furniture " they all do it, unless very experienced, where they wait and see how the current arrangements are working and if any tweaks are then necessary.

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What would be the situation if you had a medical appointment, for example, and could not attend? They would find it very hard to discipline you, but I suppose could make it difficult to progress for not being seen as a team player, so I suppose the answer to this has to be - How much do I want to keep the job and how much do I want to make myself unpopular?

 

In just about any contract of employment these days there is a clause which advises that 'from time to time it may be necessary to work extra hours according to the needs of the business', but what is 'reasonable' is not defined in terms of how many hours or how often. I have no doubt that if challenged via a formal grievance, the company would be forced to either pay you, cut down the number and duration of meetings, or offer time in lieu, but whether it is worth pushing to that extent depends on you and your particular circumstances. I too am only salaried for a 40 hour week, but especially once meetings, travel time and admin time worked at home are taken into account I work rarely less than 55-60 hours a week, but that is fine with me for the position and responsibility that I have to my employer and their clients.

 

Clearly you are feeling stressed about this already, so you need to do something. Is there an HR department with a friendly ear that you can discuss your concerns with? Do you have a Union? An informal chat is always preferable if possible as 'going legal' is always going to get awkward somewhere along the line, but if you do decide to make a formal complaint, then the employer is obliged to deal with it, and certainly, unless the need to attend these meetings is permitted by your contract, you have a valid challenge.

 

With regard to the 'bullying' behaviour and humiliation, this definitely needs to be resolved.and once again I would urge either a quiet word with the person concerned, or a discussion with HR as the first step. Failing that, a formal grievance with regard to bullying and harassment, which no doubt your company will have a policy for as well.


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I am very stressed about the whole situation. I have worked for this company for many years and have always Been loyal and reliable. My work record is exemplary. The remark he made he said was aimed at 9 people of which I wasn't one of them but that he tars us all with the same brush. His words not mine. It is a male dominated environment with only a handful of female employees and my heads in bits over it. I feel that because he is very high up in the company if I speak out about it they will look for ways to get rid of me even though I am very good at my job.

 

I don't want to give them any excuse to dismiss me but I really do not want to attend the meeting. I avoid him if I can and would not feel comfortable being sat in the same room. Going to H.R. in theory is the correct thing to do but knowing the company the way I do I think it will just make things worse especially with him being so high up.

 

My work colleagues have approached me since it happened and have used the words bullying, humiliating, degrading and it has been said that he only spoke to me that way because I am a woman but how can I put my colleagues in an awkward situation without them risking their jobs too.

 

I just figured it would be easier if I didn't show up at the meeting but don't want to get the sack.

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