Jump to content


Reaching a "work to rule" point, due to goodwill having been gone away.


style="text-align: center;">  

Thread Locked

because no one has posted on it for the last 277 days.

If you need to add something to this thread then

 

Please click the "Report " link

 

at the bottom of one of the posts.

 

If you want to post a new story then

Please

Start your own new thread

That way you will attract more attention to your story and get more visitors and more help 

 

Thanks

Recommended Posts

Greetings! Now this might seem a bit petty, yet it has become a real issue for not just me but a lot of my co-workers too. I'd be really grateful to get a steer on the legality from an Employment Law angle.

 

I work as a delivery driver, (relatively niche and B2B), small-ish business but we have contracts with public sector. 

 

The new boss has set up a Whatsapp group that all drivers MUST join so he can message "in the moment" things which need to change/be sorted/etc. 

 

I don't have an issue with that per se. However he is now saying we MUST use our phones to telephone him if we are running late due to traffic or any other eventuality on the road. And it is this I (and a few others) have problem with.

 

My phone is PAYG and it costs me to telephone, as a lot of places we go don't have internet data signal so can't use Whatsapp. In addition to this I guess it just bugs me that we get told off if we don't report everything at the time using MY phone, MY credit. Another guy at work has an old phone Nokia with just call/text potential, as he's a bit of a technophobe. This is starting to cause him "back-biting" "dark looks" "snide comments" pressure from bossman too.

 

There is NOTHING in our original employment contracts which require us to have a personal mobile phone as part of the condition of service. None of us are allowed to be in a union before anyone asks. (legally of course we could be, however it's been made clear we'd be shown the door quite quickly if we tried it).

 

In every other respect the job is perfect for me, and I have no desire to leave. I actually get on quite well with the boss too! It's just this one point that is starting to annoy us all.  I don't want to be the one who sticks a target on my back by broaching the topic. I, and all the other's are instantly replaceable with 1 week's notice. 

 

Want me to contact you officially during work hours? Give me a work phone!

Want me to use my own phone? Pay my phone bill!

 

- I know it's minor; yet really starting to be an issue, and the urge to use my phone on him for a purpose it wasn't designed for is growing strong! 

 

Any legal eagles out there who can give me the skinny on where I stand? Ta. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Erm l am no expert but l am sure you cant be fired for being in a union.

 

Also l am sure that you cant be made to use your personal mobile to contact the boss please remember it is illegal to use your phone while driving unless hands free.

  • Like 1

OFT debt collection guidance

 

Please remember the only stupid question is the one you dont ask so dont worry about asking the stupid questions.

 

Essex girl in pc world looking 4 curtains 4 her pc,the assistant says u dont need curtains 4 a computer!!Essex girl says,''HELLOOO!! i,ve got WINDOWS!!'.

Link to post
Share on other sites

WWW.GOV.UK

Joining a union and getting recognition for collective bargaining and agreements - legal rules about membership, union reps and your rights

 

Quite common for some employers to expect staff to use their own mobile phone for the reasons you have mentioned.

 

But they would have to repay staff for the costs incurred, so ask what information your employers require to handle the expense claims.  Any problems with this, contact ACAS

 

WWW.ACAS.ORG.UK

Contact details for Acas, including phone numbers to call our helpline, training and other Acas services.

 

  • Like 1

We could do with some help from you.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

If you want advice on your thread please PM me a link to your thread

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well from what you said l guess it would be fired due to this " however it's been made clear we'd be shown the door quite quickly if we tried it"

further to what @unclebulgaria67 has said maybe put it in writing and ask for a in writing reply. 

Make sure you also query who will pay for any damage to phone should anything happen during working hours. Who would be responsible for any loss of phone during working hours eg stolen from van or truck during working hours. 

 

 

 

OFT debt collection guidance

 

Please remember the only stupid question is the one you dont ask so dont worry about asking the stupid questions.

 

Essex girl in pc world looking 4 curtains 4 her pc,the assistant says u dont need curtains 4 a computer!!Essex girl says,''HELLOOO!! i,ve got WINDOWS!!'.

Link to post
Share on other sites

From looking online nothing in law says they can or can not. 

Just that they need to decide if they provide and pay for or ofvthey ask you and reimburse you. 

OFT debt collection guidance

 

Please remember the only stupid question is the one you dont ask so dont worry about asking the stupid questions.

 

Essex girl in pc world looking 4 curtains 4 her pc,the assistant says u dont need curtains 4 a computer!!Essex girl says,''HELLOOO!! i,ve got WINDOWS!!'.

Link to post
Share on other sites

In some industries - building trade for example - it's common for employees to provide some of their own equipment (I am assuming you are an employee not self-employed) and there's nothing illegal in principle with employers requiring employees to provide and use their own equipment. 

 

The issue it seems to me isn't about what is legal but about what the contract of employment says. Sounds like your contract makes no mention of having to provide your own phone, or who pays the costs. Your employer is, in effect, now changing your employment contract without your consent. Have a search online for "can employer change contract of employment" and there's lot of advice. The gist of it, unfortunately, is that in theory the employer can't change the contract unilaterally but if they do your options in practice are limited unless you decide it matters enough to you to walk away. 

 

Incidentally, if they won't reimburse you for call costs those costs would be tax deductible by you, although I appreciate that's not much of a consolation in your situation.

 

Tagging @Emmzziwho is very knowledgeable on employment matters.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with previous posters who state you should be reimbursed.

 

However as " I don't want to be the one who sticks a target on my back by broaching the topic" I think you have no recourse. This won't get fixed by keeping quiet.

 

I'd probably chance my mitt by popping in an expenses claim. Boss might just think you are all on uncapped minutes contracts, not PAYG. He can only say no.

Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Would be interested to know the outcome of this. especially as using a personal phone can open up the issues of work calls/whatsapps when you are not being paid for work. Also if you are expected to use your phone whilst working as a driver then there should also be suitable training and risk assessment for you to undertake to ensure you are acting safely and legally whilst employed.

 

  • If you are on min wage and you have to use your phone then you are now being paid UNDER minimum wage, that is a story in itself.
  • If the phone is to be used for work purposes eg. to call if you are going to be late then it should be provided by the employer. Unless of course it is in your contract T&C that you must use your phone for "XYZ" then you have agreed to it. (this does not trump min wage though)
  • If they can just "replace you with a weeks notice" are you classed as a contractor as opposed to an employee?

 

A union, (I know this) will thump their fist and say that  you must be paid however if the company you are working for is just scraping by and keeping you and your colleagues paid then it would be a bit of an own goal to cause them more cost.

 

If you are comfortable with it and don't think that you will become a target,  have a discreet chat at first, especially if you have a good relationship with them, amicable situations may be closer than you think. a good start is " a couple of the guys have been mentioning...."

 

Any comments made for your own thought provocation only or based on previous experiences. These may not work out for you as they have for me so always check with appropriate professionals.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Unfortunately shortly after I posted this we got told we're all up against the wall for firing line redundancies. 

 

Whether we use our phones or not suddenly didn't seem a hill worth dying on! 

 

Thanks for all responses though. Appreciated. 

 

SB

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Understandable. 

OFT debt collection guidance

 

Please remember the only stupid question is the one you dont ask so dont worry about asking the stupid questions.

 

Essex girl in pc world looking 4 curtains 4 her pc,the assistant says u dont need curtains 4 a computer!!Essex girl says,''HELLOOO!! i,ve got WINDOWS!!'.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I might still question it if I'm given my notice of redundancy (which is only a week for every year of service) lovely - so glad loyalty is still respected in this day and age and I'm not just instantly replaceable by a more compliant robot (anyway, that's another story! ha!) 

 

I'll let you know if I go ballistic and ask all the questions of management I've been saving up these past 7 years....

 

...once the cheque has cleared! ;)

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...

Happy to give more information if needed, but it's quite a simple question.

 

I work for a SME company in UK, a subsidiary of a much larger multi-national parent company. 

None of us are in a Union. 

Recently due to cost of living crisis we want to negotiate a pay-rise, and management is having none of it. Won't even entertain the idea.

Our next collective move is to threaten to join a Union who might be able to bargain on our behalf.

Informally it's always been mooted that the "powers that be" look very darkly on unions.

 

Can they legally stop us joining?

 

In the real world even if they can't, could they make life so difficult for the proposer as to send a message to the others not to rock the boat?

 

TIA. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think they can tell people not to join a union.

 

@Emmzziprobably knows a lot more than me about this but have a read of the ACAS website. They have some guides on union membership.

 

WWW.ACAS.ORG.UK

Acas is the workplace expert for England, Wales and Scotland. We provide free and impartial advice for employers and employees, training and help...

 

 

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Most Unions offer advice about how to start Union branch at a workplace. And no, the employers cannot stop any of their employees joining a Union.   Use the link on the Gov.uk link below to find best Union for your employment sector.

 

WWW.GOV.UK

Joining a union and getting recognition for collective bargaining and agreements - legal rules about membership, union reps and your rights

 

WWW.UNITETHEUNION.ORG

Unite is dedicated to serving the best interests of its members, protecting workers rights and equality and diversity in the workplace. Join Unite Today.

 

We could do with some help from you.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

If you want advice on your thread please PM me a link to your thread

Link to post
Share on other sites

Unclebulgaria has posted some helpful links.

 

In the real world, you can go to an ET if you are treated unfairly due to union membership. That could be a long time getting to court, though. And stressful.

 

 

Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for such quick responses. I know DX100 goes full on "Rain Man" if people dare to quote individual posts! ;) So I'll limit myself to say, thanks @Emmzzi - I've looked at UB's links, but as you say, we are dealing with real life. In a min wage role, it's too easy to get rid of the one person who sticks their head above the parapet on this. 

Management are smart enough to find ways to get rid of me for suggesting it, without it having to be explicitly because of it! Dig?

I like the analogy that you might win, but you've painted such a target on your back it'll become a matter of time.

 

We sent a letter to Head Office, very softly worded, saying 12% RPI inflation rate, what can you do for us? Answer came there none!

Next steps?

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Nothing stopping any individual from joining a trade union.

 

The problem is getting that employer to recognise that trade union for collective bargaining. From memory, that individual work unit needs 20 employees in favour of recognition to get the ball moving.

 

Google Central Arbitration Committee for more research

 

Edited by whitelist
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi

 

I have to agree with the advice already given as there is absolutely nothing stopping individual employees of whatever company and whatever sector it is in joining any of the Unions in the UK.

 

So do an internets search simply type 'join a union in the uk' and have a wee look  as different unions deal with different sectors and bear in mind most have a Cost so bear that in mind.

 

As for how to get an employer to recognise a union uk have a wee look at this link:

 

How to Upload Documents/Images on CAG - **INSTRUCTIONS CLICK HERE**

FORUM RULES - Please ensure to read these before posting **FORUM RULES CLICK HERE**

I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

Link to post
Share on other sites

19 hours ago, SkintBadger said:

... In a min wage role, it's too easy to get rid of the one person who sticks their head above the parapet on this. 

Management are smart enough to find ways to get rid of me for suggesting it, without it having to be explicitly because of it! Dig?

I like the analogy that you might win, but you've painted such a target on your back it'll become a matter of time...

 

 

I may be mistaken, but if I've understood correctly the link provided by @stu007 in #7, is there any need for you or any other individuals to suggest recognition of a union to your employer?

 

Doesn't the link say that it's the union that approaches the employer for recognition, not the employees?  So the first step for interested employees is to identify the appropriate union, and then get them to approach your employer on your behalf?

 

The only possible issue is that the union must(?) identify to the employer the employees (the bargaining unit) that the union will represent*.  Obviously the more of your colleagues you can get onside, the better.  But if there are only two or three of you, you might be exposing yourselves, depending how vindictive your employer is.

 

I agree with others that there is nothing an employer can do to prevent you joining a union.  It's getting the union recognised that is an issue...

 

*  At least I think the union has to identify the individuals it will represent?  The guidance says the union must identify the employees in "the bargaining unit", but it also talks about the union and employer agreeing which employees are in that bargaining unit, and I'm not sure why the employer would be able to agree that as it seems to imply they can say some employees can't be represented by the union?  Maybe I'm overthinking it, but I find a lot of "guidance" on .gov.uk confusing if not plain wrong.

 

I'm sure others will know better then me what the position is

Edited by Manxman in exile
Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 Caggers

    • No registered users viewing this page.

  • Have we helped you ...?


×
×
  • Create New...