Civvy job and the TA

#1
Just got in from work and am fcuking livid! After telling them in October that I wouldn't be able to do weekends for them in 2007 because of TA and other commitments, they have gone and put me down for every bloody one! When I argued that I'd given 3 months notice and that it was only supposed to be temporary cover for weekends anyway they told me 'if you can work for them at the weekends, you can work for us... choose, it's either the TA or here... don't know why you had to join anyway... '

Anyway enough of the rant bit, can anyone tell me what are my rights (if any) here? My contracted hours are weekdays not weekends and they had previously told me they had someone else to take over these temporary hours, and that it was no problem.

Cheers, tiger
 
#2
Im not sure what the rights are regarding part-time employment, arn't the employment rules geared towards those who work full time, and who are then mobilised.....?

Not sure, try asking Msr, he seems to be a God on these issues.
 
#3
That's what I'm thinking too Praet, but I thought it was worth asking anyway :)
 
#4
Just a thought, why not nip into your local Citizens Advice Burea they'll be able to advise you as they have a wonderful reference set up covering employment law.If push comes to shove you may be able to go to an industrial tribunal (free) but they (CAB) will advise you better.
 
#5
craftsmanx said:
Just a thought, why not nip into your local Citizens Advice bureau they'll be able to advise you as they have a wonderful reference set up covering employment law.If push comes to shove you may be able to go to an industrial tribunal (free) but they (CAB) will advise you better.
I agree with craftmanx in principal, but be very careful before you go pissing off your employer. They are, after all, your principal bread provider.

If you do go with it, make sure the issue is about you being made to do weekends when it's not in your contract and not you being made to do weekends and thus cannot put in your TA time. The only point the two should legitimately cross is where you're not contracted for weekends and by making you do it you'll fall short of your MTD's/MATT's and lose your bounty, thus making your employer potentially culpable.
 
#6
If you look at the top of this thread there is SABRE. They were fantastic with my employer, contact them and see if they can help.
 
#7
Dr_Evil is the guru on this subject.

My advice remains sort your priorities: Family -> Work -> TA/

msr
 
#9
Thanks for the advice :) msr my priorities are exactly that, which is why I had told them I could only do every single weekend for a limited time, ending in 2007 - with uni and kids I need at least 1 - 2 weekends a month to catch up on everything while the kids are away so regardless of TA I couldn't do them. Their view is if I can give the TA a couple of weekends a month (which I can manage) then I can continue giving them every weekend (which I can't)... However the obvious difference is being lost on them.

What's really p*ssing me off is the fact that there are hours available for me during the week, but since they found out I have committed to the TA have decided they would like me to do weekends permenantly for them instead.
 

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#11
tigerbaby said:
Thanks for the advice :) msr my priorities are exactly that, which is why I had told them I could only do every single weekend for a limited time, ending in 2007 - with uni and kids I need at least 1 - 2 weekends a month to catch up on everything while the kids are away so regardless of TA I couldn't do them. Their view is if I can give the TA a couple of weekends a month (which I can manage) then I can continue giving them every weekend (which I can't)... However the obvious difference is being lost on them.

What's really p*ssing me off is the fact that there are hours available for me during the week, but since they found out I have committed to the TA have decided that means I am able to do weekends permenantly for them instead.
Is this coming right from the top TB or can you go higher up the HR foodchain if required?

Depending on your employer you may have a formal grievance procedure as well. I appreciate that you don't want to antagonise your boss but giving them three months notice is more than reasonable in my view.
 
#12
They are still learning their alphabet, one step at a time Praet ;)

It's coming from management, I could go one higher but to be honest they are even more useless... I don't really think they fully understand time management at all... ever...
 
#13
Your rights to pursue the TA career are very limited. As pointed out earlier, the RFA 96 legislation is designed to protect you when mobilised.

Your best bet would probably be to find another job where they don't want you to work weekends.

Once you've done that, you can tell your current employer to poke it, ideally in a letter to the Managing Director.
 
#14
FluffyBunny said:
Your rights to pursue the TA career are very limited. As pointed out earlier, the RFA 96 legislation is designed to protect you when mobilised.
See, I do say the right thing sometimes :D

Don't let the bastards grind you down TB, I'd personally have just said that I didn't want to work weekends, and left the TA out of it, say you're spending time with the sprogs or something.

Im sure that if you'd asked not to work weekends with 3 months notice then you'd have got away with it. They're probably pissed off that you're taking time off work to go and work, thats all. I'd suggest trying to speak to your manager in private.

P
 
#15
Tigerbaby.. no employment law expert. But in my simplistic view it is irrelevant to your main employer what you choose to do on your weekends off. If you are not contracted to work weekends but have been covering them under the "promise" that a replacement will be found and you have then given plenty of notice that as of a certain date you will no longer be available to carry out uncontracted hours.
Would your boss have the same gripe if you said you wanted to completely redecorate your house every weekend? I think not. He obviously has a gripe about the TA.
When I worked shifts and was in the TA I used to make a point of booking time off to do TA commitments and even on weekends when I wasn't down to work I would make it clear I was unavailable for overtime because I was otherise committed.
One of my bosses asked me once if I was really going to claim the extra 10 days leave I was entitled to claim (for camp) because "HE" felt it was unfair on other people not in the TA.
 
#16
TB, speak to ACAS on this number - 0141 248 1400


They are the CAB of the employment law world. They will tell you exactly where you stand and even act as mediator if your bosses refuse to play ball.

Let your boss know that you have spoken to them, as almost every civvy company shites themselves when ACAS get involved.
 
#17
There is no obligation whatsoever on your employer to structure your working time to allow you to attend TA training. You have no protection in law whatsoever for discrimination against you as a TA soldier short of dismissal for same. When you go to work in your civvy job is governed solely by the contract and subsequent agreements between you and your employer. So any challenge to your employers decisions should be made on that basis, and as mentioned already CAB, ACAS, your union (if applicable) or employee helpline (ditto) are all good places to start.

(This also means - contrary to what some obviously believe - if you (say) miss your bounty due to weekend clashes then that's just tough. Your civvy employer has no liability.)

So, if I was in your shoes I'd approach the problem without mentioning the TA as far as possible. After all, do your colleagues get rostered (or not) for weekends on the basis of their activities during said weekends ? Thought not.

The problem then comes down to the details of exactly who said what to who and when (verbally and in writing) about you working weekends and the interaction of same with employment law. If you don't have a detailed log of all activity associated with this then write one up now with as much detail as you can remember, copies of emails and so on. In tandem start going through the management chain at work, read your internal grievance procedure and get one going iaw the rules if appropriate. You will appear as unreasonable to any outside body if you don't use such avenues, regardless of how futile you believe the effort to be.

Other possibilities include asking SABRE to contact your current employer to try and get them on side.

That said, if your boss is anti-TA and is determined to stitch you up then your options boil down to:
1. Leave the TA
2. Get another job

It sucks but regrettably that is the way the world works. The new, relevant TA has no employment protection worth a damn and is seen by many employers as a new, relevant liability. And business is all about minimising liabilities.
 
#18
TB, you've highlighted one of those areas that very few organisations will grip on your behalf without you coming off worse. Agree with OOTS and MoodyBitch that ACAS may well be of use to you. It would be great to see a response and direction from SABRE on this thread - as the lead organisation, etc.

I would also suggest that you document your experience and send copies to your CoC and your MP. If for no other reason then to let them know that this goes on.

As OOTS states, this is sadly the way the new world works.
 
#20
tigerbaby,

Sorry to hear about the problems you are having.

From what you’ve said, we’d suggest that – to start with at least – you try to avoid making this an argument about the TA and focus on sorting out whether or not your employer wants you to work weekends on a long-term basis and, if so, whether he is able to demand this within your terms of employment. The sources suggested in earlier posts are good places to get some advice to help you to try to negotiate a compromise which allows you enough weekends off.

If it becomes clear that your employer is only making you work weekends to force you to leave the TA (rather than for other business reasons) then your next step should be to try to change his mind. It will help if you can establish exactly why your employer dislikes the TA (concern about you being mobilised? anti-Telic? generally anti-military?). It is surprising how often employers cause problems simply because of a misunderstanding or lack of information.

Your Unit should have someone acting as a “Unit Employer Support Officer” (although sometimes they use different titles) who can give you some advice. There is also lots of information on the SaBRE website (www.sabre.mod.uk) or you can phone our helpline (0800 389 5459). We also have representatives in each region who can talk to or meet employers when appropriate.

If none of this works, and it is clear that your employer’s only reason for making you work weekends is to force you to leave the TA, then you do have some protection under The Reserve Forces (Safeguard of Employment) Act 1985 (SOE 85) – under which it is an offence to sack someone for being a Reservist. More information about SOE85 is on the SaBRE website.
 

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