Letter from work

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by Almaboy, Jun 9, 2012.

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  1. Can some of you clever lot have a look at the statement below?

    I am writing to confirm 0n 5th Jan 2012 you were issued with an offer letter for the role of Duty Manager complete with a management statement of particular.
    Your salary takes into account the fact that we will need you to work as many hours as you need to fulfill your role requirements and meet the needs of the business without any additional pay’
    You confirm that if Regulation 4(1) of the Wrking Time Regulations 1998 applies to you, you agree to opt out of Regulation 4(1), although you may terminate this opt out at any time by giving us no less than 3 months’ written notice.
    You currently have been receiving overtime payments. This letter is to confirm that you are not entitled to receive these payments, however we will not be looking to retrieve theses payments.
    Please be advised that no further payments will be paid to you with regards to overtime.

    to explain, there are 5 of who Operations Manager for a big UK FM outfit. We cover a good shift pattern but one of our number is now on long term leave pending investigations and delivery. Does the wording in this sound like we are expected to work whatever hours/days they tell us? is that fair? I just want a strangers perspective on this as they have been paying us overtime based on our manager signing it off.

    If i havent signed the working time directive to 'opt out' how do i do this?

    Can anyone advise on this?

    AlmaBoy (thanks in advance)
  2. Wordsmith

    Wordsmith LE Book Reviewer

    OK - here's a link to some guidance.

    The Working Time Regulations

    I'll not profess to be an expert on this, but here goes:

    1) The Working Time Regulations set limits on the hours you can work. For example, you are limited to 48 hours a week unless you specifically opt out of this limit by signing a waiver. If you want to work over 48 hours a week, you have to sign a letter to your company showing this is voluntary on your part. There is a standard form to fill in - ask your HR department for this.

    2) The company will be able to ask you to work any reasonable shift pattern - i.e they can't get you to work excessively long hours, etc. Judging from your post, you're working over 48 hours a week anyway, so the company may well want you continue to work the same as you are, but with the paperwork in place so that they meet the specified legal requirements.

    3) As to overtime pay, if you read your contract of employment, you will probably find that you're not entitled to it. It sounds like the company made a mistake in paying you it in the first place. Because they realise that they made the mistake, they're not asking for you to pay back money you received in good faith.

    From what you've posted, it sounds like your company is acting reasonably and within the bounds of employment law. I don't think you've got anything to worry about - someone in HR originally made a mistake and now they're quietly putting the mistake right.

    Were it me, I'd make an appointment to see someone in HR and ask them to walk you through what's needed. They're there to help you and being asked for guidance about the Working Time Regulations, etc, will just be a normal part of their working day. 30 minutes and it'll all be sorted out...

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  3. It looks as though they are asking you to opt out of the WTD 48 hr limit. If they don't have a proforma in place you can do it via letter/email. There's really no limit on the number of hours you can work, as long as you meet the other statutory requirements eg 11 hours break between finishing one shift and starting the next, and a 24 hour break once a week. They are are offering you your duty manager position on the conditions they are stating, so it is now up to you to accept, decline or as previous poster says. go to your HR department, ask them to explain everything and attempt to negotiate anything you are not happy with.
  4. Just be aware that they are saying your basis salary apparently takes into account any overtime that you are working and they are asking you to work overtime without overtime pay.

    If you are happy with that?

    Lastly HR are there to assist and advise management on how to get the best from workers without breaking employment law. While they might be happy to advise you, any advice they give will be biased in terms of the objectives and aims of the management. In other words, they will stitch you up if it benefits the company.

    If you are unhappy with working overtime for no extra pay, something that they have been paying you for upto now, you should seek independent advice from a law centre, trade union or even pay for a solicitor.
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  5. Wordsmith

    Wordsmith LE Book Reviewer

    The OP got an offer letter on 5th Jan 2012 which appears to have set out the terms and conditions for his new job as Duty Manager. I suspect this letter stated that the Duty Manager role was not paid overtime, but that someone continued to pay him the overtime he was getting in his previous position.

    It would be possible to challenge the decision not to continue paying overtime as its now been done for 6 months. The response from the company will probably be that he's not accepted the terms and conditions associated with the Duty Managers role and can't continue in the job without accepting them.

    The bottom line is take home pay. If the OP is noticeably better off without overtime pay in his new role as manager than he was in his old role with overtime, then there's not really any cause for complaint.

  6. no, brilliant lads much obloged, all is now clearer! :)
  7. Internet employment advice is always difficult over the internet without a proper chat about the full background etc but does covering for a colleague on long term leave for some reason come under the remit of unpaid overtime. If they have been covering specifically for that colleague and being paid for it in addition to unpaid overtime for their normal duties, it seems they may be trying to get the cover for nothing rather than paying for it as they have been?
  8. Not many Managers get OT tbh. Admin staff yes, but most manager's salaries are deemed sufficient and a few hours here and there to meet deadlines, fastballs, etc are often seen as part of the job.

    Unfortunately, this then becomes an expected part of your job and you can easily find yourself puting in 30 plus hours per month (unpaid) during busy times just to manage your workload. Admin staff can be reduced and who takes over their workload?

    There's a lot to be said for getting in on time, leaving on time and taking your breaks away from wherever you work....How many staff eat lunch at their desks or work station, just to keep up with their daily tasks?

    Bottom line is it's a pi55 take when the only way that you can complete or manage you work load is by doing extra hours....but it's a very common situation with managers.

    Best bet is to join a Union, as said by RGJ bloke, HR is there for the firm not the staff...and it's rare to find HR Depts with a heart...even keen,fair minded HR Bods who are up to date with employment law, are ignored when it suits the company and they often know that they are breaking various employment conditions but will take the chance. Then they wonder why the 'Workers' become lazy, unmotivated, stroppy tw*ts. BA, LT,TFL, etc are classic examples of pretty much decent staff brought up on the work ethic of expecting a fair days pay for a fairs day work, turning into idle feckwits with no loyalty. It's happening across the land and has done for years.

    The 'Bosses' like to complain about workshy staff but we work the longest hours in Europe with the shortest holidays and the boxheads still out perform us (unless that is a BFO Myth?) ...maybe their management is just so much better?

    I expect some flak for the above. Bring it on feckers! ;-)
  9. We are 5 Operations Managers with particular skill sets on the Project.

    Basically one is no suspended pending investigation, we had to move the shift pattern round meaning we all end up picking up a couple of extra shifts a month, no probs, no moans.
    The Operations Director however started signing off our OT forms with no quibble, now boom, gone?! I am snapped as those 2 days were stick 300 on my salary a month :)
    Ah well, nice whilst it lasted
    cheeers boys
  10. Wordsmith

    Wordsmith LE Book Reviewer

    If I read your last post right, you are working two extra shifts a month because a colleague has been suspended.

    I would expect you to be paid for the additional hours at your basic rate of pay (i.e. no overtime). I would not expect you to be totally unpaid for the shifts. The extra hours will be paid at flat rate - and not at time and a third.

    In which case the difference may be £40 - £50 a month and not £300.

    (You should be able to work it out using figures from your previous payslips).

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  11. If I may offer a word of advice - don't sign the opt out from the Working Time Regulations. It's illegal to try to force you to and if you do they can ask you to work virtually any hours and seemingly not pay you for it.

    I know what I'd tell them to do.

    Also if you do/have signed it, you are NOT required to give three months notification in order to rescind your agreement!
  12. Wordsmith

    Wordsmith LE Book Reviewer

    In which case the OP will find his hours capped at 48 - and he wants to work the extra shifts to earn money.

    And if he wants to get on with his senior management, telling them what to do is not a smart option. Asking for a meeting to discuss any legitimate concerns in a mature and controlled manner is - together with a willingness to find a mutually acceptable compromise.

    • Like Like x 1
  13. Yeah but sounds like they want him to keep working the extra but lose the pay? Why agree to that?

    The point I am trying to instill is that the options are either to agree to the opt out or not to agree. Agreement will confer on his managers the right to ask him to work unlimited shifts with no commensurate increase in pay. Why agree to it?
  14. ^ What he said.

    Get that meeting with HR and, assuming from what you've said that you are, tell them you're happy to work the overtime required to fulfill your own role unpaid. Point out, however, that the extra two shifts are to cover someone else's role, and (put as forcefully as you feel comfortable with) you are not happy to work them unpaid.

    Seems a bit cheeky for them to suspend someone and then expect others to fill the role FOC. What happens if he doesn't come back? "Well, we've managed without him so far, maybe we should make that position redundant..."
  15. Wordsmith

    Wordsmith LE Book Reviewer

    Ah, hadn't read the original post closely enough. I had interpreted it as the OP would get paid flat rate for the extra time, but not at overtime rates.

    The clause about working extra hours as necessary to do your job as necessary is a fairly standard one for some grades of staff. The usual meaning of it is you'll stick another hour onto your usual day for a few days to meet an urgent deadline, but that its not meant to be custom and practice. What I would not be expected to do is work two whole days a month unpaid on a regular basis.

    The root of the problem may be costs. There are 5 operations managers, one of which is currently suspended - presumably on full pay. The other managers have been asked to pick up the slack - and as they're being paid for the extra hours, that's put the Operations Manager (the OP's boss) 20% over budget on one of his wage items in the monthly management report. I suspect he's been questioned by his boss and is now trying to get back into budget by cutting out the pay for the managers covering shifts.

    This is actually quite a tricky one to deal with as the OP will want to protect his own interests without being labelled as argumentative. I'm loath to give too much advice without knowing the full facts, but here goes:

    1) Ask to see the Operations Manager and explain you are indeed happy to cover the missing shifts. However, point out to him that the 'work extra hours' clause was probably meant to cover the extra hour or two on the end of a shift, and not working complete shifts.

    2) Explain to him that you realise that the extra costs are a problem to him and ask if there is some reasonable compromise that can be achieved. For example, can you be paid a discretionary bonus rather than a wage directly, so that his monthly management accounts look more normal.

    3) I would gently suggest to him that because of the unusual circumstances you are happy to sit down with him and HR to find a compromise. The key is HR - whom I suspect will start to make alarmed noises if they find out you're expected to work extra shifts without pay. Companies are expected to issue reasonable instructions - i.e even if the instruction to work 2 days a month without additional pay is within the letter of the OP's employment contract, is it acceptable practice? HR should asking if it is an instruction a considerate employer would issue - the answer is probably no.

    What the OP should avoid at all costs is the appearance of being confrontational - his whole attitude should be "I understand your problems - how would you feel if you were in my position?" The aim should be to to reach some agreement with his Operations Manager that both sides are happy with. There is no point in beating him over the head and winning a short term point while having him getting his own back over the long term.

    But ultimately the OP needs to make his own mind up on what is best for him. And that's a call only he can make.

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