“Reasonable request” by a manager in hospitality.

Discussion in 'Employment & HR' started by Tom-83, May 19, 2018.

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  1. Tom-83

    Tom-83 UKBF Newcomer

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    Hi there! I don’t know if I’ll find an answer to my problem here but I’ll explain my situation;

    I’m working in hospitality and my manager has kind of pressured me to do 4 closings every week for the next 4 weeks ( 4 closing shifts out of 5 shifts) in order to accommodate two of my colleagues that are Muslim And it’s Ramadan, while him and the assistant manager would only do 1 closing shift a week instead of doing it equally and distributing the shifts in between the 3 of us remaining...
    I’ve tried talking to him about it and he has told me that in my contract it says that because of business needs they can do this and that I cannot refuse to do it, and I don’t really know to what extent this is true...
    Could someone please clarify this to me?

    Thanks in advance!

    Posted: May 19, 2018 By: Tom-83 Member since: May 19, 2018
  2. fisicx

    fisicx Moderator
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    I'd argue that the business need is to make sure someone closes every night. Your contract doesn't it has to be you. It would only be a reasonable request if the other staff members and managers do 4 out of 5 closings when Ramadan is over.
    Posted: May 19, 2018 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
  3. Toby Willows

    Toby Willows UKBF Big Shot

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    Went to Egypt on a Nile cruise twelve years ago during Ramadan. Didn’t seem to stop any of the staff working at any hour. Didn’t stop them serving alcohol or food throughout the day and night either.

    Seems some British Muslims like to take the piss on unfounded religious grounds.
    Posted: May 19, 2018 By: Toby Willows Member since: Jun 20, 2016
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  4. paulears

    paulears UKBF Legend

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    If your hours are not fixed, and are as and when the business needs you, I don't see the problem? They're paying you? if your contract is as and when, you could have prior commitments and of course of it's the usual contract terms, they don't have to offer you anything and you don't have to accept work offered. I suppose it boiled down to how lucky you feel. Do you need the job more than they need you? Do you want to be labelled unhelpful/bolshy/awkward/inflexible? They trust you to do the job, which says something - if the money isn't important, and you don't mind being "the one who refused to help when we were short", say no.

    Every time I ask somebody to do extra because somebody is off, and they screw their face up, and either say no, or make it very plain I'm abusing their time, I just mentally drop them down the list a bit, and next time I only need 5 not 6, it's them I give the night off to. The one I never give time off to is the one who is not the best able, but the reliable one, who always says yes, is never late and never complains.
    Posted: May 19, 2018 By: paulears Member since: Jan 7, 2015
  5. Newchodge

    Newchodge UKBF Legend

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    Can they do this? Yes.
    Should they do this? Probably not.
    Is it worth you making a huge fuss and demanding that they take their share? Depends if you want to keep your job.
    Posted: May 19, 2018 By: Newchodge Member since: Nov 8, 2012
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  6. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend

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    Were the staff Muslim? Usually hard to tell by looking at the males and some of the females.
    And yes they can and do work during Ramadan. The food issue is their own eating, with several exemptions.
    Family down the street from us are Muslim and both work during Ramadan, her in catering. Among other things producing food for after sunset.
    Posted: May 19, 2018 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
  7. Toby Willows

    Toby Willows UKBF Big Shot

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    Yes they were Muslim, they joked about the fact they couldn't eat or drink but we could, whilst handing out water and serving alcohol. Lovely people and nothing was to much. They appreciated the tourist as it was their living. Went on a trip to a Nubian village and they were also so welcoming. Seems to me that in the UK the muslin faith has been used to selfless means and has a different agenda from it’s origins.
    Posted: May 19, 2018 By: Toby Willows Member since: Jun 20, 2016
  8. paulears

    paulears UKBF Legend

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    Lots of religious absolutes are not - Muslim chefs are often cited as not being able to eat or prepare pork, but plenty do - they ask and get guidance which can be very practical things like gloves, which caterers often wear anyway. They can't taste it, but they certainly can prepare it. Much of what we're told as absolute fact is messed up.

    A couple of years ago my production office in Northern Ireland had a catholic, a protestant, an atheist, a muslim and an Israeli jew all sharing the space. The Muslim Girl made a big poster wall for Hanukkah for the Jew, and bought Christmas cards for everyone. I queried if she was allowed to do this. She said she didn't believe what they did, but they did, so the cards and posters were for them. Somebody bought the Jew a packet of Smokey Bacon crisps - which he found very funny.

    Sometimes sadly, people use religion to gain extras - which I suspect is what is happening here - getting the day off because they cite "we're muslim", when they could have said Christian, Sikh or anything. My wife works in a Hospital. Large numbers of people from a non-white, non-English, non-Christian background. A&E and the other busy departments all function normally - the chapel is multi faith and the need to pray regularly doesn't impact on Emergencies. The rules are sensible enough to be flexible. When I asked one of my Wardrobe ladies if they could come in early to sort some costume repairs, one said that it would be fine - she was going to mass, but would just go twice the day before. I looked at her and asked "You can do deals with God?" she smiled and said of course we can!
    Posted: May 19, 2018 By: paulears Member since: Jan 7, 2015
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  9. lesliedocherty

    lesliedocherty UKBF Legend

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    I Agree, the staff are taking the p**s, that's the managers issue to deal with. I also agree that the other 2 should do their fair share and split the late's between all of you, and if not the ramadammers should do a pile of yours after a ramadamadingdong is finished.
    Posted: May 20, 2018 By: lesliedocherty Member since: Jun 17, 2006
  10. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend

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    I used to work with a devout Muslim man. He'd pray 5 times a day but at work you would not notice unless you went into the file room - he'd do it during lunch at work only.
    His other times of prayer were before and after work. Not during. At Ramadan you would not know he was fasting.
    Posted: May 20, 2018 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
  11. Chris Ashdown

    Chris Ashdown UKBF Legend

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    From what I understand is that during Ramadan you do not eat or during between sunrise and sun set, and most families then make a big feast after sunset with their whole family if possible, but not always, so its not just a case of avoiding the late shift but also not being part of the festival of the family meal

    So offering them the option to not do the late shift, is a kind management action, but not a requirement that they do, and you would expect the muslim's to make up the lost shifts to be fair to all
    Posted: May 20, 2018 By: Chris Ashdown Member since: Dec 7, 2003
  12. paulears

    paulears UKBF Legend

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    Sensitivity and support go a long way - my experience is that for most people who have to do personal things, is that they just don't make an issue out of it. People with asthma or other medical conditions that require drugs or injections during the working day. Very few make it a big deal. I remember a fella who had type 2 diabetes confirmed, and you'd think the world had ended. He made a huge fuss about having to have his tea breaks dead on time, now matter what - because he "had too eat", and he would constantly be adding up details of what he ate, the time, and the amount. Often somebody would say where's X when he was missing at just the moment the heavy work needed doing, and when anyone said anything he'd talk about bullying and not making exceptions because of his medical condition. `One older guy had had enough. He told him he was making a mountain out of a molehill, and letting the team down with his obsession with times, amounts, and eating. He of course was indignant. The older guy opened his bag and pulled out a small kit. He opened it. "This" he said "is my blood sugar meter. This is my insulin injector and these are the test strips I have been using umpteen times daily for fifteen years. Not once have I missed the heavy work, and I have had type 1 diabetes which is controlled with insulin, and not just my diet. Have you ever seen me complain at a late tea break, or a delayed dinner? A few minutes does NOT matter, and I am far more likely to respond badly to blood sugar highs and lows than you are - so just shut up about diabetes. I saw no need to tell anyone bar the few close friends I work with, who would know what to do if I had a problem. Every single person here knows you are diabetic - and you know what? You're just a lazy git! We loved it. Some people take advantage, some don't.
    Posted: May 20, 2018 By: paulears Member since: Jan 7, 2015
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  13. Bob Morgan

    Bob Morgan UKBF Legend

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    Very True! - I worked in the Middle East for over 15 Years. Ramadan was often the busiest time of the year - Things carried on as normal.
    Posted: May 20, 2018 By: Bob Morgan Member since: Apr 15, 2018
  14. Newchodge

    Newchodge UKBF Legend

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    During Ramadan those observing it are expected to carry on as normal, work normally, carry out their normal duties, while abstaining from food and water during the hours of daylight. Come sunset there is usually a major family meal when the fast is broken. Attendance at that meal is not obligatory, but is part of the ritual. So a muslim can, generally, carry out all their normal workplace duties until sunset. Closing a bar/restaurant after sunset would mean they could not attend the fast-breaking ritual. Any sensible employer would ensure that they could finish work at sunset, provided there is sufficient non-Muslim cover.

    This thread is not about how Muslims observe Ramadan. It is about how management treat employees when a set of circumstances requires a departure from the norm. In this case, 6 closing nights need covering by 3 people. A sensible manager would split the cover 2 nights each. A demanding, selfish and ignorant manager would demand that the most junior member of staff cover the additional nights.
    Posted: May 20, 2018 By: Newchodge Member since: Nov 8, 2012
  15. Tom-83

    Tom-83 UKBF Newcomer

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    This is exactly what I meant, there’s 3 of us still capable of closing and opening ( Manager, Assistant Manager and myself) but instead of distributing the shifts, I’m basically doing closings for the 3 of us for the whole duration of Ramadan!
    I studied in Lebanon for a semester ( I studied Arabic translation) and everyone seemed to work no matter what... same as when I’ve been visiting other Muslim countries during Ramadan... the problem is the management at my workplace...
    Posted: May 20, 2018 By: Tom-83 Member since: May 19, 2018
  16. Gecko001

    Gecko001 UKBF Legend

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    I note that you are the only one who is not either a manager or an assistant manager who does this opening and closing. This begs the question of whether opening and closing is part of your job description?
    Posted: May 21, 2018 By: Gecko001 Member since: Apr 21, 2011
  17. Tom-83

    Tom-83 UKBF Newcomer

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    Closing and opening is in my duties but I’m less than a supervisor tho.
    Posted: May 21, 2018 By: Tom-83 Member since: May 19, 2018
  18. Tom-83

    Tom-83 UKBF Newcomer

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    So, I do supervisor duties but I don’t get paid as a supervisor if that makes sense.
    Posted: May 21, 2018 By: Tom-83 Member since: May 19, 2018
  19. obscure

    obscure UKBF Legend

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    Will these staff be covering your closing shifts in return when Ramadan is over? Have you discussed this with them or with management?
    Posted: May 21, 2018 By: obscure Member since: Jan 18, 2008
  20. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend

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    Presumably the company does not require only supervisors to open and close.
    Posted: May 21, 2018 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
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