Banned from doing overtime?

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Alice666

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Sep 26, 2013
5
1
I approached my manager this evening for a conversation to clarify the situation after he had informed me that I am not allowed to do overtime for him for the rest of this week as I have had 2 days off sick at the beginning of the week.

I rang my manager this afternoon to advise him I wanted to return to work even though I still wasn’t at 100% full strength and he said that was fine, to go ahead and come in as there was always plenty of light work to be getting on with, to do what I could and he would see me later that today. No actual time for me coming back in to work was specified during this conversation, nor was the fact that I could do no overtime for the remainder of the week.

I regularly do overtime on a daily basis flexing my hours up to 39 per week to help myself bump my wages up and to help the company as we have a large workload at the minute.

I clocked in at 7.41 this evening and had my return to work meeting which was brief and went ok up until the point my newly appointed manager realised I had a long spell of absence last year due to personal circumstances, his attitude towards me from that point became quite cold and aloof.

He advised me that I should be on light duties for 48 hours as I had admitted myself I was still not feeling 100% strong and my job is very physically demanding. I agreed with what he said about light duties (not being allowed to do overtime was not mentioned during the meeting at all) and we both signed the return to work statement. I was then allowed to go to the shop floor and start work at 8:10pm. It was never mentioned at the meeting or during the phone call that I would not be allowed to do overtime or that there would be any implications from my agreeing to do light duties and if I had been made aware of the implications during my meeting I would of questioned it in my return to work meeting before signing the return to work document.

It wasn’t until 11.55pm when I asked him myself if I was still ok to start at 4pm the following day as I usually do (my shift is 9pm-1am and I usually work from 4pm to 8pm as overtime).

The conversation that followed took me completely by surprise and left me feeling extremely uncomfortable and upset as up until today he had always appeared happy with my performance at work and keen for me to do any overtime I was able to.

It was only at this point that he mentioned I would not be able to do overtime for the rest of that week due to the phased return to work. He then pointed out that he had been laughed at by the other managers for trying to help me progress within the company when he was unaware of my absence record and that I had basically made him look foolish for him being unaware of this when I stood no chance of progression. This is not something I did intentionally and I had assumed he, as my manager, was aware of my history and record within the company. Up until today he had been pushing me and helping me work towards becoming a supervisor within the department.

Doing overtime is the norm on my department as we are all on 20 hours or less contracts and the company relies on us flexing up our hours as necessary and in return we rely on the overtime to bump up our part time salary. The overtime is offered to everyone and there are some (including myself) who are consistent and regularly do the extra hours. There are still numerous people doing overtime on my department including a new starter who has only been with the company for 2 weeks.

I went and spoke to my supervisor at this point as I didn't know what else to do and he advised me to go back and talk to my manager again raising the fact that I had been allowed to start early today. I told my supervisor that I would like him to be there for the conversation but as we are very short staffed at the minute said that I understood he didn't have the time so went back and spoke to my manager alone.

My manager advised me that he had spoken to HR on the previous day and that they confirmed no employee ever does overtime within the week of them returning after being off sick, I pointed out that this was untrue as I myself had done overtime during the week I returned after having an operation earlier this year. (I have the evidence to back this up.)

I made him aware that I felt this was unfair treatment and may even be discrimination against me as I was being penalised for admitting to feeling slightly weaker than usual. The overtime is offered to every employee and my colleagues are still doing overtime within the department. I pointed out that he’d said himself there was still plenty I could be getting on with. He then threatened to raise a grievance against me for me accusing him of being discriminatory and when I questioned this, and the fact that I had already been allowed to do overtime as I had clocked on 1h 20m before my official start time, I was then told that there was a chance I would now also be put on an improvement programme because he now sees me as “trouble” because of my attitude during this conversation.

I asked him to clarify and he said that I was being disruptive and that this conversation was not helpful to the shift. He said that he thought I had just decided to come into work early out of the goodness of my heart and that I could have the extra time back in lieu. I then questioned that if I was not allowed to do ANY overtime then I should not have been allowed to start early whether it be voluntary, lieu time or paid. He then again accused me of being disruptive and said that he definitely saw me as trouble and that I would no longer be allowed to do overtime for him at all, “I’m the manager and I can give or stop overtime to who I please” was how he worded it. . I replied that I thought this was extremely unfair and that I would be calling ACAS the next day to seek advice. His answer to that was that ACAS meant absolutely nothing to him and to do as I liked.

I found my manager’s demeanour to be quite aggressive by this stage and he made it quite obvious he was not open to discuss this with me any further leaving me extremely upset and frustrated and just walking off at that point without saying anything else.

I had a brief conversation with my supervisor about this and asked if he agreed with what my manager had said, he said no, not at all, but he then also said there was nothing he could do as he had to be seen to be taking his boss’s side and was stuck in the middle. My supervisor apologised as I left the building. I left work at 12.41am very upset, taking 20 minutes of the extra I had done that day to make up my hours to 1am.

I will be ringing ACAS for advice but was just wondering f anyone had any thoughts on this matter. I now know after doing some research that it is probably not discrimination as there is nothing that falls within the"protected characteristics" It definitely feels like unfair treatment though.

Oh..and thank you so much if you persevered with my essay to the end. Any advice or guidance on how to deal with this would be much appreciated.
 

fisicx

Moderator
Business Listing
Sep 12, 2006
35,625
10,794
Aldershot
www.aerin.co.uk
The fact you have done overtime in the past is irrelevant.

HR have told the manager you should not be doing overtime within a week of returning to work after being off sick. You also admit to not being fully fit so he is being a good and responsible manager.

Do a normal weeks, get fully fit and start overtime again next week.
 
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Alice666

Free Member
Sep 26, 2013
5
1
I think I've come across all wrong and was angry when I wrote all that. I do not see overtime as I right in itself but yes when it is available it is everyone's right to do the extra hours if they wish.

What HR apparently said is news to me as I was allowed to do overtime within the same week as returning from an operation, there is no mention of this not being allowed in the handbook.

My issue is the fact that I feel his decision was made on a personal rather than professional basis because I apparently "made him look foolish"and that I no longer have the option to do any overtime at all and the threat of a grievance against myself.

I am a good employee, I work hard, am a team leader and do a lot of the coaching and development within my team. I am definitely not seen as disruptive or "trouble" by anyone else.

One of the reasons that I returned so quickly, apart from having a conscience and knowing that going in and doing what I can is better than being another absentee, is that I can't afford the time off and yes it is unfortunately a situation where we do all rely on the overtime, even when we're supposed to be off on holiday, because it is there every week. I live alone and if I'm not at work the money doesn't come in. It wasn't through choice that I spoke to my manager but necessity.

I've spoke to ACAS and got my advice so know where to go from here.

Thanks for reading anyway. Guess I'm just coming across all wrong in print
 
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I think that you should be grateful, after a large amount of time off, that your employer is accommodating your return to work.

You are on light duties. You are being eased back whilst you make that final recovery. Remember - long absence does have a big implication for your employer too.

I would not be complaining at all, but taking the hours given, building up your strength, and getting stuck into being back at work.
 
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Personally, if this chap was to stop your over time I'd refuse to do any further training. Seeing as you're neither Manager or Supervisor surely any training involved within the company should be done by either of the two and not you.

Play the fool at his own game.

I think Paul Norman has mis-read what you've said, as this was only two days off work. Past is Past, got nothing whatsoever to do with now.

I think the guys just sour because his ego has been burst... tough to be at the top, let his bubble burst some more as you continue to follow his order of no over time and only do the work that you're paid to do.

:)
 
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Alice666

Free Member
Sep 26, 2013
5
1
Thanks Haunted Worlds,

it's kind of how I see it too it's just hard to be sure you're thinking rationally when feeling so emotionally irrational about a situation hence my reasons for the long-winded explanation and the need to seek others opinions/reassurance??

I've been pro-active today anyway, I wasn't able to sleep so spent the day applying for jobs, following up emails and basically networking big-time. As a result I've lined up 2 interviews for next week and an appointment with a mutual friend who runs an agency!

I've become complacent where I am I guess, I've been a glorified shelf stacker for a very well known hardware company for nearly 4 years now and I know that I am a good employee. I have 12 years admin experience and an abundance of pc skills which are going wasted so maybe this kick up the arse is something I needed.

It's good to read the feedback and opinions of all of you guys though, thank you to everyone that took that little it of time to care.
 
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Alice666

Free Member
Sep 26, 2013
5
1
Oh Arcon5, bless ya.

A history? Haha, I love being attacked by somebody who obviously hasn't taken the time to read properly.

My "history" is 4 years employment with just these 2 spells of absence.

Being complacent about where you work is totally different to being complacent at work.

"I am a good employee, I work hard, am a team leader and do a lot of the coaching and development within my team. I am definitely not seen as disruptive or "trouble" by anyone else."

If I were complacent at work there is no way I would of been seen as promotional material in the first place. I would also like to add here that I am a first aider, h&s rep and attend any other meetings necessary as a representative for our team. I was given a recognition award in June, voted for by my colleagues, for being a "helpful star" within the team.

Please, if you are going to leave a comment at least read what's been posted properly. I can handle any negative comments thrown my way, as long as they're intelligently put together and in a constructive way.
 
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