Is a verbal agreement about the days worked ok?

(19 Posts)
freakazoidroid Thu 17-Jan-13 20:39:16

I have been working in a upmarket fashion retail shop for 2 years 3 months. I work tues and fri . My contract more or less says 16 hours a week to suit business needs.
However, when I went to the interview I was very clear that I could work 2 fixed days a week , but not weekends. This was fine and I was offered tues and fri.
About 18 months ago I agreed to work a Saturday to help out. But since then especially since this summer they have asked me to do more and more Saturdays , a swell as my weekdays.
She also asked if I could be more flexible on my 16 hrs. I said not really , as my youngest is in reception and I have to book her into after school club on fixed days, and can't just chop and change days.
Also about 18 months ago a full timer left and her very best friend took the job( I don't think head office knew they were mates) and she works mon- fri full time , does not worn weekends.
Now it's got to the point where I am being put on the Rota for at least 2 Saturdays a month. I didn't mind doing the occasional one but now it seems expected! I have to say I can't do some and it's all a bit awkward.
The reason why her friend who works full time does not do weekends, is because she has a family. One is at Uni and the other is 18 and never around.
This is also the reason I don't want to work weekends. It's very awkward to say anything.
Basically is my tues and fri agreement when I accepted the job a verbal contract?

BluelightsAndSirens Thu 17-Jan-13 20:43:57

If the set days are not in your contract then you can be asked to work any days on a rota that calculates to 16 hours and then paid extra for any hours worked over that.

They can change your contract and you can either accept it or not but it doesn't sound like they need to because it isn't stated in the original contract.

Sorry.

freakazoidroid Thu 17-Jan-13 20:50:03

I also feel maybe she is trying to push me out, by doing this with my hours, because of my inflexibility and the hours of her friend

freakazoidroid Thu 17-Jan-13 20:52:04

Interesting, but i did think because I was taken on with those days a verbal contract had been made. If they can just change contracts , what is the real point of them?

freakazoidroid Thu 17-Jan-13 21:01:50

Bump

freakazoidroid Thu 17-Jan-13 21:25:55

Bump

freakazoidroid Thu 17-Jan-13 22:18:41

Anyone ??

Mbear Thu 17-Jan-13 22:19:29

I agree with bluights, but then the full timer should also have a fully flexible contract (ie 5 days out of 7) not m-f. How would your Saturday's be effected if she did them? ie everyone took a turn. Business needs do change as staff come and go but it should always be fair to everyone (even if you don't actually like the changes)

I think you should talk to your hr dept, just from your point of view and historical working patterns, I would only delicately mention that the ft does not work weekends if there is a compromise you would be happy to make.

Mbear Thu 17-Jan-13 22:20:31

Sorry, Bluelights!

freakazoidroid Thu 17-Jan-13 23:04:25

Good advice. I am dreading work tomorrow !

flowery Thu 17-Jan-13 23:21:25

I disagree. Just because something isn't written in a contract doesn't mean it isn't contractual. If you were clear from the beginning that you could only do Tuesdays and Fridays and have done those days every week consistently for nearly 2.5 years, and have been asked (not told) to vary them, to which you were able to say no, then there's an extremely strong argument that those are your contractual hours.

What's changed that you are suddenly being asked to do all these Saturdays? I would suggest being clear that you can't ordinarily do Saturdays, and have not done them usually, you are happy to help out occasionally if there is a problem but do not want to change your hours to include regular Saturdays.

mysteryfairy Fri 18-Jan-13 11:51:55

I think whilst it sounds like a verbal contract was formed to do the Tuesday and Friday initially if you have been working Saturdays for 18 months it could similarly be deduced from that that you had accepted the Saturday working as a contractual term.

flowery Fri 18-Jan-13 12:14:06

Is that the case OP? Have you been working regular Saturdays for 18 months, or just occasional ones to help out?

freakazoidroid Fri 18-Jan-13 12:24:25

I have been doing occasional ones to help out . But since the beginning of summer I was put on the rota for more and more Saturdays,as well as my tues and fri. I do tell my manager after she has put me in the Rota the Saturday's on the rota that I can't do and she normally removes me. It is just awkward every month after she does the rota I have to go and tell her that I can't do them.

BluelightsAndSirens Fri 18-Jan-13 20:54:47

Are the rota Saturdays included in your 16 hours are paid as over time?

freakazoidroid Mon 21-Jan-13 19:28:53

They are considered extra hours.

MrAnchovy Mon 21-Jan-13 20:34:42

"just because something isn't written in a contract doesn't mean it isn't contractual"

This is true, but in this case there IS something written in the contract, and you can't simply ignore that.

Or to look at it another way, just because one party mentions something prior to the recording of a written agreement of terms doesn't mean it IS contractual.

In this case, the fact that no specific days were written in the terms which were issued to you and you presumably did not state that these terms did not reflect your agreement is an extremely strong argument that "Tuesdays and Thursdays only" does NOT form part of the terms of the contract.

flowery Mon 21-Jan-13 21:02:57

There aren't any specific days in the contract though confused

Basically, if what's actually been happening in practice is established enough to be considered contractual, it doesn't matter whether the contract says something different, or is non-specific on the subject.

Anyway, the OP is clear that what's up for debate is whether she has to do extra hours on Saturdays.

OP I think you should sit down with your manager, and reiterate that you are happy to do occasional Saturdays as an extra over and above your contractual hours, to help out, but are not able to change to commit to regular rota'd Saturdays.

If she then decides she wants to either argue that by working a few Saturdays recently you have agreed to do them permanently, or wants to try and increase your contractual hours forcibly, then you can cross that bridge when you come to it, but the last thing you want to do is get into a situation where she has a good argument that your contractual hours are now 16 mid week plus regular Saturdays. Keep it ad hoc and occasional.

MrAnchovy Mon 21-Jan-13 21:31:11

"Basically, if what's actually been happening in practice is established enough to be considered contractual, it doesn't matter whether the contract says something different, or is non-specific on the subject."

Well the key word there is "enough" - if the contract is non-specific then it is much easier for custom and practice to reflect an agreeement than if the contract says something different. But I think it is misleading to imply that either an established pattern or a prior verbal agreement automatically override something that is written down - it is the whole picture that is important.

But as you point out, the Saturday hours are additional to the 16 contracted hours anyway so it doesn't make any difference whether the agreement is for Tuesday and Thursday only or not, the Saturday hours are not part of the agreement.

And as always Flowery I totally agree with your practical advice to talk to the manager about it.

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