I’d an employee who would greatly appreciate some impartial advice. I understand that the board exists for HR staff to help each other but hope someone will be kind enough to lend their advice.

I have worked for a well-known telecoms company for over a year in a standard 9 to 5:30 role, with one week in 5 on callout. We are paid 10% extra salary as a callout allowance.

Our employer mooted a shift rota some time ago to make more efficient use of our systems and we were asked to suggest a scheme. We told our employer that we would be happy to work longer days (whichever hours our employer needed to cover) in return for a day off the following week (the change in hours would have meant working 48 hours one week and 32 the next). This would have meant that we realised some benefit from putting ourselves out, and would have limited the amount of disruption to our personal lives.

We have been told today that we will be expected to change to a 3 tier shift pattern where 1 week in 6 we work from 0730-1600, 4 weeks from 0900-1730 and 1 week from 1100-1930. This means that in a 6 week schedule our personal lives will be disrupted for 3 weeks – One week on callout as already agreed but then for an additional 2 weeks where we alternately lose 90 minutes of our mornings and evenings. Our suggested system was dismissed as impractical as it would have meant finding an additional 52 days leave (we originally suggested having an automatic day off the next week rather than accruing leave but this was ignored)

The company has said it does not believe it needs to reimburse us for this additional disruption to our personal lives and does not believe this to be an unfair working system.

My questions are:
As impartial HR people, do you believe imposition of a system as described above is fair?

If not, what do you think would be a fair recompence?

Are there any internet sources where I can find average remuneration figures for different shift systems?

Thanks very much for taking the time to read this.


Mike Atkinson