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Work issues

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  • Work issues

    Hi sorry I hope this post is allowed.

    So I work as admin in health and social care, this includes reception duties on a rota basis, which I'm happy with, but now the team leaders has implemented several new tasks for the receptionist to do.

    The receptionist are now expected to come in early before 9am (when we are paid from) and fill up an urn with hot water ready to make the service users hot drinks when they arrive, in addition to this the receptionist is now expected to retrieve all messages from the voicemail machine before 9am, we do not get paid for this extra work or get given Toil for this.

    Also the receptionist is now expected to make hot drinks for all service users which happens in several places so that's fine, we don't have an issue with that alone, but we work with vulnerable service users and we often need to tell them information they don't want to hear so that makes us vulnerable of the receptionist (or any staff) getting a cup of scalding hot tea/coffee thrown over them, when the admin team approached the health and safety lead about this issue she just said "you still need to make hot drinks", when we suggested a protective screen on the reception desk she just said "let's hope none of you gets a hot drink thrown over you"

    My query is, are they allowed to expext us to come in 10-15 mins early each morning to fill up an urn with hot water and listen to voicemails before 9am, they have stated this must be before 9am, I know it's only 10-15 mins a day but over a week that's an hour of unpaid work we are expected to do.

    Also if a hot drink is thrown over the receptionist after their request of a protective screen was turned down, where would that stand on health and safety? As we believe we are being forced to work in an environment which isn't exactly safe.

    Any advice welcome please
    Tags: None

  • #2
    You need to look at your employment contract to see what it say about your working hours and duties. I'd also look to see if there's been any kind of risks assessment done for the use of the urn and the serving of the hot drinks. These would be good places to start.


    • #3
      Thanks for that, having read my contract and job description and it does not state anywhere we will be expected to work outside of work hours and not be allowed any Toil.

      I would be surprised if a risk assessment was done when the making of tea and coffee was introduced in fairness, luckily it is my appraisal next week and I'll be requesting my line manager (who is one of the more understanding team leaders) to speak to the health and safety lead about ensuring the tea and coffee is in the risk assessment, would this be in accordance with section 10 of the managing of health and safety at work regulations 1999?

      I dare say the health and safety lead will argue that the provision of hot drinks doesn't need to be included but surely as its something which has the potential to cause damage to a person surely it needs to be included?


      • #4
        If a task is being added to your official duties at work, that could potentially pose a risk to yourself or a service user, then I feel at the least it should be looked at from a H&S point of view. That's what I'd do. Even if the result is that no further action is required, it's still good practice.


        • #5
          That's what my thought is aswell, I don't mind making hot drinks but I would certainly like some consideration to be showed to the risks of scalding if it is either split or thrown at the receptionist.


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