Employer has changed monthly meeting day, which is causing me problems.

Discussion in 'Work, Careers, Employment rights, further study' started by Kaz1505, Oct 9, 2018 at 11:01 PM.

  1. Kaz1505

    Kaz1505 New Member

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    Hi,

    My employer has just put into my diary a year of monthly meetings for the second Monday of every month.
    I work in a sales role based from home.
    The meetings have been scheduled at another location which is approx 4 hours travelling time to get there and 4 hours home. Meeting is scheduled for 6 hours.
    Meetings were normally held either on a Tue/Wed/Thu, and I would normally travel the afternoon before during working time and stay with family.
    This change of week day means that I either lose part of my weekend off, or end up working a approx 14 hour day, which in itself causes me problems due to arrangements I have to make to be away from home for that length of time in one day.
    I am the only person in the sales team who is expected to travel this amount of time for these meetings.
    The maximum anyone else travels is about 90 mins.
    My employer has another more central venue where they can hold the meetings, which would still mean me traveling about 2.5 hours, but is easier for me to manage in 1 day, without to much disruption to my home life.
    Therefore my question is, is it a reasonable request for me to ask my employer to change the venue of the meetings to a more central location, or ask them to change the day of the meetings back to a Tue/Wed or Thur which has been the situation for over 4 years.
    Any advice would be great fully appreciated, as the first meeting request I have already got plans for that weekend, which makes attending the meeting on the Monday impractical and unsafe.
     
  2. Leper

    Leper Frequent Poster

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    Is it reasonable to request sales meetings scheduled for Mondays to be deferred to some other day? That's the only question. Other people on the team might be discommoded for meetings on Mondays only. Are you thinking of yourself only? (just asking).

    It might be in your favour to bring up the meetings day at your first meeting. But, expect others to try to suit themselves too.
     
  3. Kaz1505

    Kaz1505 New Member

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    I have spoke with other members of the team and they think that changing the meetings to a Monday is unfair due to the distance I have to travel.
    To attend these meeting I would need to get up around 4am and would not get home until around 8pm.
    As I said in my original post, there is another venue, where we have held meetings before that is closer to me, and shortens the overall travelling time by about 3 hours. The max time others would travel is about 1.5 hours.
    Our normal working day is 8.5 hours, but by changing the day of the meetings, I either lose part of my weekend or work for an extra 5.5 hours, which no one else is expected to do on a regular basis.
    Changing the venue would not affect anyone else’s working time, as they can commute in working time. I would still have to do an extra 2.5 hours, and I’m ok with this.
     
  4. Clamball

    Clamball Frequent Poster

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    I would have assumed if the person calling the meeting could have accommodated you they would have asked you if Mondays suit. It sounds as if you cannot just call up the person who organised the meeting (or you boss) and asked if there was flexibility in the day of the meeting. People are often OK with swapping the day before it gets bedded down into the calendar.

    Having said that when you work remotely you do often have to travel to meet others and organise childminding, dog walking or whatever for early mornings/late nights.

    I travel to my head office and when the kids were small I would regularly get the babysitter in from 6-9 am so I could get the train and the kids were looked after until my spouse came home from night shift.

    You also seem to have an unusual workplace that is fine with you taking an afternoon the day before to travel to the meeting location, travelling outside working hours is pretty normal in most businesses in Ireland.
     
  5. Kaz1505

    Kaz1505 New Member

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    I’m an area sales person, which means I’m always working during work hours be it meeting customers or telephone calls.
    So my travelling down the afternoon before would also include visits and calls, and often would mean I wouldn’t get to my destination until after work time had finished. This is normal practice in my industry, because we are mobile workers, we do not have a fixed place of work.
    When my bosses etc are coming to my area of work, if it’s an early morning meeting they stay over in a hotel, even though they have less distance to travel, than they are expecting me to do for these meetings.
    My company takes H&S very seriously, and frequently advise us about safe driving, taking breaks etc.
    It is one person, not my boss who has decided to make this change.
     
  6. SBarrett

    SBarrett Frequent Poster

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    Instead of asking online, ask your boss or the person who made the arrangements. It is a perfectly reasonable request to make and if your other colleagues have no problem with it, a decent employer should accommodate your request. And you would have a good argument under H&S that someone shouldn't be expected to drive for 4 hours after already driving for 4 hours and then having a 6 hour meeting.
     
    rob oyle likes this.
  7. RETIRED2017

    RETIRED2017 Frequent Poster

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    As Steve said talk to your boss or the person making the arrangements,
    I suspect the changed arrangements to a Monday may actually got to do with H&S ,You know the requirement of having a 11hr break ,If the get it in writing you are staying over night it might change things ,
    I would say you should have talked to the persons making the arrangements before now ,
    I suspect once you started talking to the other sales people word is already back to the person making the arrangements already,
     
  8. Kaz1505

    Kaz1505 New Member

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    I did try speaking to my boss yesterday. He advised it was not him that decided on this change, and he does not necessarily agree with it, or not being able to change the venue.
    We spoke again this morning, and I have agreed to see how it goes travelling to meeting and back home in one day.
    If this is not suitable, we will look at me staying overnight after the meeting.
    I have expressed to him that my main concern is doing a lot of travelling in the winter months, where it’s extremely dark and weather conditions are not the best.
    I live north of Aberdeen, and to make this journey to Glasgow, I have to travel from the countryside to get to Aberdeen, and then through both Aberdeen and Dundee cities to get to Glasgow.
    I was looking for other opinions and advice on best way to approach / handle this. Thank you to everyone who took the time to reply.
     
  9. Purple

    Purple Frequent Poster

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    I used to fly to Edinburgh from Dublin, getting up at 4.30 and leave the house at 5.00 to get the 6.40 flight.
    Then I'd drive to Aberdeen (210 km journey), arriving at 10.30 and spend the day working there.
    I'd leave at 16.30 for the 19.50 flight back from Edinburgh.
    I'd get back to Dublin for 21.05 and be home for 10pm.

    I did that once a week for about 4 years. There's be 3 or 4 trans-atlantic flights a year as well as 10-15 European flights on top of that.
    I don't miss it!

    If you work from home one 14 our day once a month will hardly kill you.
     
  10. Blackrock1

    Blackrock1 Frequent Poster

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    once a month? suck it up
     
  11. Kaz1505

    Kaz1505 New Member

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    That’s fine if that’s what you signed up for in your contract. I did not sign up for this, and my employer / boss was made aware of that before I signed my contract 4.5 years ago.
    As for killing me, you do not know my circumstances or anything about anyone to make a statement like that.
    I actually have osteoarthritis in my spine, diagnosed at 24 years old, so a fourteen hour day like this could cripple me for a number of days. Again the company was made aware of this and my limitations before I started.
     
  12. Purple

    Purple Frequent Poster

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    I didn't sign up for it but as the job evolved so did the things I had to do. I get will paid for it and it was necessary for the success of the business so I did it.
    Well that's different. Just tell them you can't do it on medical grounds, which they knew about when they hired you.
     
  13. Romulan

    Romulan Frequent Poster

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    Why not try conferencing in remotely?
    There are plenty of technological options allowing you to view and share screens etc.

    Takes a bit of getting used to at first but it seems an obvious solution.
     
    PaddyBloggit likes this.
  14. Kaz1505

    Kaz1505 New Member

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    I’m going to try going to meeting and home in one day. My boss has offered an overnight stay after the meeting if it’s too much to do in one day.
    This is not a decision made to benefit the business, but rather down to one individuals prefetence. I’ve checked today to make sure this is not the company making this change.
    My boss has tried speaking to the individual, but they refuse to budge.
    I don’t want to go down the route of using my arthritis unless I really have to. I’d rather be seen to at least try.
    As said before I have the support of my colleagues and boss, but I was interested to hear opinions / advice from people outside the situation.
     
  15. RETIRED2017

    RETIRED2017 Frequent Poster

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    You may have to take him up on the overnight stay for H&S reasons,
    Good luck hope everything work's out for you,
     
  16. Clamball

    Clamball Frequent Poster

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    Thanks for the further explanations. Can you talk to the person who organised it for the Monday, and ask if they change the meeting to a Tuesday, Wed or Thursday so that you can drive up the night before. I am sure they will ask why, but you should be fine saying for valid personal reasons you are unable to drive for 4 hours, sit for 6 and drive another 4 hours after that. I am sure they will be resistant to change so then you need to approach HR (possibly with supporting letter from you GP) saying you need an accommodation on this meeting once a month to reorganise it to a different day so you can attend without making you ill for days.

    This should do the trick and HR should not disclose to the organiser the reason why either. I normally find when people have a valid reason it simplifies everything. It is obvious from your posts you were reticent to disclose your medical issues so your colleagues might just see it like we did - just suck it up and do it. So having a valid issue and not disclosing it to all and sundry is fine too. Your doctor does not have to give details either, just confirm the medical necessity to rest after travelling.
     
  17. Seagull

    Seagull Frequent Poster

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    How many people attend this meeting, and what days would suit the majority? What role does this one person have that they get to decide what day the meeting is on? What reason has been given for the change in day?