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I’m stewing over my new work shift pattern


DEAR DEIDRE: SINCE returning to work after the pandemic, everything has changed.

I’m a 24-year-old chef and I have been employed without a contract.

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I used to do set hours each week and one weekend in three.

A new girl started in the kitchen when we opened the restaurant again. She had no cooking experience and she was on more money than me.

She said she didn’t have to work weekends at all because she has a kid. Two more staff started, doing easy hours with more money.

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I complained to my boss and the next day he gave me a contract – but it’s working three weekends in four.

If I sign it, I’ll lose the extra hours I’ve worked which I should get in lieu. I’ll never be able to have a social life.

DEIDRE SAYS: It is not right that you will lose hours you have already worked, so ask the boss if you can still take the time off in lieu that you are owed.

You may now get other benefits – a workplace pension, for instance – so don’t dismiss it straight away.

Your boss recognises you are a good employee, so ask them whether you can negotiate your hours and pay.

Acas can help with employee rights (, 0300 123 1100).

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