Author Topic: Working practices  (Read 5105 times)

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dirtyweasel

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Re: Working practices
« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2013, 03:55:19 PM »
I think one of the biggest things is that America is one of the few countries that doesn't have mandatory paid maternity/paternity/adoption leave laws.  They basically allow businesses and companies to write their own policies in regards to paid maternity/paternity leave.  For most of the companies I've worked for they make you take it out of your vacation and sick time allotment and anything after that you're SOL. 




Katana_Geldar

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Re: Working practices
« Reply #16 on: December 21, 2013, 04:17:10 PM »
Parental leave here does cover adoptions as well as newborn babies. I think there's a government scheme if employers don't have it, but DH's work does.

A lot of these entitlements go way back in our history. Australia has had a long history of unions and they hold considerable powers of negotiation in workplaces. There's none of the links with organised crime (as far as I know) like in the US and banning union membership as happens over there would never happen here. Priority for workers rights has a long, complicated history.

I don't want to go into politics, just wanted to explain a bit of background. I've studied Australian and American history, and the American history lecturer couldn't quite explain why the US didn't have a labour movement like other vortices. It's like the exception.

perpetua

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Re: Working practices
« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2013, 06:55:36 PM »
There are certainly "bank holidays." However, I've never intentionally had a holiday off. I didn't work Halloween because I wasn't on the schedule for that particular day. I worked Thanksgiving and Black Friday, and I'm only getting Christmas Eve off because that's the way my bosses worked the schedule - those who could work Christmas Eve work then and then everyone else works Christmas Day, and no one's working more than 4 - 5 hours at a time. In movie theater business, you work when they need you to work, and tough luck on everything else.

Bank holidays: We get Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year's Day, (lots of people take the whole week in between Christmas and New Year and use a few days of their entitlement to do so). We also get Good Friday & Easter Monday which makes a nice 4-day weekend. Then there are the 'bank holiday Mondays', which are 2 days in May (one at the start and one at the end) and Summer Bank Holiday at the end of August. These days are usually given over and above your annual holiday entitlement.

If you work in retail or something similar and have to work a bank holiday there's usually a premium for doing so (perhaps time and a half? Been a long time since I worked in retail so it may have changed).

We don't have anything like Labour Day or Memorial Day/Veterans Day (we do Remembrance Sunday, but because it's a Sunday it isn't a public holiday) but we did get an extra bank holiday when Wills & Kate tied the knot :)

On the subject of maternity leave: We get 26 weeks 'ordinary maternity leave' and that can be extended a further 26 'additional maternity leave'. As far as I know, your employer must keep your job open during that time and you can still decide not to go back to work at the end of it and leave. I think (but don't quote me on that). When you're on maternity leave you get Statutory Maternity Pay for 39 weeks, which is 90% of your average weekly earnings (before tax) for the first 6 weeks then £136.78 or 90% of your average weekly earnings (whichever is lower) for the next 33 weeks.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2013, 07:00:41 PM by perpetua »

Psychopoesie

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Re: Working practices
« Reply #18 on: December 21, 2013, 07:10:14 PM »
Personal covers sick leave, carers leave etc and while it carries over from year to year if I leave my job I loose it. I've currently got over 1000 hours built up, handy if I or the kids get very sick! We can use it in one hours blocks which is good for appointments.

I was going to ask about that. Here you generally don't have to take leave to go to dr's appts and the like but again I suppose this depends on your employer. Everywhere I've ever worked you just book an early morning or late afternoon appointment and come in a bit late or leave a bit early. The most I've ever had to do is work through my lunch to make up the time, and that was very rarely.

During my last job I had to have several hospital appointments and I was allowed to take the morning/afternoon for them without it coming off my holiday entitlement.

In Oz, the medical appointments would be coming out of your person leave (sick leave), not recreation leave (unless you used up all your other entitlements). When I worked for the government, we also had flextime provisions so I could use that to make up the time I spent at a medical appointment. Most bosses would have been happy to approve an afternoon off or whatever via flex. However, if I used personal (sick) leave to go, I wouldn't have to ask permission, just tell them I was going and when.

camlan

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Re: Working practices
« Reply #19 on: December 21, 2013, 08:07:37 PM »
In the US there are no Federal laws concerning how many hours a week you can work, days off with pay, days off without pay, holidays. So the individual states have made their own laws, and there is a great deal of variety. There are Federal regulations regarding minimum wage, and what positions can be salaried or hourly, and how employers must compensate their employees.

Federal government employees get the following holidays, and many employers use this list as a guide.

New Year's Day
Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Washington's Birthday or Presidents Day
Memorial Day
Independence Day
Labor Day
Columbus Day
Veterans Day
Thanksgiving Day
Christmas

Schools usually get all these holidays off, if they occur during the school year. But not private employers give all these days off. The ones most people get are New Year's, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. MKL Day, Presidents Day, Columbus Day and Veterans Day vary from employer to employer. I've had them all off, and I've had to work on them with no extra compensation--it's completely at the whim of your workplace.

Since 1993, we've had the Family Medical Leave Act. This is the first legislation that protects a person's job if they are out for several weeks due to medical reasons, including pregnancy. FMLA is only required if your company has 50 or more employees. It allows for up to 12 weeks unpaid medical leave. After that, your employer can fire you or decide to allow you more unpaid leave. The Act only requires that the employer take you back at an equivalent position--they don't have to hold your specific job for you, although I think most do.

You can also use those 12 weeks of leave to care for certain family members if they are ill--your spouse, your child, your parents.

Sick leave and vacation varies. One place I worked gave us three sick days per year, and you started at one week of vacation and earned an additional day every year you worked there, up to a max of 10 vacation days a year, if you worked there for 6 years. Another place gave us 22 days of sick leave a year and two weeks vacation the first two years and three weeks every year after that, plus 3.5 "personal" days that we could use anytime we wanted. My department had to work most weekday holidays, so we were given a "floating" holiday that we could use anytime after that holiday occurred.
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Katana_Geldar

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Re: Working practices
« Reply #20 on: December 21, 2013, 08:36:54 PM »
One thing that was brought up was indiscriminate firing. That doesn't happen here if you work full time, though it is easier to get rid of someone during the three month probation period.

If you work casual, then they can just not give you hours.

kherbert05

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Re: Working practices
« Reply #21 on: December 21, 2013, 08:59:20 PM »
Texas Teacher here
If you teach in public school the state requires that you receive 5 days per year of personal leave. There is no limit on accumulation and they are transferable between districts. Basically this is part of your base pay that the state pays the district.


Districts can offer pay above the base pay and most do. They can also have local leave days - most do. Some districts require that you use your state days before local days. Mine doesn't I'll have 60 state days at the end of this year and mid 40's in local days.


This is the part that confuses me. We were told point blank last year we are Exempt employees under federal law and that if he wanted to make us stay till midnight for meetings he could and we wouldn't be due one red cent overtime. (He being our then principal who was having a temper tantrum). I did some checking and everything says he was basically right. (Except for the fact they turn off the AC at 6 pm and there was a possibility of putting forth the argument that that made the building unsafe to work in.)


But I in my searches I turned up several sources that said that while the above was true there was an additional rule that said exempt employees could not be docked pay if they worked either part of the day or part of the week. If the part of the week part is true - then my district is up to something hinky. A couple of staff members ran out of days. (I admit I have no sympathy for one because she took off for fun stuff, then got sick. The other has a chronically ill child.) They both had their pay docked even though they worked part of the week.
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CakeBeret

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Re: Working practices
« Reply #22 on: December 21, 2013, 09:01:37 PM »
On the subject of maternity leave: We get 26 weeks 'ordinary maternity leave' and that can be extended a further 26 'additional maternity leave'. As far as I know, your employer must keep your job open during that time and you can still decide not to go back to work at the end of it and leave. I think (but don't quote me on that). When you're on maternity leave you get Statutory Maternity Pay for 39 weeks, which is 90% of your average weekly earnings (before tax) for the first 6 weeks then £136.78 or 90% of your average weekly earnings (whichever is lower) for the next 33 weeks.

Every time I hear about other countries' maternity leave policies I feel almost sick. When I had my DS I only had one week of paid leave, and I was back to work when he was three weeks old because we just didn't make enough for me to be out of work longer.
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perpetua

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Re: Working practices
« Reply #23 on: December 21, 2013, 09:07:41 PM »
One thing that was brought up was indiscriminate firing. That doesn't happen here if you work full time, though it is easier to get rid of someone during the three month probation period.

If you work casual, then they can just not give you hours.

Ah yes, that's what we had so much difficulty with in the chef discussion.

We don't have 'at will' employment here either, as far as I'm aware. There are very strict processes an employer has to go through to fire someone and they can't just fire you because they don't like the cut of your jib or for spurious reasons. Failure to adhere to these processes can land the employer with an unfair dismissal case at an employment tribunal if the employee has been there for over a year (or less in the case of some kinds of dismissals). It may be somewhat easier to get rid of someone during a probationary period, but it's usually written into your contract that during probation only one weeks' notice is required on either side, if the employer deems it to be not working out.

Notice periods are another thing, and they generally tend to go by how often you get paid, so if you're paid monthly you have to give a month's notice and vice versa if the employer wants to let you go. It'll be in your contract how much you have to give (or how much you're owed).
« Last Edit: December 21, 2013, 09:11:16 PM by perpetua »

Sharnita

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Re: Working practices
« Reply #24 on: December 21, 2013, 09:16:18 PM »
As far as schools getting all of those days off, that is not the case in my experience.  I've taught on Columbus Day and President's Day pretty regularly.  Sometimes schools will be "off" on those days for kids but teachers have a work day.

Library Dragon

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Re: Working practices
« Reply #25 on: December 21, 2013, 09:55:27 PM »
Vacation does vary greatly.  DH's experience has varied from separate vacation and sick time at one hospital to everything being considered paid time off at another.

At my library non library degreed employees start with:

10 days paid vacation (available after the first 90 days) working up to 15
3 personal days per year
12 days paid sick days
Paid holidays that include
New Year's Day
Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Memorial Day
Independence Day
Labor Day
Veterans Day
Thanksgiving Day
Friday after Thanksgiving
Christmas Eve
Christmas

Librarians start with 15 days and work up to 20

We can roll over 3 weeks of vacation and unlimited sick days.

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Syrse

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Re: Working practices
« Reply #26 on: December 21, 2013, 10:00:06 PM »
I'll throw in the Belgian system for comparison  :)

- 20 days paid leave, not counting the official holidays (12). If you have to work a holiday, you get an extra day off to replace it.
- If you're sick, you call in sick, but you go to the doctor to provide a legal document stating that you are indeed incapable of work. Sick days are payed as well.
- Maternity leave: 15 weeks. (16 for twins :p)
- The right to breastfeed: employers have to provide a room, a fridge and the time for you to pump.
- Father's leave, 10 days. Starts the day your child is born. The company pays two days, healthcare the remaining 8.
- Parental leave: four months per child per parent, to be used before they turn 12. You can take it all at once, or in parts, or go down to part-time while keeping your original contract.
- I forgot what it's called, but... there's all these days you can get for emergencies as well. Like, for funerals, weddings, child being in the hospital, etc. I remember getting married gets you three days off. funerals generally one or two, depending.

If you're out sick for a prolonged time, or for maternity leave, they have to keep your contract open until you return.

Over here, working without a contract is illegal. I find the 'at will' system very strange and alarming, and would never want to work under it. If you quit, you have to give the company notice. If you get fired, you get notice as well, and they have to have documented reason. Of course there are exceptions that will make your dismissal immediate, like stealing, or violence.

And of course there's minimum wage, and your hours are stipulated in your contract.

Of course, the companies still have leeway to write up their own rules. At my work for instance, you can't take off the week between christmas and new years eve (because, well, we're a foodstore), and there's rules about who gets dibs on the school holidays (hint, it's people with kids in school :p).
« Last Edit: December 21, 2013, 10:01:51 PM by Syrse »

Bluenomi

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Re: Working practices
« Reply #27 on: December 21, 2013, 10:39:06 PM »
On the subject of maternity leave: We get 26 weeks 'ordinary maternity leave' and that can be extended a further 26 'additional maternity leave'. As far as I know, your employer must keep your job open during that time and you can still decide not to go back to work at the end of it and leave. I think (but don't quote me on that). When you're on maternity leave you get Statutory Maternity Pay for 39 weeks, which is 90% of your average weekly earnings (before tax) for the first 6 weeks then £136.78 or 90% of your average weekly earnings (whichever is lower) for the next 33 weeks.

Every time I hear about other countries' maternity leave policies I feel almost sick. When I had my DS I only had one week of paid leave, and I was back to work when he was three weeks old because we just didn't make enough for me to be out of work longer.

That's horrible! I'd be upset as well. I get 14 weeks at full pay from work (which I'm taking at half pay for 28 weeks) plus 18 at minimum wage from the federal government. Add some long service leave and annual leave and I've got almost 15 months off at pretty much half pay the whole time.

DH gets 4 weeks parental leave from his work but because I had a c section he took 6 weeks carers leave and will use his parental leave a bit later.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Working practices
« Reply #28 on: December 21, 2013, 10:48:39 PM »
Maternity/parental leave here is excellent, almost good enough to make me want to have kids.   ;)

The mother can take a total of 52 weeks off and still come back to her job.  The first 18 weeks is at one rate, the next 17 at another and the final 17 I think may be at a lower rate again.  Fathers can take some of the time off, too, but the amount of time they take off reduces the amount of time the mother takes off.  We had one guy in our office who's wife was self employed and didn't have maternity benefits so he ended up taking 34 or 35 weeks off himself and since my job tops up what you get from employment insurance, he got something like 80% of his salary while being off for that time.  Some of the other guys in my office have taken some of the parental leave, too, usually just the last 17 weeks.

For government and bank employees, there are 12 statutory holidays a year:  New Year's Day, Family Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Victoria Day, Canada Day, Civic Holiday, Labour Day, Thanksgiving, Remembrance Day, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.  Easter Monday, Civic Holiday and Remembrance Day aren't official stats so some companies don't give those.  My former place of work made Easter Monday and Remembrance Day 'floating' holidays so you could take those on whatever day you wanted.  The idea was to allow non-Christians to use 'stat' holidays to take their high holy days off.  But it meant that someone had to work and if everyone wanted Easter Monday off, you had to figure out who was working and usually the most junior member got the short end of the stick.

Vacation and sick time are separate.  At my previous work, I would get 4 sick periods.  If I was out for more than 2 days at a time, my supervisor could ask for a doctor's note.  If I was out a 5th time, the first 2 days would be unpaid, unless I was hospitalized.  Where I am now, I get 6 sick days at full pay and 124 days at 2/3 pay.  You will be called in for an interview with your supervisor if you are off for more than 8 or 9 days in a year.  Our sick days are not carried over year to year. 

Both places I worked very generously started with 15 days vacation/yr but you'd have to work for 8 or 9 years before you got more and then another 6 or 7 years before you got more again.  The most days you will ever get is 30.  Vacation days are sometimes 'carryable'.  Where I used to be, I could only carry forward 5 days, unless there was a valid reason to carry more, in writing, that your supervisor could approve or not.  You would get paid out if you couldn't carry them forward.  Where I am now, you are allowed to carry your entire yearly allotment forward.  So if I carried all 15 days to next year, I'd have a total of 30 days.  But I'd have to use 15 days before the end of the year and only carry forward 15 days.  As your vacation allotment goes up, so does your carryover capability.  But if you don't use them?  You lose them; there is no payout, AFAIK.

We get some bereavement leave for funerals of close family - 2 or 3 days but only one day for an Aunt or Uncle!  We also have 3 days of compassionate leave, that are granted at the supervisor's discretion.

ETA:  We can also get 'Family Leave' up to 18 weeks for things like caring for a dying parent or something.  It is unpaid but your (a?) job has to be waiting for you when you go back.
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Wordgeek

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Re: Working practices
« Reply #29 on: December 22, 2013, 12:02:16 PM »
In this folder, the mods often get reports of concerns regarding political content.  From the forum rules:
Quote
Discussions on politics and religion are not typically germane to this forum. The caveat to this rule is when discussions of politics or religious beliefs or practices can illuminate other people's understanding of different religions and cultures so that tolerance is promoted.

So that's your guiding light.  See the full post on forum rules here: http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=2.0

Edited for HTML issues.