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I need advice - work related issues


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#1 desiree78

Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:32 PM

I am at my wits' end with my job and would like some advice. I believe I am being bullied or call it however you want...I am not sure if this is the right word to use. Basically I have been in this position since April 2012. I am doing payroll in a medium company. The HR manager was in charge of this until I got the job. When I started I have noticed a lot of inaccuracies which I brought up to my direct manager and her manager, the CEO of the company. I have corrected everything which meant huge savings for the company. Obviously the HR manager does not like me and since then she always makes my work difficult by not providing me with the right information, by giving me the information late which means I have to do a lot of backpayments that take a lot of time. She is good firend with my direct supervisor, who is her supervisor as well, so whatever complaints I make about all these issues my supervisor takes no action so she doesn't damage their relationship. In a few occasions I went to the CEO with letter of complaints but he sent me back to my supervisor telling me to follow the line of command.
My supervisor does similar things as well, by increasing my duties unjustified. The latest example is: All employees are required to have their time sheets authorised by their direct manager. The manager then places the time sheets in a designated tray by 10AM monday. I only work Mon and Tue so I am extremely busy and don't have the time to chase everybody up. We have one department where every fortnight the manager is slack and does not bring the time sheets. I have discussed the issue with him, the CEO even talked to him but nothing has improved. This week he came into my office on Tue lunch time and said that he will bring me three missing time sheets shortly. He never returned. So I processed the three employees with normal hrs without any overtime as I did not get the time sheets on time. My supervisor was on leave until today so I got an email (cc HR manager and CEO) telling me that if I don't get the time sheets on time it is my responsibility to go and chase everybody up. Well sorry lady but there is a procedure in place that everybody follows and I really don't have the time to do this...so it would be more beneficial to discuss the matter with me as she is well aware that this was not the first time happening. And it's not that I haven't paid him, I just didn't process his overtime.
Another issue with my supervisor is asking me to do things I don't agree with and that I believe are illegal like processing wrong payments when I showed her that it is incorrect but she said that it is not viable for her to spend time answering employees as to why things are different (to explain it really quick - the employees have the wrong annual balance in the system. I have re calculated it for each one individually and of course some lost hrs and some gained hrs. Because of a clause in the award we had to pay the leave loading and it was paid on the numbers from the system, not the corrected ones which meant some people lost up to $2000 while others were paid more than they should have)
I started to be very stressed and have panic attacks every time I go to work and I don't know what to do. Obviously this message has just 1% of what is happening. I can't afford to be out of the job as we don't have money but I am also thinking about my own health. I did start looking for a job but the market is bad at the moment as people are still on holidays. What can I do? What would you do if you were in my position?

#2 mollybot

Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:41 PM

Start looking for a new job. Seriously.

Also, and I'm sure I will be howled down here, but anyway: just do your job. Work to rule. Do no more or no less than you are being asked to.

Do not "help' by doing extra work that shows up how badly things were done before. Neither your Boss nor your Boss's Boss want to know.

You are not responsible for the legality or otherwise of the payment of annual balances - your Boss is, she's been told and doesn't want to know - she's the one legally responsible. Forget about it.

If you're given more work than you can handle ie: chasing up timesheets just say "Sorry - I physically don't have time to do that. Do you want to give me more hours ?"

You sound like a very hardworking, conscientious person, which makes you a PITA for a slacker, incompetent Boss.

Keep your head down, your mouth shut and just do your job.

And leave as fast as possible.

Can you do bookkeeping for Tradies and small businesses at home ?

PS: I worked in the Public Service for 15 years biggrin.gif biggrin.gif Hence the bad attitude..... wink.gif

Edited by mollybot, 24 January 2013 - 12:42 PM.


#3 EuphoricDysphoria

Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:49 PM

If they are asking you to do illegal stuff then can't you report them to the ATO or whomever deals with it?

Actively look for another job and keep notes so that you can dob them in AFTER you leave. I would also get in touch with Fairwork Australia and have a chat with them.

Are they an Australian company? Do they have someone higher up the food chain you could get to see about it?

#4 desiree78

Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:51 PM

It's in my nature to do my job as good as I can. I am normally employed to work two days but I work a lot from home. It is impossible for me to finish all payroll related duties for 180 employees that are on 5 different awards in 15 hrs....

#5 mpjp

Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:52 PM

Obviously this is a complex issue - it's difficult to advise when we've only been given a very small part of the background.

Personally I believe that if you are unhappy at work then you need to take some control, assess the situation as to whether you think that some positive changes can be made, and if they CAN'T, then look for a position in which you'll be happier. Life is too short to battle at something you don't enjoy for multiple reasons.

I also think that on reading this (and making many assumptions that may be incorrect) that you perhaps need to look at how you contributed to this situation yourself. Just a few things:

- discussing the HR Managers many, many errors with her AND the CEO in the first instance was a big, big mistake. Look at it from his/ her point of view...and you might think about how you contributed to the development of a poor working relationship with her! How would you feel if your new employee brought up all your mistakes with YOUR manager? I would have done this only after I had tried, multiple times and in multiople ways to sort in our with her first.

- you need to show more ownership in your role. No it might not be in your 'job description' to chase things down....but in the example you gave you could have communicated. And really how long does an email or a quick call take? Even if it's just "you did mention to me you'd have thsoe timesheets in by 3pm. If I don't get them by then I'll be unable to process the pay in time for the bank (or whatever". The "I haven't recieved those time sheets - I'll need to process normal pay only". And if you don't have time - discuss this on another occasion - maybe your role is changing and your hours need to reflect this.

- I don't know how big this organisation (and I say this with respect to your position), unless it is really, really small....running to the CEO everytime you have an issue is very poor form. It's unusual that a CEO would get so involved in small issues, or even staff issues, unless it is a last line escalation. You SHOULD follow the lines of 'command' and only after you get no satisfaction escalate the issue up the line.

- Sometimes you just need to breathe in and breathe out. Yes it would be great to say "I wont pay people who don't have their timesheet in" and then let the responsible manager deal with the fall out....it's not the way to create an environemnt conducive to happy, positive working relationships. Sometimes we just have to suck it up!!!

I can't comment on the illegals as I am not sure I followed that bit correctly.

You do have my sympathy  and I hope I haven't been too harsh. I am an HR Manager who has accountability for payroll (I don't actually DO it) so I do understand the frustrations involved.

#6 desiree78

Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:54 PM

I can report them but obviously I still need now to be paid so I can pay my bills. I started keeping a diary and made a copy of my outlook emails. There are a few illegal things going on but I am also not aware of the confidentiality clause from my initial contract? Would it be a breach if I tell ATO what is going on?
Yes, it is an Australian Company and the CEO is the highest I can talk to. The board of directors are in UK but I have never met them nor do I have their contact details.

#7 JustBeige

Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:59 PM

I would start documenting stuff in email and cc'ing in relevant people.  ie: the dude that didnt bring the timesheet back.   After about 15mins, I would send him a Cutoff reminder email stating that he had till xyz time to bring the paperwork or this weeks will be processed without change.

The extra things - if they come and ask you, send them a 'just reconfirming what you want me to do' email.   I would also send "unfortunately my hours dont allow me to xyz" emails to them also.   Dont forget to add the sentence "as discussed" so that they know that they cant say that they didnt know.

They may not respond but at least you have it in writing.

I would work this way while I was definitely looking for other work.

I would also call Fair Work Australia and have a chat to them.



#8 desiree78

Posted 24 January 2013 - 01:04 PM

QUOTE (meplainjanebrain @ 24/01/2013, 01:52 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Obviously this is a complex issue - it's difficult to advise when we've only been given a very small part of the background.

Personally I believe that if you are unhappy at work then you need to take some control, assess the situation as to whether you think that some positive changes can be made, and if they CAN'T, then look for a position in which you'll be happier. Life is too short to battle at something you don't enjoy for multiple reasons.

I also think that on reading this (and making many assumptions that may be incorrect) that you perhaps need to look at how you contributed to this situation yourself. Just a few things:

- discussing the HR Managers many, many errors with her AND the CEO in the first instance was a big, big mistake. Look at it from his/ her point of view...and you might think about how you contributed to the development of a poor working relationship with her! How would you feel if your new employee brought up all your mistakes with YOUR manager? I would have done this only after I had tried, multiple times and in multiople ways to sort in our with her first.


To start with I received my training from the HR manager. I then started to question her as to why this and that is like this if the award states something else. The only response I got was that "this is how we do it". I tried to change it and she told me to change it from 1 July with the new financial year so the employees don't question her. I am sorry but I didn't agree to wait and wrongly pay the employees for 3 months so I can cover her a**


- you need to show more ownership in your role. No it might not be in your 'job description' to chase things down....but in the example you gave you could have communicated. And really how long does an email or a quick call take? Even if it's just "you did mention to me you'd have thsoe timesheets in by 3pm. If I don't get them by then I'll be unable to process the pay in time for the bank (or whatever". The "I haven't recieved those time sheets - I'll need to process normal pay only". And if you don't have time - discuss this on another occasion - maybe your role is changing and your hours need to reflect this.

As I mentioned before I have communicated - this has happened every fortnight for the last 6 months. I was busy on Tuesday and I thought that this might also teach them to bring the time sheets on time. It was not the first time when I explained this to the manager.

- I don't know how big this organisation (and I say this with respect to your position), unless it is really, really small....running to the CEO everytime you have an issue is very poor form. It's unusual that a CEO would get so involved in small issues, or even staff issues, unless it is a last line escalation. You SHOULD follow the lines of 'command' and only after you get no satisfaction escalate the issue up the line.

Because I tried to sort an issue with my manager and both of us had different points of view (it was in regards to my contract so it was an employment problem) I tried to seek his advice. He is the next person in command after my supervisor - I had no other person to go to.

- Sometimes you just need to breathe in and breathe out. Yes it would be great to say "I wont pay people who don't have their timesheet in" and then let the responsible manager deal with the fall out....it's not the way to create an environemnt conducive to happy, positive working relationships. Sometimes we just have to suck it up!!!

As I said, this is just a minor part of the drama that is going on so I was following your advice in the beginning but I just can't do it anymore....

I can't comment on the illegals as I am not sure I followed that bit correctly.

You do have my sympathy  and I hope I haven't been too harsh. I am an HR Manager who has accountability for payroll (I don't actually DO it) so I do understand the frustrations involved.


#9 PrincessPeach

Posted 24 January 2013 - 01:06 PM

QUOTE (desiree78 @ 24/01/2013, 12:54 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I can report them but obviously I still need now to be paid so I can pay my bills. I started keeping a diary and made a copy of my outlook emails. There are a few illegal things going on but I am also not aware of the confidentiality clause from my initial contract? Would it be a breach if I tell ATO what is going on?


Nope.

The illegality of the act overrides any confidentiality clauses. Also the ASIC is the governing body for companies & may also be a good place to look for help - just search their website.

ATO: 1800 060 062 - to report tax evasion
ASIC: all reports need to be made in writing.

#10 mpjp

Posted 24 January 2013 - 01:09 PM

QUOTE (desiree78 @ 24/01/2013, 01:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Obviously the HR manager does not like me and since then she always makes my work difficult by not providing me with the right information, by giving me the information late which means I have to do a lot of backpayments that take a lot of time. She is good firend with my direct supervisor, who is her supervisor as well,



Oh sorry - from this I thought there was at least one person in between the HR Manager and the CEO....


As I said - complex as you stated that this only represents 1% of the situation. I'd be looking for another job - even knowing yo are doing that can help your stress levels!

#11 desiree78

Posted 24 January 2013 - 02:04 PM

If I call FWA can they offer me advice or do I need to first lodge a formal complaint?

#12 elegie

Posted 24 January 2013 - 03:15 PM

I won't comment on the big things because I have no knowledge in any of that, but I have a little suggestion for following up time sheets.

How about CCing the actual employee when chasing up managers for time sheets? If you prepare an email to send, say, half an hour before time sheets are due, warning that if they're not received by X time then any overtime etc won't be processed, and include all relevant employees in the email, they will probably do the work for you and follow up with their managers for fear of not getting paid their dues.

This is what happens here - if HR haven't received time sheets, they will email the employee and CC managers, so everyone is in the loop.

#13 desiree78

Posted 24 January 2013 - 06:46 PM

QUOTE (elegie @ 24/01/2013, 04:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I won't comment on the big things because I have no knowledge in any of that, but I have a little suggestion for following up time sheets.

How about CCing the actual employee when chasing up managers for time sheets? If you prepare an email to send, say, half an hour before time sheets are due, warning that if they're not received by X time then any overtime etc won't be processed, and include all relevant employees in the email, they will probably do the work for you and follow up with their managers for fear of not getting paid their dues.

This is what happens here - if HR haven't received time sheets, they will email the employee and CC managers, so everyone is in the loop.


Thanks Elegie for the advice...

#14 bonnybabe

Posted 24 January 2013 - 07:02 PM

1. place a  piece of paper in the trays or whatever at your cut off time.
2. send out a blanket email reminder to the managers when you first get in on monday morning.
3. send out an email to the managers you know are late at cut off, cc your manager.

everytime you are asked to do something or change something, even if it is verbal, send back a confirmation email - as discussed I will xyz for employee B.

4. get your resume up to date and look for another job.

5. Never go over your manager's head - its a CLM - Career Limiting Move.  Next time just document it all and wait for the sh*t to hit the fan, then bring out all those emails which you have stored in your "CYA" folder - (Cover Your Ass).  You did the right thing, your manager gets in the sh*t.

#15 desiree78

Posted 24 January 2013 - 07:35 PM

QUOTE (bonnybabe @ 24/01/2013, 08:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
1. place a  piece of paper in the trays or whatever at your cut off time.
2. send out a blanket email reminder to the managers when you first get in on monday morning.
3. send out an email to the managers you know are late at cut off, cc your manager.

everytime you are asked to do something or change something, even if it is verbal, send back a confirmation email - as discussed I will xyz for employee B.

4. get your resume up to date and look for another job.

5. Never go over your manager's head - its a CLM - Career Limiting Move.  Next time just document it all and wait for the sh*t to hit the fan, then bring out all those emails which you have stored in your "CYA" folder - (Cover Your Ass).  You did the right thing, your manager gets in the sh*t.


The problem is that I am really really busy with my work - I do not take breaks, I don't eat, I probably go once or twice to the toilet, I start at 7 an finish at around 5.30-6pm. I don't have the time to chase everybody up for their timesheets and send emails - we are talking here about a department with 30 employees. As for point 5 - I never went over my manager's head if it wasn't necessary - but when she is not good at her job and has no idea about the legislation and interpreting awards then I have to seek a second opinion. I can't accept her opinion just because she is my manager and whatever she says is law.

I am looking for a job! Anyone has any positions available  biggrin.gif




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