Must be able to work weekends.. why this statement is such a killer and the direct link to your tax bill and the ‘benefits culture’ – how so many industries are getting it WRONG

We all just accept things the way they are, instead of standing up and pointing out how a simple stubborn decision, or comments such as ‘that’s just the way it is’ have such a detrimental impact, not only on the individual but on society as a whole, not only our wellbeing but our economy. We are starting to talk more about flexible working, which is great, for me that is essentially about not discriminating against somebody who needs to leave at 4:30 instead of 5:30 because of our disjointed work and childcare system, but I know it is important for so many other reasons too. Before childcare I had stress around mortgage and maintenance etc and I just needed the occasional hour or two to deal with stuff. Making calls at 9 and getting to the office for 10 and working an hour later would have been perfect for me at that stage of life, so we all have our needs, for simple sanity and humane living.

But yesterday I had a painful reminder of how Saturday working directly increases our tax bill, discriminates, and is a large part of the problem of our so called ‘benefits culture’. Quite frankly it infuriates me, but knowing it is genuine ignorance that drives these decisions, I try to educate instead of curse.

A Saturday job isn’t just a teenage thing, it was acceptable, or should I say easy when I was 14 to find a Saturday job, it was also easy for me to work Saturdays when I didn’t have a dependent. When I worked Monday to Friday, I wanted a Saturday job in my late 20’s and early 30’s to top up my income, that was more difficult, as not many people employed for just Saturdays, so normally I would work in a bar on a Friday Saturday night, but I would have preferred a day job, as I did like my social life.

Yesterday, one of my members, and a dear friend thought she had found a perfect job, close to school, in school hours, and her face lit up, like things were finally starting to get better – let me rewind. Two years ago she was happily married with a wee one and a baby on the way, it makes me feel sick to say so I will say it quickly; on his way home from work her husband was killed crossing the road, I cannot even begin to describe how she barely functioned thereafter, looking after her baby, giving birth to another, losing their family home, needing to ask for benefits, dealing with HMRC demanding tax from her late husband; watching her survive is inexplicable. Two years later she is doing an incredible job alone with her two children and to see her face when she heard of this job was something else…

Then the news, sorry but you can’t work Saturdays and it won’t be fair to the other girls who do….

You could boil your eggs in my blood right now.

Retail, hospitality, care, estate agency, all of these sectors and more discriminate against primary carers and lack the intellect to employ weekend workers and weekday workers; it’s not that hard! If you can’t manage that you can’t manage. The most trustworthy and reliable work force are locked out of work because of this rigid mindset. You have those with children who can deliver excellence in the week, and you have a mix of mature, intelligent, young, energetic, vibrant people who would love to work Saturdays. It’s not only students who want a Saturday job. The MAJORITY of families in the UK are struggling, and a Saturday job would be a lifeline, whether that is somebody in their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s or 60’s and so on.

BREAK THE MOULD, LEAD. Please do not ever complain about your tax bill or the benefits culture if this is you. My heart bleeds, literally.

The only issue I see is the difference between minimum wage for those over 23, in which case can the Gov please offer an incentive to employers to bridge this gap, an incentive would still be a lesser cost than benefits to the UK tax bill. These decisions impact debt, depression, benefits, food banks, family time and more..

Meanwhile – I celebrate Flexible Working People – Real jobs for real pay for real people – offered by real leaders.

A very frustrated Jules

Always sharing with love and hope for a better future x

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