Making Ends Meet; a Story About Riley

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It’s never easy, is it?

In today’s climate, we as individuals are more and more often living to work instead of working to live. It can be disheartening, stressful and demoralising – we understand these feelings all too well.

You want more hours but they’re unavailable. You need a pay increase but there’s no budget for it. You just want to make ends meet, but you’re hitting a brick wall.

Nobody that wants to work should be denied the opportunity; Especially when those opportunities are everywhere and are going unutilised.

Let me tell you about Riley.

Riley has a zero-hour contract on a 20 hour a week basis.

The hours aren’t guaranteed or protected.

Riley turns up for their typical 5 hour shift.

An hour before Riley’s shift ends, the manager on shift asks them to stay an extra 3 hours. However, Riley has made plans. Why wouldn’t they, when they have the rest of the day completely free?

Riley declines and is subsequently made to feel guilty and concerned for future overtime opportunities.

If Riley had been given proper notice, and not been expected to have to cover others shifts, or pick up the slack just for the chance of extra hours, then perhaps the system would actually work.

It’s a scenario that I’m sure more than a few of you have experienced. You want the hours but you have to be available every minute of the day to have any chance of getting them. You say no once and you’re branded for the foreseeable future as unreliable.

It’s an archaic and unfair system that benefits nobody and yet it’s still used to this day.

For change to take place we must first find the solutions…

What if there was a system that could cater any last minute shift coverages with individuals eager to do so? Riley is no longer the “baddy”, The manager isn’t left short-handed and the business doesn’t lose money.

What if this system also helped individuals, perhaps those with zero-hour or part-time contracts, find additional hours to suit their needs?

A system that benefits everybody involved?

That would be a true revolution…

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