From time to time in catering, something comes along that revolutionises the way we work. You can think of things like Maltodextrin or even Rational Ovens, but something much more important is about to change the way we work in this industry forever.
“Onesided Flexibility” is soon to become outlawed in catering and heralds a change in the relationship between Employer and Employee of seismic proportions, but what exactly is Onesided Flexibility?
In short, it’s a working relationship that sees the benefit mainly for the Employer, onesided. The obvious example in our profession would be Split Shifts. This Victorian practice of work where your entire day is spent on work, but you are only paid for the hours you do, or even worse still the abhorrent practise of AFD shifts of 12hrs plus, these practices save the employer money but abuses our social and mental welfare.
Soon both of these practises will cease, and Employers will be forced to realise that shifts MUST benefit both sides in order to create a good working relationship. There will also be adjustments to Zero Hours working and Employers will soon have to adjust their contracts to ensure that you have a balanced work schedule with a minimum set day/hour rota pattern for both parties to adhere to.
The vile practice of cutting shifts without notice or even worse in the middle of a shift when things become slow will also be abolished as the government have recognised the importance of workers being able to sustain rent and a mortgage and so must be able to rely on a dependable work structure.
There will also be a national system of whistleblowing and reporting so that employees will, for the first time ever, be able to deal with issues directly and in confidence.
Employers must stop exploiting chefs in the way they have for many decades. The Government’s vision of a fairer way of working in partnership with Employees must now be embraced by all and The National Chefs Union will be playing a big part in shaping that future.
The Pandemic has made everyone realise that the system of work in Catering is broken and that if we are to attract a better, fitter workforce then we need to attack the core issues of exploitation within our profession.
In the very near future we need to offer our young chefs, a brighter, safer, and more rewarding career than at present. A career free from intimidation and exploitation, a career that shows the best of what we can do, with time to spend with our friends and family, a career that is caring of its workforce and a career that is secure and forward thinking.
All of this is possible and within our reach. The Good Work Plan will ensure a fairer, decent way of working for all of us in the very near future.