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Getting exploited - Will it happen to me?

This question is rarely asked but it's of huge significance. Getting exploited is liekly unless you constantly take the outlook that you are working and living in a pub as a learning experience.

What you will have to decide though is when enough is enough . You might be ok with multiple back to back split shifts, others may not.  Or that you never get to work behind the bar, or that you always seem to be the person doing all the cleaning at night etc. Of course, the fact that you are here visiting my site is actually going to make the chances of you getting exploited a lot less likely. Stand up for yourself and ask for a fair go - if you don't who else will do it for you?

One of the most annoying things about living on-site is that if someone can't make a shift, you will be the first person your boss comes to. Too bad if it's your day off and you planned to spend all day drunk, you now have to work.

My tip?

If you're not rostered on, then make yourself scarce, don't be there for your manager to find you. Go out and explore, take a train to the nearest big city, after all, travelling, seeing new places and things is what you came to the UK for isn't it?

winding road uk

"Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it."




Asked to work overtime (no penalty rates) with barely a thanks? Having your time off cancelled, or any number of things can really piss you off – but if you learn something from each event then you've grown as a person, and it's those experiences that you just can't buy.

I don't want to give the impression that management enjoy stressing you out. They are under a lot more pressure than you are, to cut costs whilst increasing productivity. Your answer to solving staff shortages may be to hire new staff – but management no doubt has a target of certain revenue to reach with the number of staff on each shift.

Occasionally, the boss may decide after a week of record profits to reward everyone with 6 cases of beer for good work. These are the times you remember later. I know I do.

Remember if you're under the illusion you're going to make a phat wad of cash, working in a live-in pub in the UK you can forget it. What you get is the opportunity to spend your days off every 3 or 4 weeks in another magnificent part of Europe if you so choose. As well as meeting life long friends and learning about cultures you never even knew existed.

In the end though, if you don't think you're getting exploited when working your arse off all week for what works out to be less than 4quid an hour (after tax) then perhaps you're not working hard enough.

On the other hand if you manage to meet a special someone, fall in love and spend the next 5 years travelling the world together, then all those hours spent working for peanuts for unthankful managers pales in comparison to what you ultimately take from the experience - I can say that with authority, as it has happened to me :P

Ultimately if you do find yourself being treated unfairly and want to do something about it, then check out the Government link.
Getting Exploited? - contact the Pay and Work Rights Helpline

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