Dear Aunt Silvia,
I am a middle aged single mother of four children. I have been working for an international organisation for over three years now; I love my job very much because it puts food on my table and pays all my bills.
Recently the work load has increased, but my employer has refused to increase my salary. Many a times I find myself working in my office well past midnight and not even transport is provided for let alone being paid for overtime.
I feel cheated by my employer – is it possible to take this issue to the ministry of labour?
You are not alone in this world who works extra hard with no extra pay, many workers today find themselves working overtime because of a lot of pending work which needs their attention and cannot be delegated to anyone else or because of other reasons.
Fortunately there are a good number of employees who work overtime and get paid for the extra time they put in their work for the good of the organisation they are working for, this shows that their employers appreciate what they do, hence the extra pay for motivation.
There are also a good number of employers who do not motivate their employees, like you. Many workers are not motivated to work extra hard because of such issues.
That is why you find many people go to work to everyday and do a routine job and nothing extra than that. I don’t know what your contract says, but there should be a clause that says you should be paid for any extra time you put in for the sake of the company.
Maybe you need to refer to your contract once again to be able to know where you stand in this matter. I have talked to many employed people who are not motivated at their respective places of work and the answer is almost the same- they have no choice but to work under those very difficult conditions because they have bills to pay at the end of the day.
First and foremost confirm with what your contract says, then it is advisable you talk to your direct bosses before you embark on seeking legal redress with the ministry of labour.
If you do that then I can assure you that there will be bad blood between you and your bosses, and that can earn you a summary dismal, and you will end up being the loser.
Also keep in mind that you have children that you are taking care of, what will happen to them tomorrow if you find yourself in the streets? Try and improvise the little that you are earning and who knows maybe something good will come up sooner or later.
Sometimes patience pays, you might be thinking that your bosses do not the see extra effort you put into the company, but believe you me; they see it- but its just a matter of time before one of them recommends you for a better position or pay.
I advise you to work even harder for I know that your efforts will not go unnoticed, and please remember that a bird in hand is worth two in the bush.