Employee toilet breaks

Anonymous

Employee toilet breaks

I own a small business run from my home and employ 5 people. The building is split into two parts (the 'house' part where me and my family live, and the 'shop' part where we conduct our work) there is only one toilet in the building and of course i have no problem if a staff member needs to use the loo, which is located in the house part of the building.
However, i have one employee who spends around 40 minutes a day in the toilet doing a number 2.
At first i was understanding as we cannot always control when we need to poop and you gotta go when you gotta go, right!?
But i am now feeling very frustrated and unsure how to address it as its a delicate and potentially embarrassing topic to bring up. My reasons for being frustrated are
-wasting time at work. He doesnt stay back those 40 minutes but still leaves on time. So i am essentially paying him 4 or 5 hours to sit on my toilet. I would never expect an employee to stay back and make up their toilet breaks, however i think he is taking advantage.
-he takes his phone with him, so i know he is sitting there just scrolling facebook or whatever
-no one else can use the toilet for extended periods of time, including my children whose home it is.
-it stinks out our whole house. Yes theres spray and toilet cleaner etc. But the stench still over rides all of that. And to smell someone elses shit everyday who is not a family member is pretty gross
-he had joked about saving money on toilet paper at his house because he uses ours (and he uses ALOT)
-clogging up the toilet (as its an older building with old pipes) and then i had to pay for a plumber and also stick my hands down the loo to try and unclog it.

I do not want to be a horrible boss and tell people they cant use the bathroom during an 8 hour work day (i would never do that) but i really feel he is taking advantage here. Also how on earth would i go about changing this, as its not like its a big company where i can just stick a sign up!
Any advice, tips, experience would be most welcome!!

Posted in:  Life Lessons, Men's Business, IM's In Business

9 Replies

Anonymous

Legally you have to provide toileting services (in nsw, not sure of other states) . I would look into hiring a toilet to put out the back!! You can even hire "fancy" ones and right it off as a tax loss.
I'd then advise your putting into place "log on/off" hours. Not at your desk on a break - it gets clocked and then you either make up the time or get paid less. Just ensure to stick within the legalities of employees workplace breaks.

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Anonymous

Just look at legal requirements for paid breaks (10 mins for a 4 hour shift or whatever it is) and the rest is unpaid and if he's not on duty when rostered he's not doing the job he was hired to do.

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Anonymous

Crikey! Most people are lucky to get a 40 minute lunch break, let alone the luxury of a 40 minute poop break, so I think you've been very accommodating this far.
First things first I think I'd just talk to him about it, I know it will be a bit awkward discussing his toilet habits but probably needs to be addressed.

I'd say something along the lines of:
"Hey 'Joe', would you mind using the toilets in the office area unless it's really urgent, it's just this is still my home and I'd like to maintain a certain level of privacy. I also can't help but notice you spend quite a lot of time using the facilities and I'm just worried it's taking time away from your work tasks."

I agree with above too about checking your legal requirements regarding toilets.

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Anonymous

Just realized I read this wrong, I thought there was a toilet in each area. Oops lol...
The bit about privacy and taking his merry time still stands though, I do think having another bathroom installed at some point will help eleviate some of the problem.

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Anonymous

I would tell all staff no mobile phones during work hours.. Bet he won't sit on the loo for 40mins without his phone

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Anonymous

I'd hire a Portaloo for awhile and see how long he takes

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Anonymous

Buy a squat stool. My husband went from 40-50 min on the toilet to less than 10 min.

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Anonymous

I have had staff who take breaks longer than scheduled (call centre environment). 40 minutes is absolutely taking the piss (no pun intended!). It adds up very quickly. Calling it out does not make you a bad boss, it's part of people management unfortunately.

I would take the approach it similar to;

"In just the last week there has been 3hours and 20 minutes of time lost to toilet breaks which is effecting the productivity of the team. That's almost 14 hours each month.
Obviously we really value your work around here so I want to make sure we support you if you have any medical needs that require such a long break. Moving forward we will extend your shift a further 30 minutes to allow you to take an additional break."

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Anonymous

Our Book keeper comes in 2days once a fortnight..he does this as well.
It gross' me out (I am the only one in our office, located in our house) I work with 5 tradesman..they have more respect.

My hubby thinks it's hellarious.

Some days I think...I am paying for his time, I should say something.

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