In the private security sector, shift work, night work and work on holidays are common working conditions. Security guards often perform challenging work to ensure the safety of facilities, events and people. Unfortunately the Wages in this sector often in the low-wage sector for example, in the separate security service. If hours are unexpectedly lost, e.g. because the employer loses an important contract, and the monthly target working time is not reached because of this (or for other reasons), it can become financially dicey as a 34a security guard. This article looks at the reasons that lead to the cancellation of working days and shows the possibilities that one then has as a security employee.
What are possible reasons why my employer schedules me on fewer assignment days?
First of all, the security company’s point of view should also be briefly examined at this point. The fact that you are on the duty roster less often has in most cases (hopefully) nothing to do with you personally, but has operational reasons. If these are explained transparently by the employer and you can understand them, this offers a better starting point for a solution to the problem that can be supported by both sides. It is possible, however, that this will lead to a change of employment or to you starting to look for a new job. Or maybe the “lean period” is only short and you can compensate for the hours by working extra hours in the following month or the employer accommodates you in some other way.
Here are ten possible reasons why your employer might want to reduce your working hours:
Lower customer demand: There could be less demand for security services, leading to a reduction in the number of man-hours needed.
Economic slowdown: It is possible that the economic situation has deteriorated, leading to resource constraints and cost savings.
Changes in the business strategy: Your employer may have changed its business strategy, leading to an adjustment of human resources.
Staff rotation: Possibly rotate staff to give all staff the opportunity to work and to distribute working hours more equitably.
Seasonal fluctuations: Working hours could be subject to seasonal fluctuations, for example if less security staff is needed in certain months.
Changes in contracts with clients: It is possible that contracts with clients have changed and this leads to a reduction in the volume of work.
Legal restrictions: There could be (new) legal restrictions, such as maximum limits for working hours or rest periods between shifts. Or the existing requirements (e.g. from the Working Hours Act) are now better followed up.
Company holidays or seasonal company breaksYour employer may have decided to reduce working hours during certain periods, such as company holidays or seasonal breaks (from customers). Also, for example, the Covid pandemic had caused temporary dislocation within the industry.
Internal company restructuring: Your employer may carry out internal restructuring leading to a reassessment of working hours and resource allocation.
What options do I have if my employer assigns me to less work?
Of course, it is not worth arguing about one or two hours. However, a loss of 20, 30, 40 per cent or even more hours is a big deal, because you also have to make a living. If your boss removes you from the duty roster, assigns you to significantly fewer shifts than usual and you don’t work your hours — then you have the following options:
Check employment contract! That is the most important point. As a rule, what is decisive is what has been agreed in your employment contract. For example, if it says “full-time”, the employer is obliged to employ you accordingly. What is meant by full-time is usually regulated in the respective collective agreement. Often a specific number of hours is also agreed. If, for example, 170 hours per month are contractually stipulated in your employment contract, this number of hours must be adhered to (apart from minor fluctuations, e.g. due to sick cover).
Consult the duty roster! Duty scheduling in security services, e.g. in factory security, is often done on the basis of a fixed shift rhythm. In this way, it is possible to plan roughly in advance — of course with a certain degree of uncertainty (e.g. due to eternal outstanding holiday planning). However, the actual duty roster for the following month is decisive: If it states 20 shifts, for example, then you are entitled to work this number of shifts. Once a duty roster has been published, it may only be changed again after consultation with the employees.
Seek dialogue and actively offer work performance! Many things can be clarified through communication. Seek to talk to your supervisor and reach a consensus. Important: Communicate that you do not agree with the changes and explicitly offer your work performance! Your employer is obliged to give you the work according to the existing employment contract, you provide your work performance according to the contract.
Your employer does not react? Send a written reminder! Inform your employer in writing about the aspects mentioned above. The written form is important so that you have proof. Set a deadline for your boss, but continue to be polite and cooperative. After all, you usually want to continue working for your employer.
If nothing helps: complain! If all else fails, the employer does not react and talks (possibly also with the works council) have not led to success, the only option is to take legal action before the labour court.
Security guards play an important role in the private security industry and are often the first point of contact for customers and visitors. If you are a security guard looking for a new job, a successful application can make the difference between success and failure. The chances are quite good due to the situation on the labour market. It is also called an employee market — meaning: there are hardly enough qualified applicants for the current vacancies. You have — depending of course on some factors like your education and the desired place of work — in principle a good choice!
In this article we will give you tips and advice on how to successfully apply and find your dream job in the private security industry.
10 application tips for security guards in the private security sector
Create a meaningful cover letter
The cover letter is the first impression you make on a potential employer. It is important that you take time to create a strong cover letter that highlights your experience, skills and motivation. Make sure you tailor the cover letter to the company and the security job advertised and that you find out about the company and its activities.
Update your CV
Your CV is your most important application document and should showcase your work experience, skills and qualifications. Update your CV before you apply and make sure it is clear and easy to read. Use bullet points and clear formatting to highlight important information. Also include what training and certifications you have completed and what experience you have had in the security industry. Provide your certificates of competency, references and any training certificates. Do not include Fake documents and convince you with a professional correct expression.
Emphasise your skills and experience
As a security guard, you should be able to quickly recognise dangerous situations and react to them appropriately. In your application, emphasise your skills and experience in the field of security and make sure to highlight your competences in the areas of communication, conflict resolution and de-escalation. However, do not exaggerate, e.g. by eccentrically sprawling narratives of your past exploits as a security employee!
Be prepared for the interview
An interview is your chance to present your best side and convince the employer of your skills. Prepare for the interview by reading up on the company, preparing questions and thinking about the answers you would give. Make sure you are on time and well prepared for the interview and that you clearly present your qualifications and experience.
Stay positive and confident
As a security guard, it is important that you appear positive and confident. Be confident in your skills and experience and convey to your potential employer that you are the best choice for the job. Remain professional and polite throughout the application process and make sure you leave a positive impression. At this point, please do not badmouth your old or previous employer. This does not make a good impression and the management staff in the private security industry are often better connected than you think!
Use your network
Use your professional network to find potential employers and learn about job openings. Talk to former colleagues, supervisors and other contacts in the security industry and ask for recommendations or information about vacancies. Online platforms such as LinkedIn or XING can also help you find potential employers and make contacts. You can also indicate there that you are open to offers. Sometimes headhunters also get in touch who can be helpful in finding jobs.
Be flexible and open to new challenges
In the private security industry, there are a variety of tasks and positions that require different skills and experience. Be flexible and open to new challenges and check whether you are suitable for other positions or tasks. You may be able to contribute your skills and experience better in another position or be interested in a new challenge.
Present yourself professionally
As a security guard, you are the company’s figurehead and should therefore present yourself in a professional manner. Make sure that you wear appropriate clothing and make a well-groomed impression at job interviews or other professional occasions. Also pay attention to your body language and appearance and make sure you communicate politely and professionally.
Do not shy away from high demands
A maximum of 20 years and 10 years of professional experience — of course that’s not possible. Employers often write quite a few requirements in the job advertisements. Don’t be afraid of this, but be honest if you don’t (yet) meet a requirement. You can still gain experience in your new job, you can improve your foreign language skills by taking courses on the side (e.g. at the adult education centre) and you can make up for missing additional training. Employers are often more flexible than you think, especially if it is otherwise a good (human) fit!
Keep your eye on the ball and don’t be afraid of setbacks!
Landing a direct hit on your first application and getting your dream job is the exception rather than the rule. Don’t be afraid if you don’t succeed with your first application, but try again somewhere else. Often it is helpful to ask for open feedback about why you did not make it to the shortlist or to have professional application training, where your application documents are also reviewed and optimised. Just stay on the ball here, subscribe to relevant job offers on job portals. You will then be automatically notified when new vacancies arise in your search radius.
A successful application in the private security industry requires time, effort and commitment. Use the tips above to optimise your application and find your dream job. Stay on the ball and continue your education. Compare job offers and try to sell yourself in the best possible way. Be confident, flexible and professional and show your potential employer that you are the perfect choice for the job.
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