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Alice H
Alice H, Solicitor Advocate
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 2850
Experience:  Partner in national law firm with 20+ years legal experience
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hello,my son works as a waiter in a pub. the owner wishes him

Customer Question

hello,my son works as a waiter in a pub. the owner wishes him to receive staff training on site without pay. he has worked part time for six months.
The owner is not happy with aspects of his work consequently asking him to work a further four sessions (twenty hours) unpaid. My son is 17 years old.
We feel that this cannot be legal or reasonable.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Alice H replied 3 years ago.
My name is Alex Hughes and I'm happy to help with your question today.

Does your son have aan employment contract? What does it say about training?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello alex hughes,


Toby does not have a written employment contract nor do the other staff to the best of my knowledge.


Unfortunately the public house is next door to us & therefore convenient.


My choice at his age would be to walk however i don't wish to interfere. Your guidance would be appreciated.


I cannot imagine bank staff not being payed while training during banking hours?


thank you, Nicholas

Expert:  Alice H replied 3 years ago.
Thanks for the additional information.

A contract would have given some clariy to the issue but is not essential. Your sons rights are protected by law such as the Employment Act, Employment Rights Act and Working Time Regulations.

The basic position is that work related training should be paid. Failure to pay could lead to a claim for unpaid wages on the basis of a breach of contract. I assume your son is paid hourly, therefore, he would expect to be paid for 20 hours training.

Your son has to make a decision. He can agree to do the unpaid training but if he agrees to do this he will not have a claim for wages later. If he does not agree the period of unpaid work then he should tell his employer; the effect of this is either that the employer will relent and agree to pay him or not do the training or dismiss him.

In the event of dismissal your son may have a claim against the employer for wrongful/unfair dismissal. However, we will have to review the reasons for the dismissal to see if actually has a claim and whether its worth pursuing.

Hope this helps. Happy to discuss further if needed.

Alex