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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Hi I am asking onbehalf of my daughter who is a nursery

Resolved Question:

Hi

I am asking onbehalf of my daughter who is a nursery nurse employed by a private nursery.

She is contracted to 36 hours per week but is constantly working 40 - 45 hours each week. Her employer does not pay overtime but says that she will be given the time back in lieu, however when ever Emma askes for time off for either doctors or as she has asked for time off to do her driving test, she is told that she can't have the time until school holidays, I thought that lieu time could be taken anytime ? Until now the nursery has only ever closed for 1 week at Christmas but the owner has just told all the girls that come the 6 weeks holidays this year the nursery will only be open in term time, they will still be guaranteed their hours each week for the full year.
What I would like to know, am I right about lieu time & can the owner just change working time without giving a certain length of times notice
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Ben Jones :

How long has your daughter worked there for?

Customer:

She has been ther almost 3 years

Ben Jones :

OK thank you, XXXXX XXXXX it with me. I am in a tribunal today so will prepare my advice during the day and get back to you this afternoon. There is no need to wait and you will receive an email when I have responded. Thank you

Ben Jones :

Many thanks for your patience, please find my full response below:


 


Lieu time cannot automatically be taken at any time and whenever the employee wants it. This is something that must be agreed with the employer and whilst they would grant her the time off in lieu and allow her to accrue it, when that time is taken will be agreed with them and must only be taken with their consent. If no such arrangement was in place then that would leave it open to abuse by employees who would then be able to take time off as and when and it can adversely affect the employer’s business.


 


In terms of the hours that she works, this would very much depend on her contract. She may be contracted to work a specific number of hours and generally she can expect to work these hours, unless her contract states that she can be expected to work additional hours. It is common for some contracts to specify a fixed number of hours and have a clause that states the employee may be required to work such additional hours as needed to meet the needs of the business. In these circumstances she could be asked to work extra hours as needed and not even be paid for them or given time in lieu. Solicitors are a common example – they may be contracted to work a fixed number of hours and the employer could ask them to work additional hours, which is commonly enforced as many lawyers could work late evenings or even overnight if the workload requires it – all off this would often be for no additional pay or time off in lieu and it is just part of the industry, something you have to do to better your career, it’s just a given.


 


Of course I am not saying that is what she should expect and the contract is the key here – what is she contracted to do and can she be asked to work additional hours. If there is no mention then she can put her foot down and state that she is not prepared to work extra, even if she gets time off in lieu.


 


As to the opening times, the same applies – is there anything in the contract that states what times of the year the workplace is open or is it generally left down to the employer to decide. If the contract does not stipulate opening times then the employer is generally free to vary these as they see fit as long as they give the employees reasonable notice.

Ben Jones :

Hello, I see you have accessed and read my answer to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? I just need to know whether to close the question or not? Thanks

Customer:

Hi

Customer:

Hi, yes thank you for your reply, although not what we had hoped for, it does make sense. I think it just seems unfair when she sees other members of staff.being allowed time off to go to the hsir salon, but when Emma arranges with one of the other girls to cover her shift in order to take her driving test,only to be told no by the owner. I can understand her frustration. Thank you anyway

Ben Jones :

you are most welcome, all the best

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