Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. are you contracted to do a certain amount of hours.
Ok thank you leave it with me I need to look up a few things and then get my advice ready.I will post back on here when done there is no need to wait and you will receive an email when I have responded.
Just before I finalise my advice can I just check - are you employees of this company or is there another arrangement, for example agency workers, self employed, etc?
It is not strictly illegal to be asking you to do more hours than what you are contracted to do but this should be covered by a specific contractual clause allowing them to do so. For example, it is not uncommon for some contracts to employ someone for a fixed number of hours a week and then require them to work such additional hours as may be required by the needs of the business. This could be unpaid overtime. But there must be a clause that says this is possible. If no such clause exists you can refuse to work additional hours and make it clear that you are contracted to do 3.5 hours and this is all you will be prepared to work unless you are either paid extra or there is a formal contract in place which you have accepted and which allows them to do this.
Does this clarify your position?
How long have you worked there for?
your rights will depend on whether your service was continuous or not. Usually such long breaks between employment would mean that the service was not continuous but after 30 years of doing the same work and having the same breaks there could certainly be an argument that this was continuous service with an agreed break. This would then govern your rights in terms of protection against unfair dismissal. Generally you cannot just be dismissed if you have more than 2 years' service with a company and they need to show there was a fair reason for doing so and follow a fair procedure. But as mentioned whether you have continuous service is a point of contention. So if you refuse to work longer than what you are contracted for, they could potentially seek to terminate your employment and whilst generally they can do that, if you have the 2 years' continuous service they can't just do it . So this is the potential risk here and only a tribunal can decide if you have the required service to have the protection against unfair dismissal or not. Hope this clarifies?
You are most welcome, all the best