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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 44883
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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My partner works for a care home. If she is one minute late

Customer Question

My partner works for a care home. If she is one minute late she loses 15 minutes pay, yet at the end of her shift she is frequently told she cannot leave until her work partner has completed her tasks. She is regularly 15 to 20 minutes over her 12 hour shift and they refuse to pay overtime. Is this legal?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. can you tell me if this is a clause in her contract. and how long has she been employed there please.

JACUSTOMER-bncrd1k8- :

She has worked for the company for four years but she was told a few days ago that this is the new rule. I do not think she has signed a new contract.

Ben Jones :

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.


JACUSTOMER-bncrd1k8- :

Many thanks. I should mention that my Partner works in Consett, County Durham not Peebles in Scotland.

Ben Jones :

Thanks for your patience. First of all overtime is not guaranteed to be paid. It is possible to ask employees to work additional time for no extra pay and the law does not guarantee that such time will be paid. However, as with the issues at the start of the shift, if she was going to be asked to work overtime or additional time over her contracted hours, this is something that should be mentioned in her contract because that is what will govern her rights in the workplace.

Assuming there is nothing in her existing contract top deal with this then it is not something they can do and she can refuse to do it. She cannot be forced to work longer than her contracted hours so if no option to ask her to work extra exists then she can refuse to do so. If the new contract has these provisions then it is for her to decide whether she wants to accept that or try to challenge it.

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

JACUSTOMER-bncrd1k8- :

I am a bit confused by the answer. Regarding the start of her shift. If she arrives one minute later than her 7.30 AM start time are they entitled to dock 15 minutes pay, while at the same time expect her to stay indefinitely at the end of her shift, regardless of how hard she works simply because a colleague is slower or not pulling their weight. She was 15 minutes late again last night. To me this seems like blatant disregard and disrespect for her as an employee. I notice that other members of staff are regularly out at exactly 8.30 in the evening, so this rule does not seem to apply to them.

JACUSTOMER-bncrd1k8- :

I will rate your service when I receive a reply to the above.

Ben Jones : If for example she is paid in increments of 15 mins then they could potentially do that but her pay must be calculated in that way otherwise it would amount to unlawful deduction of wages it overtime does not have to be paid unless there is a clause to that effect. But at the same time she cannot be asked to work overtime unless her contract says the employer can ask that of her
Ben Jones : Hope this clarifies things?

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