How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ben Jones Your Own Question
Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 48761
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
29905560
Type Your Employment Law Question Here...
Ben Jones is online now

I was given a contract of employment some 5/6 years ago and

Resolved Question:

I was given a contract of employment some 5/6 years ago and it stated I was to work 40 hours per week. I start at 9 and finish at 5.30 and am allowed 1 hour for lunch. They are now saying the lunch hour is not included in those hours and I need to work an extra half hour every day. Question is a lunch hour not included in the hours of work and can they now after we have been working 9 to 5.30 change that because they have come across an old contract?
Submitted: 26 days ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 26 days ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 26 days ago.

Is this hour long lunch break paid?

Customer: replied 26 days ago.
No we do not get paid for lunch breaks
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 26 days ago.

Thank you. Breaks do not count as part of your working hours so if you are contracted to work 40 hours a week these would not include any of your breaks. Assuming you work 5 days a week you would be expected to work 8 hours a day and if you get an hour lunch break in between your overall working day could be 9 hours long (start at 9 and work until 6 with a break of 1 hour in between).

However, you can argue that the fact this has been applied differently over the last 5-6 years means that through custom and practice the current arrangement has become contractually binding. This is not easy to prove and only a tribunal or court can decide if that is the case, but the longer something has been applied consistently and been common knowledge, the stronger the argument that it has overtaken anything previously agreed and become the contractual norm. The issue is how to ensure it is accepted by the employer - ideally you want everyone affected to get together and challenge the employer as a group so that it would be difficult for them to single anybody out. However, if they do not budge then in the end you only have a few options - accept the changes, refuse to accept them and resign claiming constructive dismissal, or refuse them and see what the employer does and if they dismiss you - claim unfair dismissal.

I trust this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars above - this is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you still need me to clarify anything else, please reply on here and I will assist as best as I can. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 25 days ago.

Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Could you please let me know if it has answered your original question? You can either reply on here with a quick ‘Yes, thanks’, or select 3, 4 or 5 stars on this page. I can still answer follow up questions if needed to clarify anything for you. Many thanks

Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 25 days ago.
thanks
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 25 days ago.

you are most welcome