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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 44335
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have been working for the same employer for 2 years come

Customer Question

I have been working for the same employer for 2 years come april.last night i received a call from my supervisor saying he had no work for me i received a call and this time he said he had no work for me this week.they are not going to pay me for it.the company i work for employ's around 50-60 scaffolders,some who have served less than half the time i have,yet are still working this week.are they allowed to do this?
regards, XXXXX XXXXX
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
Hello and thank you for your question, which I will be happy to assist you with. Please let me know if your contract says the employer can do that?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

For Ben Jones only.


Hi Ben.As far as i am aware,my contract doe's not state this.(i do not have my contract to hand)could you answer assuming it dosn't..

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
As an alternative to dismissal (most probably because of redundancy), an employer may wish to deal with an unexpected downturn in business by laying off employees (asking them not to come into work) or putting them on short-time working (reducing their working hours/days). For legal purposes an employee has been laid off if they have been told to go home for at least one full working day. The legal definition of being placed on short-time working is satisfied if their pay for the week is less than half a normal week's pay.

It is only possible to lay off employees or put them on short-time working when an express or implied contractual right to do so exists. If such a right does not exist the employer will be acting in breach of contract and that could entitle the employee to resign and claim constructive dismissal.

However, if there is a clause allowing the employer to do this, or the employee agrees to it, for example in order to avoid redundancy, certain rights will apply after a set period of time. If someone has been laid off or placed on short-time working for 4 consecutive weeks, or 6 weeks within a 13-week reference period, they would be able to ask the employer to make them redundant. There is a strict procedure that needs to be followed and more details can be found here:

So there is protection available to employees who have been laid off or who have had their hours cut. It is however important to follow the precise steps as per the link above, if the employee wishes to go down the route of requesting redundancy.

If the criteria for asking a redundancy are not satisfied then you can still argue that your employer's actions amount to breach of contract and/or unlawful deduction of wages. This would allow you to consider resigning and claiming constructive dismissal and/or compensation for the money you would have earned had your employer not breached the contract.

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