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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 48190
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we have a contract for 40 hours pw but work a total of 120hours

Resolved Question:

we have a contract for 40 hours pw but work a total of 120hours pw we live in sun1pm -fri 1pm can we claim for the extra 80 pw this has gone on for 8years 4monts
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: 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. What is the contract for?

Customer:

40 hours per week but we are at work a total of 120 when broken down we are not on the minimum wage

Customer:

we look after young lads washing cooking transporting them around house parents

Ben Jones :

Does the contract say anything about working additional hours?

Customer:

sorry about the delay we work for a football club looking after lads the extra hours it mentions are about the football side of the club we work bank holidays lose 10 days a year holidays

Customer:

it says if you are required to work additional hours /such as match days( if this does not form part of your normal week) then time off in lieu will be granted or the overtime payment of time and a half may be paid at the discretion of management given the nature of the business it will sometimes be necessary for you to work on a bank holiday if a bank holiday on which you are required to work falls on a non match day you will receive payment at double time however if a bank holiday falls on a match day you will receive payment at your normal rate and a day off in lieu if required to work

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
Hi sorry my connection dropped earlier. First and foremost you would be expected to work the hours and the conditions stipulated in your contract. At the same time you can expect the employer to adhere to these too. Any departure from these can be challenged and reference made to the contract to ensure that both parties still adhere to the terms they are expected to.

In your situation you are contracted for a specific number of hours but are constantly expected to work more than that. The contract does say you may be asked to work extra hours and you may receive a discretionary payment or time off in lieu. Technically and under the terms of the contract you can ask them to compensate you for the time you work but remember it is at their discretion. If you find that they are unwilling to pay you for these hours then you can refuse to work them.

The problem is that from what I understand you have done so for over 8 years. If you have not formally challenged the non-payment and continued to work the extra hours for no pay then this is a very long time to do so and it may affect your rights to challenge the non-payment because it is likely that working these hours for no pay has become an implied contractual term through custom and practice. It means that it has gone on for so long and not formally challenged that it has become part of your contract now. This is really something that should have been challenged years ago and you should have done something about it then, either refused to work these extra hours for no pay or taken formal legal action to pursue the payments you believe you are owed. There is nothing stopping you from taking legal action and suing them for some of the backpayments but a court will look at whether these are something owed to you under contract – the fact they are discretionary, have not been formally challenged to date and you have continued working them for years would make that difficult and will be a risky step to take.

I'm sorry if this is not necessarily the answer you wanted to hear but I hope you understand I have a duty to be honest and explain the law as it actually stands and sometimes this does unfortunately mean delivering bad news. Please let me know if you need me to clarify anything.
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