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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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Can an employer have the legal right to clock in and clock

Resolved Question:

Can an employer have the legal right to clock in and clock out his employees by force?
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. Can you please explain what is actually happening in a bit more detail

Customer: Daughter has part time job as a driver for Pizza Hut.
Customer: New manager eradicated old system of all employees clocking themselves in - and now will only allow them to be clocked in and out by himself.
Customer: This is to avoid employees clicking in early and to guarantee that certain duties have to be carried out BEFORE they are clocked in ( such as moving heavy bikes outside)
Ben Jones :

Does their contract say anything about that?

Customer: Not sure as it is a part time job
Ben Jones :

ok that should not matter, but for example does it say anything about the duties they are expected to do before clocking in?

Customer: Daughter says doesn't recall having a contract detailing duties etc
Ben Jones :

It is possible for an employer to have a policy where they are present when the employee clocks in/out or even that the employer is the one that clocks them in/out when they turn up to have this done. It is certainly not illegal to do so. This could be because of abuse of the clicking system, which is not unknown in general (employees where the clocking system is unsupervised can take advantage of it – it does not necessarily mean that your daughter has done so, but if others have, then the employer can enforce a blanket policy that affects everyone).


 


The key is whether they are being forced to do duties they should be paid for before they are allowed to check in. That would depend on their contract and what their job description actually is. If they have specific duties which are described in their contract then the employer could only pay them for these, unless there were specific tasks that fell outside but were still; being done under the direct instruction of the employer and could be classified as working time.

Customer: Well daughter's job is a 'delivery driver' on a moped. But often made to do heavy lifting of boxes, Moving other drivers heavy mopeds sometimes before employer will clock her in/out
Ben Jones :

The key to that is what is in her contract. Some jobs may allow employers to ask their staff to do additional duties without pay, but if the contract is silent on that she can technically refuse to undertake such duties without being paid

Customer: Wouldn't that give them the right to terminate her employment?
Ben Jones :

How long has she worked there for?

Customer: Since 08/ 10/ 13
Customer: sorry I mean 18/10/13
Ben Jones :

Yes they can - she is not protected against unfair dismissal until she has at least 2 years' service so they can dismiss her at any time or for more or less any reason

Customer: So it seems she has no rights as an employee
Customer: Until two years have elasped
Ben Jones :

yes that is correct - in general employees have basic rights for the first 2 years, such as protection against discrimination, right to receive the minimum wage, etc but in terms of dismissal their rights are rather limited

Customer: Ok - thanks very much for yr legal advice!!
Ben Jones :

You are most welcome, all the best

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