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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 49851
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Hello, I am a little bit concerned and I was wondering if

Customer Question

I am a little bit concerned and I was wondering if you could help me. I work as a catering staff for Sodexo in Nuffield Hospital in Cambridge. I am on a 30 hours per week contract. I was just told that the next week I am going to be short of hours. My manager said that I am still going to be paid for my 30 hrs however, the amount of hours I haven't worked and been paid for I will owe to the company and will have to 'pay back' with the over time. I am not sure if it's fair especially, that all the rest of the staff are on 30 hours contract as well and they all got the over time for that particular week, while I am short of hours.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Ben Jones :

Before proceeding please note that as I am a practising solicitor, I am often in and out of meetings, travelling between clients or even at court when I pick your question up. This may even occur at weekends. Therefore, I apologise in advance but there may be a delay in getting back to you and providing my advice. Please be patient and I will respond as soon as I can. You do not have to wait here and you will receive an email when I have responded. For now please let me know how long you have worked there.

JACUSTOMER-1ejutf93- :

I've had a contract there for 4 months and been working as a bank staff before for a couple of months

Ben Jones :

Thank you. From a legal point of view if you have a contract with a guaranteed number of hours per week, you can expect to be paid for that time. However, at the same time the employer cannot be expected to just pay you if you are not going to do the work, so what they can do is 'bank' those hours - pay you for them now, even if you have not worked them, and ask you to work them at a later stage to make these hours up. There are many industries that apply such practices but the important thing is that this needs to be provided for i the employees; contracts, or at least in some workplace policy.

Now you need to check if this is provided for in some way. If it is not, then your rights will unfortunately still be somewhat limited. You are entitled to raise a grievance if you wish - it is a formal complaint you make with the employer. But you will have a weak spot - your length of service. Because you have been there for less than 2 years you will not be protected against unfair dismissal. It means that if the employer does not like your attitude about this, they can easily dismiss you and you cannot challenge that. Alternatively, they can reject your grievance and apply this policy regardless of whether you like it or not - you will then either have to accept it, or leave, however if you leave you cannot challenge it either because of the length of your service.

So there are ways of trying to do something about this but if they do not work - your rights will be rather limited and will be as described above.

Ben Jones :

I hope this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating, or if you are unhappy for some reason with the advice - please get back to me and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you very much