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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 49787
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Im employed by a Care company in position of team leader/co-ordinator

Customer Question

I'm employed by a Care company in position of team leader/co-ordinator aged 35 .
I am employed to work Mon-Fri 9-5
As part of the role I am expected to be "on-call". When I questioned my employer about payment for On-call I was told my salary reflects being on-call . When "On-call" which is a minimum 3 times per week.(This week the whole week since my colleague is on annual leave so would be 10 days before she is back)
When on-call I am expected to be contactable at all times and fully functional to offer advice, guidance( Anything from what time should I start work to medication, and medical emergencies) as well as re co-ordinate employee rotas between the hours of 06:00 and 23:00.
I must be available to visit clients within the hour- therefore when "on-call" I am unable to do anything but sit and wait by the telephone.So no visiting friends or working my dogs I cant even go to the supermarket because i never know when someone will ring or the level of support i will need to offer
When I accepted the job I was told on call is quiet, This is a lie I can receive upto 40 calls per day and to date on nearly every occasion I have had to leave my home to attend clients homes? additionally the companys argument with me is when i do have to visit clients, i'm paid but its not my usual rate there pay me minimum wage on these calls and not by the hour - example I have to drive 30 mins too and from client attend a 15 min call I will be out my home 1 hour 15 minutes and receive £1.67??

I would like advice- my salary is £19,000 PA by my calculations if 'I'm "on-call " 2 days mid week and 1 weekend day plus my office hours I'm actually working 72.5 hrs per wk. I understand there are many loop holes in the system, therefore my employer maybe acting within the rules of minimum wage. I would be grateful of any information you are able to offer me.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 years ago.
Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Do you have a specific question about this please?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Is my employer breeching the minimum wage requirements?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

In your opinion is my employer meeting standards set by UK government in regards to minimum wage??

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 years ago.
Thank you. Please leave this with me, I am mobile for most of today so it may be difficult to provide a full response straight away but I will get my advice ready and get back to you on here as soon as I can, certainly no later than tomorrow morning. Thanks for your patience.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 years ago.
Many thanks for your patience. When you calculate your pay and whether your employer meets the National Minimum Wage requirements, you can only count time that amounts to ‘working time’.

Guidance on what amounts to 'working time' was given in the case of Sindicato de Medicos de Asistencia Publica v Conselleria de Sanidad y Consumo de la Generalidad Valenciana. This was a case which involved doctors on call and the European Court of Justice ruled that where a worker is obliged to be present and available ‘at work’ during on call time, this time must be regarded as working time. However, time on call spent away from the workplace during which the worker is free to pursue other activities is not working time. Generally this would mean that if you are on call at home you will not be regarded as being in a period of working time, unless you were of course answering calls or doing work. The waiting time in between would not be considered working time.

This is still a grey area though and you will not find a definitive answer that would cover every possible scenario. The above are the general rules but if it is not specifically covered and you approach the employer formally without any luck, then only a court or tribunal can decide if the specific time you are being asked to be on call for is considered ‘working time’.

I hope this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating, or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you and feel free to bookmark my profile for future help:
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 years ago.
Hello, please let me know if I have answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? Thank you