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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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1. Should my 19-year-old son sign a contract for fixed term

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1. Should my 19-year-old son sign a contract for fixed term part-time summer employment that makes no mention of holiday entitlement? The calculator suggests he would be entitled to 13 hours of paid leave or pay in lieu. Would it be legal for the employer not to allow leave or pay in lieu?

2. Can the employer require that he attend 14 hours of training without pay, 7 hours on the day before and 7 hours on the day of the first paid-for shift. The contract says no pay will be given for training but a bonus will be paid at the end of the term "that covers payment for this period (the training) subject to punctuality and reliability at training and all sessions for which you are scheduled to attend" Is this legal and would it be legal to withhold the bonus if any scheduled hours are missed due to sickness- in which case no pay would be given for the training period?

Ben Jones : Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Is the training provided by the employer or an external provider?

employer, I think

Ben Jones :

Thank you. Whether he signs a contract that does not mention holiday entitlement would not affect his rights to receive holidays because this is something he is entitled to by law. The fact the contract does not mention it does not remove this right. So regardless of what is in the contract he would still be entitled to the minimum holiday entitlement allowed by law, which would be 28 days a year if he worked full time (5 days a week). If he was not there for a year or worked part-time then this allowance would be reduced pro rata but the minimum from which this would be calculated is the 28 days as above.


The employer does have the right to refuse his request to take leave on specific days so if he could not take the full holiday allowance by the time his employment terminates, he would still be entitled to be paid for these days on his termination.


As to the pay for attending training, this is somewhat of a legal grey area I'm afraid. Under law a worker is entitled to be paid for anything that constitutes 'working time'. This would obviously include normal working hours and any other time that is defined as working time under contract, such as paid overtime. If the contract is silent on whether training counts as part of working time, it would be for the employee to show that this was the case and they were entitled to be paid for that time.


When it comes to training and working time, Reg. 2(1) of the Working Time Regulations states that working time covers periods during which a person is receiving 'relevant training'. However this excludes training on a course run by an educational institution or training establishment.


In addition, the Government's Business Link advice service states that working time includes job-related training but does not cover evening classes or courses run by an external training provider.


Therefore, where a worker attends a training course that is outside normal working hours but is nonetheless job-related, the time would count as working time and you should be paid for it. However, this is only on the proviso that the course was not run by an external person or organisation whose main business was the provision of training.


If the course was run by an external person or organisation whose main business was the provision of training, the time spent training is unlikely to qualify as ‘working time’ and as such you would not normally be paid for it.


The bonus could potentially be withheld if the employer does not believe the conditions for its eligibility have been met so it should be made clearer what the specific conditions are and how the employee could miss out so that at least he knows what to expect.


Hope this clarifies your position?


Yes, thanks.

Ben Jones :

You are most welcome, all the best

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