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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50161
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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My grandson is employed on a 24 hour contract and is requested

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My grandson is employed on a 24 hour contract and is requested to work overtime as demanded. There is no paper system in place to claim for the hours worked and is now owed payment for approx 108 hours. The manager says he will pay him at 11 hours per week which will take 10/11 weeks to recover. In the meantime he is being asked to work further overtime which means the monies involved will never in effect be recovered.
Is he within his rights to refuse working overtime but continue working his 24 hours as per contract? Also, as we have no paper confirmation of the overtime figure, could we successfully make a claim via the small claims court? Hope you can advise and thank you
Ben Jones :

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

Ben Jones :

Does his contract say he can be required to work overtime and is it optional?

Customer: He can be asked as and when required no mention of optional
Customer: He can be asked as and when required no mention of optional. Having difficulty with your system
Customer: I have not yet been able to see your reply
Ben Jones :

Hi sorry I was offline by the time you had replied. If he can be asked to work overtime as and when required then he could be expected to do so at the employer’s request. If there is no specific payment system, or terms to deal with overtime and state that it can be paid over time, then the employer should pay the employee for the overtime hours worked with their next pay packet. Delays of 10-11 weeks are unreasonable assuming that the hours have already been completed and he has not been previously advised that he may be delayed in getting paid.

In terms of taking the employer to the small claims court I would not really advise that. It will not speed up the payment process – it may take as long just to get the case heard and then it still does not guarantee payment. He would have also been required to pay court fees in the process so it is not the solution. He should try the internal formal grievance procedure first and only if payment is refused outright rather than just delayed should he consider legal action.

As to just working his normal hours he could try that – his contract does mention that he can be required to work overtime though and unless the employer is refusing to pay him for overtime, rather than just delaying it, he could be seen as being insubordinate and it can be a disciplinary matter should he refuse to work.

Hope this clarifies your position? If you could please let me know that would be great, thank you

Customer: Thank you for your advice. It would appear that the employer has the upper hand. Many thanks. Regards. Duncan grant
Ben Jones :

not necessarily the upper hand - he still has the right to get paid for the time so the employer cannot get away with that, but it is just about being realistic with how to pursue the money owed and going to court is not always the answer. All the best

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