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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50161
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I work American company with a manufacturing facility

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I work for an American company with a manufacturing facility in the UK. My contracted hours are 8am to 5pm with 1hr lunch break, Occasional overtime is specified. I have been told to take an on-line course which takes many hours of study but the company is failing to arrange sufficient time during working hours to complete it - instead I am told I MUST do it in my own time in the evenings. Ignoring the merits of the course, is it legal to demand this, given that I have very demanding family commitments and little 'spare' time?
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long have you worked there for?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Approximately 15 years, but it was taken over by an american company about eight/nine years ago
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Phone number is ***** 516794
How long would it take for the course to complete?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have done a certain amount of it and it would require a further 8 - 10 hours to complete. However the closing date for submission is 31 Jan and the days that had initially been allocated for study have now been reallocated for a customer visit. It is a no-win situation. My manager is based in the US, but job allocation is performed by an administrator here in the uk - I cannot get a satisfactory response from either.
I see you have been placed in a difficult position. What would determine your rights here is your contract of employment. You have tour normal hours of work and it also states that you can be expected to work occasional overtime. So the employer could try and argue that this would be covered by the overtime clause because it is something of a reasonably short duration, rather than an ongoing requirement. In reality, there is nothing in law which you can directly refer to as to whether they can ask you to do this or not. They can try and rely on the overtime clause or that this is a reasonable request, you can counter-argue that it is not work you are employed to do and does not cover overtime and that the additional requirements placed on you are unreasonable. You can indeed try and refuse to do the course, in turn the employer could try and discipline you. There is only a couple of ways that this could end – they may go as far as dismissal, in which case you can claim unfair dismissal. Alternatively, they could just issue a warning, which you can appeal. Whether you go further such as resigning and claiming constructive dismissal is also an option but try not to jump to such drastic response. What you could do instead is raise a formal grievance to complain to the employer about this and the fact that it is eating up into your personal time when it is not overtime, just training. I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you Ben, you've covered my train of thought here. I am certainly very unhappy with the US way of diktat but I won't be doing anything too drastic - it may prove to be a pyhhric victory. I will follow the formal grievance avenue to express my dismay. Many thanks.
You are welcome and best of luck!