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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50147
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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Can my employer force me to do overtime my contract says you

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can my employer force me to do overtime my contract says you may be requested to work a reasonable amount of overtime. He has said to me I have to do it.
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.
18 years
How often are you being asked to do such overtime?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
about once a month
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
once a month meaning Saturday mornings
In the circumstances this could be seen as a reasonable request. Your contract specifically states that you could be asked to do overtime as and when required. So you cannot say that the employer is acting in breach of contract because they are clearly entitled to request overtime from time to time as needed. So whilst you cannot be forced to do it, if you were to refuse to do so you could be disciplined for failing to follow a reasonable instruction by management. The employer would be acting unfairly if they abuse such a clause, for example by asking you to consistently work overtime but in this case we are talking about overtime once a month, hardly a consistent application of the clause. So it would be difficult to challenge when you have this specific term allowing your employer to ask you to do this from time to time. I'm sorry if this is not necessarily the answer you were hoping for, however I do have a duty to be honest and explain the law as it actually stands. This does mean delivering bad news from time to time. I hope you understand and would be happy to provide any further clarification if needed. If you are still satisfied with the level of service you have received I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page. Thank you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
my contract does not say overtime is compulsory it just says i will be asked so I can say no without being diciplined
It may not use the word compulsory but it does say you can be requested to work it and if you unreasonably refuse then you may still be disciplined so do not just assume you can say no and be safe - you shuld have a good reason for refusing it, for example if you already have prior commitments which you may have to be able to prove to the employer in request
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
You are welcome. If your original question has been answered I would be grateful if you could please quickly rate my answer by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page - it only takes a second to do and is an important part of our process. I can still answer follow up questions afterwards if needed. Thank you
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