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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 49779
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I started a new job 3 months ago. At first, I was doing

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I started a new job 3 months ago. At first, I was doing 37.5 hours per week for 16k a year. Then, in an effort to keep me, my employer said she would put my salary up to 18k a year. She drew up a contract which I signed. I now find that I am having to regularly (ie each week) work extra hours for no extra pay. Before I worked 37.5 hours in 4 days. Now, I have to work 43 hours in 5 days one week and 47 hours over 5 days the next week. In the contract, there was a clause which said I was to work extra hours as required by the business. But this is every week - scheduled shifts - an early is 6.45 am to 2.30pm with a half hour lunch . A late is 6.45am to 6pm with A one hour lunch. I cannot get over the fact that I receive no extra money when I'm having to work 43 hours in week 1 and 47 hours in week 2. It's getting me down and I feel deflated and exhausted. Please help.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.
Were you asked to sign any kind of working week opt out agreement?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK, thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you as soon as I can. Please do not respond to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you
Ok you are still working within the legal limits on working hours so that would not be an issue. As far as overtime is concerned, the law does not actually guarantee overtime pay if you were to work extra hours. You can confirm this here: The only covers you to an extent that based on the hours you actually work and the pay you receive you must receive at least the minimum wage of £7.20ph if you are over 25. So it is entirely possible that you may be asked to work extra hours on top of your contracted ones and not be paid for them. The employer would ideally require a clause to that effect (such as the one you have) and it may be applied as and when needed. Solicitors are a common example of this – we all are contracted to work a set number of hours a week and get a salary but in effect we always work more hours almost daily, for no extra pay. We can’t really challenge it either as it is allowed. This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the rights you have should you get less than the minimum wage as a result, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there I no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Thank you so do you know if you are actually getting less than the minimum wage?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't see how my employer can just assume thst I will work an extra day each week. It's not just now and then - it's scheduled shifts. It's not just a few hours each night. It's one whole day in each week (ie the Friday). It's on a two week rota which has never been announced or agreed. In week 1, it's 7.5 hours on the Friday and effectively a day and a hslf in week 2 ( ie 11.25 hours) And that is week in week out. Whereas befire I signed the contract, it was 37.5 hours across Monday to Thursdsy. I feel as if I have been conned into working there. the clause says something like ... Work extra hours as required by the business. It diesnt say you will come in every Friday on top if your normal worked days and eork a whole extra day and in every second Friday 11.25 hours. Its permanent rota which was never detailed in the contract. Plus verbally the job was sold to me as ... It's great, you'll have every Friday off.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I can't work it out. I know I get 28 days holiday. Each week I take home just under 300. It's exactly 18k gross a year. I'd have to work out 43 hours +47 hours x26? To get an estimate of the hours worked I suppose but the deduct the 28 days at how many hours each day I've no idea now... 7.5? 11.25?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm an ex teacher who left teaching because if all the extra hours. That's the irony. And now I'm on this really low salary working all these hours .
I completely understand but here lies the issue – unless you worked below the minimum wage then your only rights in this situation would be under constructive dismissal where you are forced to resign as a result of the employer’s breach. However, you need at least 2 years service to be able to do this and as you only have 3 months your only options are to raise a formal grievance internally or accept the changes or leave without being able to challenge it legally.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I was told verbally that my salary would be up to 25k by Summer and that later on I could buy into the company. But the boss is now expecting and had to take on another person therefore. (At the moment it's just her and me. She had a partner befire who resigned). So she is going off on maternity leave ... Leaving me and the new person effectively running the business for no extra remuneration. I feel totally used now.
All of these issues give rise to potential constructive dismissal, which as mentioned only applies to those with 2+ years service I'm afraid
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok two more things.
Can you tell me do companies have to provide a pension for you. I'm being told no.
Also, if you work an eleven hour shift, what kinds of breaks are you entitled to? Most of it is at a laptop.
Your employer must automatically enrol you into a pension scheme and make contributions to your pension if you:are aged between 22 and State Pension ageearn at least £10,000 per yearwork in the UK As to breaks, 11 hours entitles you to a 20min break
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is she breaking the law then? Re the pension. I've asked her and she said something about auto-enrolment being in July. The company is only in it's third year. Would this be why not until July? It's a recruitment company for supply teachers so she diesnt pay them a pension either. I work in the office as a recruitment consultant.
If you need further advice on issues not related to the original query of the working hours then you will need to post as a separate question for my attention unfortunately, will be happy to help further as required thanks
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How do I get back to the page to post a new query for your attention. Can you send me a link please. Start your question with my name please