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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 71864
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I work for a gp surgery. When the Covid 19 outbreak started

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I work for a gp surgery. When the Covid 19 outbreak started they changed my hours so I work longer days but I it half the week to reduce footfall in the surgery. I still get paid my normal full time wage but working on it 25 hrs a week rather than my normal 34.
JA: Have you discussed this scheduling issue with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: they say they’ll keep a tally of the hours we owe and we can work them back ... at the moment I owe 64 hrs. This could go on for many more months so I could potentially owe back over 100 hrs.
JA: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: employee
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No not in a union. We also had to work our bank holidays and weren’t allowed to take them as normal . Where do I stand with that ?

Hello, I’m Ben, a UK lawyer and will be dealing with your case today. I may also need to ask some questions to determine the legal position.

How long have you worked there for?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Just under 3 yrs
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I’m not keen to stay at the surgery but seem to be tied now with having to owe all the hours back . We weren’t consulted we were just told we would be working different hours/days and given just over a weeks notice that it was happening.

Thank you. I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can, which will be at some point today. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Can I also just check what are you ideally hoping to achieve in the circumstances, please?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
To not increase my weekly hours for the next 6 mths plus etc and continue to work my 34 hrs when we return to normal . I don’t want to be owing hours or having to pay them back for something totally out of my control and with no discussion before hand as to what was happening with weeks/ hours etc
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
My colleague of same qualifications and post is working extra each week and claims overtime each month . We both work now 25 a week whereas I was full time at 34hrs and she was pt at 20 hrs a week.

Thank you. In the circumstances the sooner you act the better. You would want to oppose the policy they have introduced and challenge them over doing something which is not in your contract and basically forcing it on you without any other options. The main issue is that doing so may mean that your employer has no choice but to look at permanent reduction in hours or even redundancy. The longer you leave this unchallenged the more likely it is that it will be considered you have accepted it and it will become more and more difficult to challenge it.

Another option, if you do not want to continue working there, is to leave soon so that any liabilities are kept to a minimum. You would have to repay these hours back from your wages but at least you are putting a stop it to it before they increase further and further.

AT any point you also have the right to raise a formal grievance about it so do not hesitate to use that option wich is your legal right

Does this answer your query?

Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Could you please let me know if it has answered your original question? You can simply reply on here with a quick ‘Yes, thanks’ and I won’t bother you again. Thank you

Customer: replied 8 months ago.

All the best

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