Ask a Law Question, Get an Answer ASAP!
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.
So what does your contract say in relation to doing jobs outside of your working hours?
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.
Many thanks for your patience. Such clauses are not uncommon and they provide the employer with flexibility to be able to ask their employees to work additional hours as and when needed. If you really needed to ensure that you are available for a specific date then ideally you should have booked it off as holiday as that guarantees the employer cannot ask you to work in accordance with the flexibility clause. Whilst they cannot force you to work on that day, if you refuse to then you can potentially be disciplined for insubordination. If this is the first time this has happened and considering you have a clean disciplinary record, it should only result in a warning rather than dismissal.
Does this answer your query?
Yes but you have c ed hours AND on top of that your contract also contains a clause which says the employer can ask you to work additional hours if needed. So you are not just limited to working these contracted hours only. I have such a clause myself and can be asked to work extra hours as and when the employer requires, such as if an urgent case comes in and I am needed. No one can force me to do these hours and I can refuse but if I do so then I am potentially going to face action by the employer for not adhering to the contract and specifically the clause which allows them to ask me to work extra hours if they need it. Same applies to you. Does this clarify things a bit more for you?
It is not so much about controlling, but they can make such requests and if needed can take it further if you unreasonably refuse. We are then getting into a discussion of what is reasonable and what is not, how much notice you were given, etc etc. Same applies to the term of flexibility – there is no legal definition as such so it very much depends on interpretation and ultimately., is it considered reasonable. But then what is reasonable is anyone’s guess and also open to argument, which ultimately can only be resolved in the Employment Tribunal
That would make it more difficult for them to justify, there has to be a balance in the end – such clauses can allow them to ask you to work extra but some notice is needed and they must take into account any pre-arranged things you may have, so the less notice and any evidence you have plans would make it more difficult for them to enforce
All the best