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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 64629
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I am new in UK and have a job offer in the contract there is

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Hello, I am new in UK and have a job offer in the contract there is a paragraph that I agree to work more then 38 hours
JA: Have you discussed this with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: yes, I am waiting for the contact person from the company to respond, there are just a few hours since i told her that i do not see appropriate and that burning me out is also not interesting for the company itself
JA: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: i will be emplyee unsure if they have union
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: will there be a specific cost for the advice?
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
"O is a growing company, sometimes you might need to work more than 37.5 hours a
week. By your signature to this statement, you:
(a) acknowledge that you may be required to work in excess of an average of 37.5 hours a week
in any one period of 7 calendar days and consent to do so if so requested by Orion or if
otherwise necessary for the fulfilment of your duties. You may withdraw such consent by giving
no less than 3 months' prior notice in writing to Orion of such withdrawal;" (this is in the contract, that i did not sign)

Hello , I am Vineet , UK Solicitor, I will be helping you with your query today.

Let me go through your query , will be back with my answer shortly.

 

Thank you for your patience.

Employment contracts set out the number of hours employees needs to work. Employees are obliged to work the hours set out in their contract terms. Employment contract may also say something specific about overtime– for example, that "reasonable overtime may from time to time be required, in accordance with the needs of the business".

In your case, as you stated it is 37.5 hours

there can be period of time where Employer can ask you to work more than average 37.5 hours depending on the work requirement

Your employer needs to have a clear policy in place about how overtime ( over 37.5 hours)will be requested, authorised and recorded, and about how overtime pay will be calculated.

By law, an employee can not be asked to work more than 48 hours a week unless the employee agrees to work more hours , which is known as opting out of the weekly limit

So there is nothing wrong on the part of your Employer by asking you to sign that clause.

However, if you think the overtime will interfering with your care arrangements – for example, because you have responsibility for young children or an elderly parent – your employer may be guilty of indirect discrimination by unreasonably insisting on the overtime.

If you find it difficult to work overtime hours due to a disability, your employer will owe a legal duty to make reasonable adjustments to your work schedule at your request to accommodate this.

I hope I have clarified the legal position on the working hours and your rights in relation to overtime

My goal is to give you the best experience possible! I hope I have earned a 5 star rating today.

Please remember to rate my service by selecting the 5 stars at the top of the screen before you leave JA today.

 

If you need more assistance, please use the reply box below and let me know. It has been my pleasure to assist you!”

Thank you and wishing you all the best with your new job

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Hello, in my proposed employment contract, the would-be employer inserted this section:
10. Working hours
Your normal hours are 37.5 hours a week from Monday to Friday. Here at Orion, we want to help
you manage your work and life balance. We have core hours from 10:00-16:00. This means you
can flex your start time each day between 8-10am and choose to take 30 minutes or 1 hour,
unpaid, for lunch. You can then flex your finish time according to this and finish between
4-6:30pm. This agreement is subject to Orion's flexitime policy, which will be reviewed and
amended from time to time based on the needs of the business.
You are not entitled to overtime payment or time off in lieu of hours worked outside your normal
hours. Lunch breaks and other breaks provided to you will not constitute working time.
As Orion is a growing company, sometimes you might need to work more than 37.5 hours a
week. By your signature to this statement, you:
(a) acknowledge that you may be required to work in excess of an average of 37.5 hours a week
in any one period of 7 calendar days and consent to do so if so requested by Orion or if
otherwise necessary for the fulfilment of your duties. You may withdraw such consent by giving
no less than 3 months' prior notice in writing to Orion of such withdrawal;
(b) confirm that you do not undertake any other work for any employer and undertake to seek
the consent of Orion before undertaking work for any other employer; and
(c) agree to fully co-operate in assisting Orion to maintain accurate records of your working
hours for the purposes of the Working Time Regulations 1998.

Is it okey for me not to accept point (a) above?
Also, is it okey for me to ask to specify that initially the employment place is "remote", due to coronavirus, and then, only if the government says it is a good idea, to potentially go to the company's center, in london?
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
(currently place of work is written as London, in another paragraph)

Hi, is the offer still subject to you accepting the contract?

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
yes
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
i am better at communicating in writing actually..
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
yes they send the contract through docusign
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
i have not signed, have not rejected
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
here is the contract they sent, which i intend to modify..
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
i am thinking to write that i could accept employer request to work up to 45 hours in a specific week on condition that the average for the month starting with that week will be still 37.5 hours
so you think that can be put in?
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
(so i would take time off in exchange)
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
i will try to eat something and then if you're still online, i may call you to discuss the two changes i intend to the contract..thanks a lot
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
suggest whatsapp call
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
the wifi signal is better then the mobile network signal
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
how can we proceed
in writing now, or call later / tomorrow? morning)
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
(I suggest tomorrow, between 8 and 12 (at 12 i have a call with the company, but if needed, i can postpone that call as well)

Thank you. To be honest you are free to negotiate whatever you want with them – nothing stops you from putting forward the proposals you have mentioned. However, be aware that the employer can easily reject the and say that the offer is only as it stands and that there is no job unless you accept the current contract. The risk with trying to negotiate with them at this stage is that they may see you as a potentially challenging or difficult employee in the long run, i.e. if you are already disagreeing with their position at this early stage, what would you be like later on as time goes by. Of course I am not saying you are like that but that is what the employer may perceive you as because of this.

 

But it is certainly possible for the terms as you suggested them to be inserted in the contract, as long the employer is agreeable to it, which they are not legally obliged to do.

 

Does this answer your query?

Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 64629
Experience: Qualified Solicitor
Ben Jones and 5 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
but if i leave the contract as they wrote it, in the concrete circumstance of working from home, is there any practical effect of it remaining as they wrote it or not, if 1. i am not sure if there is any chance of actually measuring time spent working at home 2. they do expect me to work from home during covid-19, which corresponds to my trial period. after that, if i do want to keep working from home, and they see me as good addition in the team, they will likely be flexible at that time. What is your honest opinion, do you think that in practicality, any of these two things matter in their written form?
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
in fact i would just propose them that i agree if there is an urgency to work up to 45 hours in a week, but that the average week to be 37.5 to 38 hours across a month, which would set a reasonable expectation and with the decent reason that i have been through burn outs or very close and i noticed the decrease of my long term performance and this is for the best of both me and the company
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
i do not want to project that at 41 i have the same capacity for overtime that i did at 20-25
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
and i can tell them that practically i would be open if there would be an actual emergency like a production bug or missing an important customer facing deadline, and if i would feel able to take in more, without forcing myself, then i would likely do it for the passion and professional integrity that i have or hope that i have
but i do not like being bound to it in a contract, does not feel right for intellectual work..
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
do you believe that this is a reasonable thing? that i would tell them that in practice things would be flexible, but if we need to put in writing, we should put something more balanced like up to 45 (not arbitrarily long) and with prescribed average, similar to uk law
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
i mean i would just focus on this, leave that location issue. does that feel like resistance or difficult employee, what do you think
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
and i have practical experience that longer hours will inevitably be less focused hours, just because we are humans and we have limited focus capacity

Various companies may have different ways of measuring working time at home. Some will monitor you through logging in to a dedicated portal, others will rely on your honesty in confirming how many hours you worked, etc – it really depends on them.

 

In the end, as mentioned, you can propose any of the things you mentioned, if that is what you would prefer. What I cannot tell you is how that specific employer will see them and whether they would find them reasonable. It is their business, their ethics, their business plan, their individual approach – I am in no position to guess their response and if your proposals will be accepted, I can only discuss the actual legal position.

 

Does this clarify things a bit more for you?

Customer: replied 5 days ago.
yes, thank you, i will discuss today with her, hope that we understand mutually

You are most welcome