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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70449
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I am a zero-hours employed music teacher at an independent

Customer Question

Hi, I am a zero-hours employed music teacher at an independent school. I have always taught back to back as we are paid only for time teaching 35 minute lessons. We have now had an enforced unpaid 5 minute gap up in between each lesson which significantly reduces our hourly rate.
JA: Have you discussed the zero hours contract issue with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: The Management team only.
JA: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: I am a member of the incoporated society for musicians. I am Zero hours employed.
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no thanks
Submitted: 20 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 20 days ago.

Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 20 days ago.

Why has this gap been introduced? Please note this is not always an instant service and I may not be able to reply immediately. However, rest assured that I am dealing with your question and will get back to you today. Thanks

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
As we teach 35 minute lessons and the school lessons are 40 it has been decided that they should line up. It is not covid related.
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
We can also not now teach through breaks or a 20 minute reading period. It has effectively removed 1h10 of paid work each day.
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
thanks for helping!
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 20 days ago.

Many thanks for your patience. The main issue I see with this is your status as a zero hours worker. As you may be familiar with the concept, it means that you are not guaranteed any hours of work by your employer and they can give you as many or as few hours as they require. In other words, you have no guarantee to always receive the lessons which you have received to date or for the same duration. The employer can give you whatever number of lessons they require and also create gaps in between which affect how many lessons you can have. After all, you are not guaranteed any hours to start with and therefore a reduction in hours because of this is not breaching your legal or contractual rights. It would therefore have to be a case of negotiating with the employer over it to see if you can find an amicable solution.

I appreciate this may not be the answer you were hoping for but it is the legal position and I hope that it at least clarifies where you stand?