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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 75138
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I work psrt time in a Community Centre no one has a copy of

Customer Question

Hi i work psrt time in a Community Centre no one has a copy of my contract i work 4 days a week. Trustees for 5 years have open the Centre to parties at weekend within 24 hours notice asking me to open weekends as they don't won't to do it. I have 2 young children i have to incorporate these hours within my working hours which means i have to stay home for emergencies they are quoting Variation of these hours may be agreed and at certain times you may be required to work out your normal hours. I am a single parent so childcare can't be arranged each weekend. There are 5 Trustees I have offered 1 in 4 weekend but this has been refused
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Hampshire
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: I had raised the issue of opening for 5 months with the Trustees the Chair went awol for 4 months then called me in Friday asking my concerns said we are having back to back bookings for party i am more then willing to help out but can't do every weekend i have a booking on Saturday and asked the Trustee what are they doing as they this is part of their volunteering role response i got was you have to do them all
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: Ni I mean no
Submitted: 15 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 15 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 15 days ago.

How long have you worked there for? 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 as soon as I can. Thanks

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
I have worked at the Community Centre 4 years
Customer: replied 15 days ago.
I do not have the available funds to call you sorry
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 15 days ago.

Many thanks for your patience, I am pleased to be able to continue assisting with your query now. So what do you specifically want to know about this?

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
My job description states Trustee open the Centre. The new chair is quoting the line of additional duties outside hours ie variation of hours when they require it so can they legally do it
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 15 days ago.

Thanks and do you agree that there is such a clause in your contract?

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
First of all the Trustees have lost my contract but someone else has the contract hours ie 12 hours and days they work followed by due to the demands of the certain tunes you maybe required to work outside your normal hours of employment as APCA considers necessary to meet demands. This task clearly states in job description that this is undertaken by Trustees. We are not being paid overtime or time in lieu for weekend work but they also want us during the week in the office.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 15 days ago.

Thank you very much for clarifying. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the issues you have experienced in your situation.

It is not uncommon for contracts to have a clause which allows the employer to ask their employees to work additional hours, over and above their contracted ones. This is pretty much an overtime clause and can be applied as and when necessary by the employer. Overtime pay is not going to be automatically due because there is no legal right to receive overtime pay and that is a consideration for the employer. The only requirement is that based on the hours worked each pay period, your average pay does not fall below the minimum wage.

If there is such a clause, the employer can ask you to work additional hours, be it on your usual working days, or any other day, as the business needs require. Whilst you do not have the automatic right to say no, there may be times when negotiations are possible but it would be down to the employer.

If you have out of work responsibilities which could affect your availability, you may have to look at a potential flexible working request to try and agree a more structured rota, or to be exempt from certain working hours/rotas.

The right to make a flexible working request applies to any employee who has been employed by their employer for at least 26 weeks and is limited to one request in any 12-month period. Examples of the changes that can be applied for in a flexible working request include changes to working hours, times and work location.

The formal way to apply is by completing the following application form:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-right-to-request-flexible-working-form

Once an employer receives a formal request, they must deal with it in a reasonable manner, ideally meeting with the employee to discuss it and, if rejected, communicate their decision within 3 months of the date the initial request was submitted. If the employer is going to have to reject a request, they are only able to do so by relying on any of the following grounds:

- Planned structural changes

- The burden of additional costs

- A detrimental impact on quality

- The inability to recruit additional staff

- A detrimental impact on performance

- The inability to reorganise work among existing staff

- A detrimental effect on ability to meet customer demand

- Lack of work during the periods the employee proposes to work

Ideally, the employer should also try and explain their decision in writing, such as providing information on why they believe the selected reason for rejection is relevant and they have relied on it.

It is important to note that when selecting the ground for refusal the legal test is mainly a subjective one on the part of the employer. If the employer considers that one of the grounds applies, then the test is satisfied. There is no requirement for reasonableness when the employer makes their decision. It would appear that only if the employer's view is based on incorrect facts, could the decision actually be challenged as incorrect.

Often, the option to appeal will be provided by the employer following their decision. If the appeal is unsuccessful, a formal grievance can be raised to start with, before formal legal action in the Employment Tribunal is considered as the final option.

A claim can only be made on one or more of the following grounds:

- The employer failed to hold a meeting, notify their decision within 3 months or offer a right of appeal

- The reason for refusal was not for one of the allowed reasons

- The rejection was based on incorrect facts

The claim should be presented to the Employment Tribunal within 3 months of either the procedural breach or of the date on which the employee is notified of the appeal decision.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 15 days ago.

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Thanks for the response but isn't this indirect discrimination as i have no contract and i can't work these hours at the weekend and be in the office at the same time. I would have thought a discussion by the employer would have taken place and agreed but not 24 hours notice. Unfortunately i will have to resign as there is no way i can commit every weekend the role was Mon to Friday part time which to me is unfair dismissal
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 15 days ago.

Discriminaiton on what grounds?

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
As the charity specifically wanted part time working mothers in the Centre from the Estate with some flexibility which i have undertaken working evenings and early mornings. When interviewed i asked specifically if there was any weekend working i had just given up weekend working to undertake working days and was told no but occasionally a variation of hours during the week to cover for another part timer. I made it clear with a young family i couldn't commit to weekend and this was agreed for 4 years. The Chair has a bullish attitude and quite frankly speaks to us un a demeaning manner the indirect discrimation is that i have children which they are fully aware of that i can not provide childcare at the weekend every weekend when this task is a Trustee job description. I just can't see how this can be enforce when a opening and closing of a Community Centre means this weekend i have to be there at 9am to open and back at 7pm and ensure my phone is on for any emergencies and taking that as my normal 24 hours and still be in the office during the week
Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Apologises I'm ranting it sounds like the charity can do what they like to employees
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 15 days ago.

No, not at all, I just wanted to know what you thought was discriminatory from your point of view.

The issue is that for discrimination to occur, you must be treated detrimentally due to a protected characteristic. The Equality Act 2010 lists several protected characteristics, which are protected from detrimental treatment. Therefore, if someone is using any of these protected characteristics to treat someone detrimentally, that will likely amount to unlawful discrimination. They are:

- age

- disability

- gender reassignment

- marriage and civil partnership

- pregnancy and maternity

- race

- religion or belief

- sex

- sexual orientation

Having children is not a protected characteristic and you are unlikely to be able to use gender either, because a man can also have children and have childcaring responsibilities, so that is why it is unlikely to be seen as discrimination in the circumstances, I’m afraid

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 14 days ago.

Hello, I trust that everything has now been dealt with to your satisfaction and your original question has been resolved. If you have any further queries about it, please do not hesitate to get back to me on here. In the meantime, I wish you all the best.