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  1. #1
    Help please!!'s Avatar

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    Default Compulsory overtime

    Hi,

    My husband has an employment contract where the employer stipulates that he must work an additional. 5 hours a week overtime and 2 weekend days a month which is included in his monthly salary payment.

    In months where here my husband hasn't worked these extra hours the employer has taken to calculating how much money he owes them in unworked overtime and keeps a running total.

    My my question is can the employer legally charge an employee for hours of unworked overtime?

    thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Viking1985's Avatar

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    Default Re: Compulsory overtime

    Quote Originally Posted by Help please!! View Post
    My husband has an employment contract
    Hi,The exact wording is important... There are "legal arguments" about duties which are unremunerated BUT many contracts don't expect an EMPLOYEE to have an "hour by hour" relationship: that is more like a Worker who could work some or no hours, go elsewhere and not have the same level of "Obligation" to the job/task/firm.Look out for phrases about "additional hours to meet the needs of the business" and "your normal hours" and of course the clause about "compulsory overtime".Maybe submit the wording to the Forum but be careful to avoid identifying the firm in any way: that could lead to accusations of bringing the company into disrepute. Viking

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    Default Re: Compulsory overtime

    Thanks. The wording is as follows

    Hours of Employment
    The standard working week is 48 hours per week – this excludes travelling time to and from any project and breaks. These hours are not restricted to a Monday-Friday working week and can include the weekend. Your hours of employment commence at the site location of any given project.
    The employee will be entitled to split breaks throughout the day which totals no more than one hour per day.
    As part of your standard working hours you are required to work two weekend days a month and 5 hours extra a week which was agreed when your salary was increased.
    Additional Hours Worked
    The Employee may from time to time be required to work such additional hours as is reasonable to meet the requirements of the Employer’s business or to complete a project on any given day.

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    Default Re: Compulsory overtime

    "The standard working week is 48 hours per week", "As part of your standard working hours you are required to work two weekend days a month and 5 hours extra a week which was agreed when your salary was increased".

    To me that says they've already included the 5 hours extra a week in the standard 48 hours or it would have stated something like 'in addition to your standard 48 hours you will also be required to work an extra 5 hours a week'. It may be a badly worded contract but as it stands they make it clear that the 5 hours extra is part of the standard 48 hours.

    That's just my opinion and I'm not legally trained. Best wait for someone who knows about such things.

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    Default Re: Compulsory overtime

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    Help please!!'s Avatar

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    Default Re: Compulsory overtime

    Putting aside the way the contract is worded. If there is a requirement to work an extra 5 hours a week and 2 weekend days a month and one doesn't. Can the employer say that you owe them the monetary value of the unworked overtime?

    what the employer does is they pay the salary amount each month regardless of whether the hours are met. Then when my husband works hours over and above what he is contracted to do they deduct what he "owes" them from those extra earnings
    Last edited by Help please!!; 5th October 2017 at 11:17:AM.

  7. #7
    Ula's Avatar

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    Default Re: Compulsory overtime

    Thank you for the wording of the contract all much clearer now. Your husband's working week is 48 hours which includes provision for two weekend days a month and 5 hours extra a week. There is no provision from what you have posted as to what happens if a full 48 hour week is not worked due to not being required to work the compulsory overtime.

    I presume you mean by "legally charge an employee for hours of unworked overtime" that his employer is looking to deduct any hours from his salary?
    I do my best to provide good practical advice, however I do so without liability.
    If you have any doubts then do please seek professional legal advice.


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    Default Re: Compulsory overtime

    Quote Originally Posted by Ula View Post
    Thank you for the wording of the contract all much clearer now. Your husband's working week is 48 hours which includes provision for two weekend days a month and 5 hours extra a week. There is no provision from what you have posted as to what happens if a full 48 hour week is not worked due to not being required to work the compulsory overtime.

    I presume you mean by "legally charge an employee for hours of unworked overtime" that his employer is looking to deduct any hours from his salary?

    Thank you. What the do is they always pay him his full salary (even when he doesn't meet the contracted hours) but then when he works over and above those hours they deduct what he "owes" them from the overtime that he worked that month. Hope that makes sense.

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    Default Re: Compulsory overtime

    Quote Originally Posted by Help please!! View Post
    Thank you. What the do is they always pay him his full salary (even when he doesn't meet the contracted hours) but then when he works over and above those hours they deduct what he "owes" them from the overtime that he worked that month. Hope that makes sense.

    Bumping this to see see if anyone can help answer my query??

  10. #10
    Ula's Avatar

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    Default Re: Compulsory overtime

    So that I am clear the employer does not deduct anything from your husband's monthly salary he gets paid for 48 hours even if he has worked less. Then on months he works more than 48 hours they net off against the hours in months where he has worked less than 48 hours before making an "Overtime" payment. Example one month he works 45 hours and gets paid for 48 the next month he works 52 hours and only get paid one hour of overtime.
    I do my best to provide good practical advice, however I do so without liability.
    If you have any doubts then do please seek professional legal advice.


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    Default Re: Compulsory overtime

    Quote Originally Posted by Ula View Post
    So that I am clear the employer does not deduct anything from your husband's monthly salary he gets paid for 48 hours even if he has worked less. Then on months he works more than 48 hours they net off against the hours in months where he has worked less than 48 hours before making an "Overtime" payment. Example one month he works 45 hours and gets paid for 48 the next month he works 52 hours and only get paid one hour of overtime.

    Yes thats correct. Although they say that he is required to do 48 hours a week plus 5 extra hours and the two weekend days a month.

    - - - Updated - - -

    They then keep a running total of how much he owes them as it is physically impossible to reach the amount of hours they ask for so he is always owing them hours!

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Compulsory overtime

    My interpretation of the clause in his contract you posted at #3 is that the extra hours and the two weekend days a month are part of his standard 48 hours per week.
    I do my best to provide good practical advice, however I do so without liability.
    If you have any doubts then do please seek professional legal advice.


    You can’t always stop the waves but you can learn to surf.

    You are braver than you believe, smarter than you think and stronger than you seem.

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    Default Re: Compulsory overtime

    Quote Originally Posted by Ula View Post
    My interpretation of the clause in his contract you posted at #3 is that the extra hours and the two weekend days a month are part of his standard 48 hours per week.

    Thank you. I think it is just badly worded. He is definitely required to work those hours on top of the 48. My main query is whether they are allowed to accumulate the hours and keep a running total of what he owes them?

  14. #14
    Ula's Avatar

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    Default Re: Compulsory overtime

    I agree that the clause is very badly worded at not how it reads - your husbands standard working week is 48 hours per week and "As part of your standard working hours you are required to work two weekend days a month and 5 hours extra a week which was agreed when your salary was increased." Therefore the 5 hours per week and the weekends per month are included in his 48 hour working week.

    My point to raise now is if you are saying the 5 extra hours a week is in addition making his working week 53 hours plus the two days per month at weekends has your husband voluntarily opted out of the Working Time Regulations and working week limited to an average of 48 hours per week?

    In regard to your original question my thoughts are around unlawful deduction from wages however if your husband is being paid the same salary each month then there is no unlawful deduction so the company is not breaching that. The 5 hours and weekends are not detailed as overtime they are part of the contractual standard working week, therefore the company is obliged to pay your husband those hours regardless of whether they have enough work to keep him occupied.

    Were these "additional" hours originally overtime and if so was it compulsory or voluntary. There is something troubling me and I just need to get the background of why there was the change?

    Was your husband's salary actually increased or was it just a pro-rata increase to cover the extra hours?
    I do my best to provide good practical advice, however I do so without liability.
    If you have any doubts then do please seek professional legal advice.


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    You are braver than you believe, smarter than you think and stronger than you seem.

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    Default Re: Compulsory overtime

    Quote Originally Posted by Ula View Post
    I agree that the clause is very badly worded at not how it reads - your husbands standard working week is 48 hours per week and "As part of your standard working hours you are required to work two weekend days a month and 5 hours extra a week which was agreed when your salary was increased." Therefore the 5 hours per week and the weekends per month are included in his 48 hour working week.

    My point to raise now is if you are saying the 5 extra hours a week is in addition making his working week 53 hours plus the two days per month at weekends has your husband voluntarily opted out of the Working Time Regulations and working week limited to an average of 48 hours per week?

    In regard to your original question my thoughts are around unlawful deduction from wages however if your husband is being paid the same salary each month then there is no unlawful deduction so the company is not breaching that. The 5 hours and weekends are not detailed as overtime they are part of the contractual standard working week, therefore the company is obliged to pay your husband those hours regardless of whether they have enough work to keep him occupied.

    Were these "additional" hours originally overtime and if so was it compulsory or voluntary. There is something troubling me and I just need to get the background of why there was the change?

    Was your husband's salary actually increased or was it just a pro-rata increase to cover the extra hours?

    Thanks so so much for taking the time to help on this.

    In response to your first question, my husband has never actually signed an opt out agreement or expressly agreed to opt out of the working time regulations. However, by signing the contract would that be enough to give acceptance?

    Originally, my husband was paid a daily rate and was paid overtime for any extra hours he did. His boss then asked if he would like to change his contract so that he would be paid a set salary per annum but would be required to work 5 hours extra a week and 2 weekend days a month as part of that salary and then any extra hours would he paid as overtime. Hope that helps.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Compulsory overtime

    I would say not. The Working Time Regulations (WTR) are there to protect workers in regard to amongst other things maximum weekly working time, patterns of work and holidays, plus the daily and weekly rest periods

    Normally most workers don't have to work on average more than 48 hours per week unless they agree to. If a worker agrees to work beyond the 48-hour limit they must put it in writing, this is generally known at an opt-out. Workers have the right to cancel the opt-out agreement, although they must give their employer at least 7 days' notice - a longer period of notice may be agreed by the employer, but it can be no longer than 3 months.

    My concern is that if it was not clearly stated in the contract that by signing it your husband was opting out of the (WTR) then there is no clarity that this is what he has done and that he is aware of this and agrees that is what he wants to do. Also in any opt out document there should be the details of the process for someone to opt back into the WTR.

    The important question is whether your husband understood that by signing this contract (albeit very badly worded) that he was opting out of the WTR. If not then this is an issue for the company.

    Also in regard to this offsetting of unworked hours against overtime it would appear there is no contractual clause to detail that this will happen?? What happens when your husband works less hours in a week is he allowed to go home/stays at work but does not work. Is this becoming a regular occurrence?

    Sorry to say but I am beginning to think that the arrangement the company has put your husband onto was either not thought through properly or they are finding a way around reducing the costs of his overall salary.
    I do my best to provide good practical advice, however I do so without liability.
    If you have any doubts then do please seek professional legal advice.


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    You are braver than you believe, smarter than you think and stronger than you seem.

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