Working Time Regulations – Working Hours, Rest Breaks and Holiday Entitlements Guide


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Guides, Legal

Our advice regarding working hours, rest breaks and holiday entitlements has been updated for 2014 with additional information.  Let us break it down for you! If you are a Care Worker please see our new article here about your entitlements under the Working Time Regulations.

Rest Breaks

The Working Time Regulations entitle all (* see Exceptions below) Workers and Employees to:

  • A minimum Daily Rest period of 11 hours uninterrupted rest between finishing your job and starting the next day. (Workers aged between 15-18 are entitled to a minimum daily rest break of 12 hours).
  • A Weekly Rest period of 24 hours uninterrupted rest within each seven day period (Young Workers aged 15-18 are entitled to 48 hours); or, at the Employers choice, a Fortnightly Rest Period of 48 consecutive hours within each 14 day period.
  • The weekly rest period should not include any part of the daily rest period.
  • A break of 20 minutes if your daily working day is more than 6 hours long (or 30 minutes if you are aged 15-18 years and you work more than 4.5 hours at a stretch).
  • If you are an Agency Temp then the Employer you are working for (not the Agency who employs you) is responsible for you receiving these minimum rest breaks.
  • The first 2 type of rest periods are generally unpaid.  The 20 minute break may be paid or unpaid, depending on what it says in your contract of employment.  For more information on rest breaks please see the Direct Gov website here.

* Certain ‘special case’ workers are exempt from these rest break provisions and can be legitimately asked to work through their rest-breaks if:

  • you are a shift worker who may not be able to take their daily or weekly rest periods between shifts.  Shift Workers are defined as those engaged in activities involving periods of work that are split up over the day and those who work according to a certain shift pattern where workers ‘succeed’ each other at the same work station.  The shift pattern may be continuous or not, but will involve the need for workers to work at different times over a given period of days or weeks.
  • there is a genuine need for continuity of production/service around the clock, eg. hospitals, residential institutions, care workers, press/tv/film/radio, public utilities, industries where machinery must be kept working 24 hours a day, research and development activities, agriculture,
  • the work is affected by unusual or unforeseeable circumstances beyond anyone’s control, or exceptional events, or where work is affected by an accident or risk of an accident,
  • the work involves security or surveillance which requires a permanent presence,
  • the work has a forseeable surge in activity, i.e. in agriculture, tourism and postal services,
  • there is a Collective or Workforce Agreement in place that excludes these rest-break obligations – but the workers must have been fully consulted with to ensure these are valid.

In these cases, if you cannot receive your rest breaks you must be offered an equivalent period of ‘compensatory rest’ wherever possible.  This compensatory rest should be given immediately after the end of the work period where possible.  If this is not possible for objective reasons, the Employer should give you “such protection as may be appropriate in order to safeguard the workers health and safety” (e.g. an assessment of the worker’s continued fitness to work, reducing his/her workload or additional supervision).  The Government Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (previously BERR) has guidance that says a worker, even if they fall into one of these categories, must have a right to a minimum of 90 hours rest per week.  Compensatory rest does not necessarily need to come out of time that would otherwise have been working time. A court case in 2012, Hughes v Corpos of Commissionaires Management Ltd confirmed that interrupted rest breaks can still count as compensatory rest – details are hereand that when considering whether or not a worker is a ‘special case’ worker, it is the workers activities that have to be considered, not those of the employer.

In 2014, in an unreported case (so we only know the name of the Claimant not the Care Home he worked for), an Employment Tribunal found that a care service provider was in breach of the WTR for not incorporating daily rest breaks and daily rest periods into a support worker’s shift pattern and for failing to offer compensatory rest.  The Care Home employed approximately 150 staff with 25 managers.  The Claimant, Mr Hood, claimed that there had been a number of occasions when he had not been permitted to take a rest break and that he had not been granted a full daily rest period an average of 3-4 times per month in a year.  The Care Home’s staff handbook stated that rest breaks away from the service user were not to be taken during a shift. The Care Home argued that it was uneconomical to provide support to cover the occasions when Mr Hood was not granted his daily rest period.  The Tribunal agreed that the service the Care home provided fell into the category of services that was exempt; however Mr Hood had not been offered compensatory rest periods.  The  Tribunal found it difficult to understand why the home could not organise shifts so as to allow daily rest periods for its employees, as the home allowed employees who smoke to take a break during their shift and for that break they were covered by a Manager.  The Tribunal felt a manager could also cover for rest breaks and that these rest breaks could be easily incorporated into the worker’s shift.

There are different Working Time Regulations rules for workers in air, sea and road transport industries (see our new Guide to Road Transport workers driving hours here), offshore workers, police and emergency services (see the next section for more details) and domestic servants employed in a private house are generally excluded from all WTD regulations (except daily and weekly rest breaks).

In addition, there is also the principle of Unmeasured Working Time.  This applies to a Worker whose working time is not measured or pre-determined (and where the Worker has control over the number of hours they work) who is then excluded from all rest break provisions and the 48 hour maximum weekly working hours (see next section).  This generally applies to Company Directors (and specifically those with autonomous decision making powers), Managers, Family Workers and Religious Workers. Breaches of rest-break provisions are made through a claim to Employment Tribunal (within 3 months of the breach) – although compensation is usually very limited – or via claims to the Health and Safety Executive.

Working Hours Time Limits

The legislation states that you cannot work for more than 48 hours per week, which is normally measured over a 17 week ‘reference period’. However, this ’17 week reference period’ can be amended where:

  • there is a valid collective or workforce agreement in place the reference period can be extended up to a maximum of 52 weeks
  • Workers can have a 26 week reference period if they live far from their workplace (e.g. offshore workers); if they work in security or surveillance that requires a permanent presence; or they do work that involves the need for continuity of service or production e.g. Press/Film/TV, hospital and care workers, farm workers, utility workers, dock and airport workers.

Information you need to know about the weekly working limit:

  • If you are on a contract for a fixed period (Fixed Term PAYE or as a Worker), that is under the 17 or 26 week reference period (whichever your employer is using), your ‘reference’ period for calculating your working hours will be the actual length of your contract (see below).
  • This 48 hour per week limit also applies if you have more than one job, i.e. the total amount of combined working hours you do should not exceed 48 per week.  If it does, each Employer should ask you to sign an Opt-Out (see below).
  • If you are an Agency Temp then the Employer you are working for (not the Agency that employs you) is responsible for ensuring you do not work more than 48 hours per week.  See our new Guide to the Agency Workers Regulations which come into effect on 1st October 2011 and give ‘agency workers’ the right to equal treatment with permanent employees.
  • Young Workers (those under 18 but over school leaving age) cannot normally work more than 8 hours per day (40 hours per week) and they cannot Opt-Out (see below) of these limits or have their hours averaged out.
  • The ‘reference’ period takes into account any statutory holidays, sick leave, maternity/paternity/adoption/parental leave and if any Opt-Out’s (see below) where in place.  The reference period is extended by the number of days on any of the above.
  • There are different rules for workers in air, sea and road transport – see our new Guide here for road transport workers and the section below about Night Workers.  Domestic servants employed in a private house are generally excluded from weekly hours limits.  Those who have unmeasured working time (see previous section) are exempt from the weekly working hours limits.

Opt Outs:

  • In the Film and TV industry and in many other industries Workers can be asked, by their Employers, to voluntarily sign an Opt-Out of this 48 hour limit (which is legally valid) – i.e. you agree that you can work for more than 48 hours per week. The Opt-Out is not a condition of your employment and it must remain optional and voluntary. Therefore even if you have signed your contract with an Opt Out in place you have the legal right to opt back in to the 48 hour limit at a later date – you have to give your employer a minimum of 7 days written notice by law to do this (check your contract in case it requires a longer time scale to Opt back in, as this is allowed).
  • Young workers cannot Opt Out.
  • You should not be subjected to any detriment by refusing or proposing to refuse to sign an Opt-Out agreement. If you are an employee and are dismissed because you refuse to sign an Opt-Out clause then this could be seen as automatically unfair dismissal and you could potentially make a claim to an Employment Tribunal.
  • In April 2009 the UK won its right to retain the Opt Out – the European Parliament had proposed to remove the Opt Out provision within 3 years – so for now the Opt Out remains legal and valid.
  • The number of hours you work per week can be averaged by your employer over the applicable 17/26 reference week period (or your contract length), rather than measured in one week, and the first 20 days holiday you are legally entitled to (see below) cannot be used to reduce your average number of hours worked. However with the Daily and Weekly Rest breaks and the Opt Out above included, the maximum in any week you should work is 78 hours.  See the information below about what a ‘working week’ means.

Breaches of the 48 hour limit are dealt with by the Health and Safety Executive (i.e. a prosecution and/or a fine for your Employer, but not compensation for the worker).

The Working Week, is calculated with your ‘normal’ weekly working hours and any:

  • Job-related training
  • Job-related travelling time (including where this is an integral part of your work)
  • Business/working lunches
  • Time spent working abroad (for a UK company)
  • Paid and some unpaid overtime (see below)
  • Time spent on-call at the workplace (including time ‘sleeping’ when you are either working or asleep while on-call at the work-place – where ‘sleeping’ is allowed).  See our new Care Workers article for more information about sleeping-time and Night Working under the Working Time Regulations.
  • Time spent on-call elsewhere while you are actually working.

The Working Week does not include:

  • Breaks when no work is done (e.g. lunch breaks)
  • Normal travel to and from work
  • Time spent travelling outside of normal working hours (for example an early meeting at a client’s premises where this requires travel the night before, this time is not counted)
  • Time on-call spent away from the workplace (unless you are actually working)
  • Unpaid overtime where you have volunteered to, for example, stay late to finish something off
  • Paid or unpaid holiday.

Night Working

There is extra protection under WTR for people classified as night workers.

  • Night time is generally defined as the period between 11pm and 6am.
  • You are a night worker if you regularly work at least 3 hours during the night time.
  • As a night worker you should not work more than an average of 8 hours in each 24 hour period, excluding overtime (which is calculated over the appropriate reference period which is usually 17 weeks for Night Workers).
  • If your job involves special hazards or heavy physical or mental strain you cannot work more than 8 hours in each 24 hour period (i.e. no overtime can be worked) and your working hours cannot be averaged over any reference period.
  • It may be possible for a Workers and an Employer to enter into a Workforce Agreement that could modify or exclude the limits on night work.
  • There are different night working rules for young people (they should not normally work between 10pm – 6am, but this can be varied to 11pm-7am).

Those who have unmeasured working time (see above) are exempt from the maximum length of night work under these provisions as are Domestic Servants in private households If you are a Night Worker your Employer must offer you a free health assessment before you start working nights and at regular intervals after that.

Paid Holidays Under the Working Time Regulations Legislation

The Working Time Regulations also entitle all Workers and Employees to a legal minimum of 28 days paid leave each year (5.6 weeks – pro rata’d if you are part-time). Things you need to know:

  • Your Employer has no legal obligation to ensure you have taken your statutory holiday entitlement, although they can serve you a notice to require you to take holiday on specified dates.
  • You start building up your holiday entitlement as soon as you start work.
  • You need to tell your employer when you want your leave but they can control when you take it (i.e. agree or disagree to the dates you want).
  • Your Employer should specify the notice periods they require you to give, before you take leave, in writing.  If this is not specified you must give at least twice the length of the intended leave period you wish to take – e.g. you give 2 days notice to take 1 days leave.  Your Employer should reply (agree or disagree by giving counter notice) within the same length of time as your intended leave – e.g. you want 1 days leave, give them 2 days notice and they should reply within 1 day.
  • Your Employer may restrict you taking leave through the following – by your employment contract, via custom or practice or by negotiations with a Trade Union or Employee Representative.  They can restrict your leave because: they shut down at certain times; they can specify when you may or may not take your leave; they may cap the amount of leave that you can take at any one time.  If such arrangements don’t already exist then your Employer must give you notice to require you to take your leave – of twice the length of the leave period they require you to take, e.g. they need to give you 2 weeks notice to require you to take 1 weeks leave.
  • If your Employer denies you your rights to statutory holiday entitlement you can make a complaint to an Employment Tribunal.  If the Tribunal upholds your complaint they may order your Employer to pay compensation.
  • Holiday entitlement cannot be counted as weekly rest days, it is completely separate.
  • If you are an Agency Temp then the Agency that employs you (not the Employer you are working for) is responsible for ensuring you receive your statutory minimum holiday entitlement.  See our new Guide to the Agency Workers Regulations which come into effect on 1st October 2011 and give ‘agency workers’ the right to equal treatment with permanent employees.
  • You should get paid for untaken holiday if you leave your Employer (but you have no legal entitlement to be paid if you cannot or choose not to take them all – unless you have been off sick, see below).  For each week of holiday that you are owed you are entitled to a week’s pay – see below for further information.
  • Bank and Public holidays can be included in these 28 days; at the moment there is no statutory right to take bank holidays off. Therefore if you take a day off as paid leave on a bank holiday it may count as one of your annual leave days under WTD legislation – depending on what your employment contract says. (For more information on Bank Holidays see below).
  • Your employer may give you more leave than 28 days as part of your contract.
  • There is no legal obligation that the first 20 days holiday entitlement, if unused, should be carried forward into the next leave year, unless you have been off sick (see below). The additional 8 days holiday entitlement can be carried over into the next holiday leave year, if unused, with your Employers agreement; although your Employer may not agree to this.  Your Employer may choose to allow more than 8 days to be carried over though.
  • The Government increased the minimum statutory holiday entitlement to 24 days per year from 1st October 2007, and to 28 days per year from 1st April 2009 for those working 5 days per week.

Rolled Up Holiday Pay – Freelancers in the TV and Film Industry are often classed as Workers for the purposes of WTD so are eligible for this holiday. However, often the holiday cannot be taken during the contract period, as the contract is too short, and may be included in your weekly/daily rate (called ‘rolled-up’ holiday pay).

This practice was ruled unlawful by the European Court of Justice in March 2006, and the Department of Trade and Industries guidance has been amended to reflect this judgement, saying that payment for the statutory annual leave should be made at the time when the leave is taken. Your contract should therefore show your daily/weekly rate plus a rate for holiday pay seperately.

Calculating your Holiday entitlement:

The simplest way to calculate your holiday entitlement is to multiply the number of days you work each week by 5.6.  If you work part-time, irregular or freelance hours you can calculate your entitlement on this Direct Gov page. The holiday entitlement of 5.6 weeks is equivalent to 12.07 % of the hours worked over a year.

Calculating leave for shift workers – it’s often easier to work this out by the number of shifts you get off, averaged over a 17 week period  – e.g. if you work 4 x 12 hour shifts on and then have 4 days off, the average working week is 3.5 x 12 hour shifts (this is calculated by the number of shifts worked (4) divided by the total number of days in the shift pattern (8) x 7 days – so 4 divided 8 x 7 = 3.5).  So, 5.6 weeks holiday is 5.6 x 3.5 = 19.6 x 12 hour shifts holiday entitlement.

Calculating holiday entitlement for term-time workers:  You need to calculate how many hours a week you work on average each year, then multiply this by your holiday entitlement, e.g.

  1. If you work 40 hours per week for 40 weeks of the year – 40 x 40 = 1600 working hours a year.  1600 divided by 46.4 weeks (52 weeks less 5.6 weeks) = 34.48 hours.

  2. Multiply 34.48 hours x 5.6 weeks = 193.09 hours holiday over a year.

  3. To convert this to days, divide this number by the number of hours you work each day.

‘Rounding’ up holiday entitlement – if your holiday entitlement includes a part-day your Employer may choose to round this up to a whole day (they cannot round it down).

Please note that the statutory paid holiday entitlement is capped at 28 days.  So, if you work 6 days a week, you are not entitled to more than 28 days holiday under statutory entitlement (your Employer may give you more) – e.g. 5.6 x 5 days per week = 28 days but 5.6 x 6 days per week = 33.6 days is not a legal entitlement.

Holiday entitlement during sick leave and sick leave during holidays!

Finally in 2012 we are getting closer to some clarity on what happens in these situations – see our August 2012 Guide to holiday entitlement and sick leave here for full details.

A Week’s Pay – how much pay should you receive for a week’s holiday?

  • A week’s pay is calculated in accordance with the definition of a working week in the Employment Rights Act 1996 which says that a ‘working week’ includes overtime only if this is contractual, i.e. it is specified in your employment contract.
  • If your overtime is not specified in the contract it is not counted.  However, in 2013, there are signs that this may change – see more details in our new Guide ‘How to Avoid Confusion When Calculating Holiday Pay
  • For example, if you are contracted to work 20 hours per week but regularly work 40 hours per week with overtime, but this overtime is not contractual, then your payment for a weeks holiday entitlement will be based on 20 hours (but see article above).
  • If you work with fixed hours and pay then the amount due for a weeks pay is the normal pay you receive for a weeks work.
  • If you work with variable hours and pay (e.g. bonus, commission) then a weeks pay equals the average hourly rate over the preceeding 12 weeks of pay multiplied by your normal working hours (but see ‘how to avoid confusion’ article above as things are changing in 2014).
  • If you work shifts a weeks pay equals your average weekly hours over the preceeding 12 weeks of pay at your average hourly rate.
  • If you work with no normal working hours a weeks pay is the average pay you received over the preceeding 12 weeks (that were paid).
  • To calculate a week’s pay (which you need to do for redundancy payments, holiday pay and pay during notice periods) look at this link.
  • A week’s pay will generally not include benefits in kind – pension, car, health cover.  Bonuses, if they are discretionary, may be excluded too.  Any salary that is sacrificed through a ‘salary sacrifice’ scheme may also not be included.  Annual contractual bonuses may be included on a pro-rata basis if they are possible to quantify at the point of calculation.

Bank Holidays

To see our Guide to the extra Royal Bank Holiday in 2011 and 2012 and how this affects Working Time Regulations holiday entitlement click here. There are 8 permanent Bank Holidays in the England and Wales (and 9 in Scotland and 10 in Northern Ireland). However:

  • There is no statutory right for Employees to have paid leave on bank holidays (but your employment contract may allow this).
  • There is no statutory right to extra pay if you work on a bank holiday. Any right to extra pay depends on the terms of your employment contract.
  • Part-time employees should receive a pro-rata’d allowance of paid bank holidays to ensure they are dealt with fairly – even if they do not normally work on the days the bank holidays fall.
  • Where a bank holiday is alligned to a Christian festival (i.e. Easter) there is no requirement to allow additional time off on other dates for employees who practice other religions.
  • The statutory holiday entitlement of 28 days MAY include bank holidays (or your Employer may give you some or all of the bank holiday days in addition to the 28 days).
  • If you are on Statutory Parental Leave, Statutory Paternity Leave, Statutory Maternity Leave or Statutory Adoption Leave during a bank holiday are you entitled to a compensatory day off (or pay in lieu).  This depends – if you receive the minimum holiday entitlement of 28 days per year which includes bank holidays then any bank holiday that falls during your parental leave would entitle you to receive a day off in lieu for this bank holiday.  However, if you receive paid time off for bank holidays on top of the statutory minimum 28 days then your right to a compensatory day off or pay in lieu will depend on what your employment contract (or any holiday policy) says.
If you are an Employer and need ongoing professional help with any staff/freelance issues, or a Contractor/Freelancer/Employee with a complicated employment related problem, then talk to Lesley at The HR Kiosk  – a Human Resources Consultancy for small businesses – our fees are low to reflect the pressures on small businesses and you can hire us for as much time as you need.
Please note that the advice given on this website and by our Advisors is guidance only and cannot be taken as an authoritative or current interpretation of the law. It can also not be seen as specific advice for individual cases. Please also note that there are differences in legislation in Northern Ireland.

Photo by Anna Federowicz

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  • Sophiaalexandria

    Is it legal for a worker to be fined for not giving adequate notice of cancellation of a shift that they’r ebooked to do under any circumstances?

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Sophia, can you explain to me what you mean by ‘fined’ – money deducted from our pay? That is possibly illegal but I’d need to know more details – you can e-mail me at workline@freelance advisor.co.uk. Thanks, Lesley, Workline

  • B.V. Gray

    Can you please give me the full reference that corosponds to the below section from the Paid holidays under the working time directive legislation as detailed above.

    Your Employer should specify the notice periods they require you to give, before you take leave, in writing. If this is not specified you must give at least twice the length of the intended leave period you wish to take – e.g. you give 2 days notice to take 1 days leave. Your Employer should reply (agree or disagree) within the same length of time as your intended leave – e.g. you want 1 days leave, give them 2 days notice and they should reply within 1 day.

    • Lesley Furber

      hi, B.V. when you say ‘full reference’ can you clarify what you mean? The part of the legislation, or something else? You can e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk. Thanks, Lesley, Workline

  • http://twitter.com/GozoJohn John Edwards

    Last year, I successfully obtained a position with a major UK retailer with a 39 hour contract, however the day after I commenced my employment, I was told that due to a change in company policy, I would only get a 20 hour contract, but with the other 19 hours paid as overtime.

    I had obviously left my previous employment, so I had to accept this condition. I worked for seven months before I left, working a minimum 39 hours every week; however my holiday entitlement/pay was only based on a 20 hour week.

    I am now perusing this through the Employment Tribunal, however ACAS have informed me that although the company is not keeping to the Working Time Directive, ACAS nor ET will have the power to instruct the company to follow the legislation.

    I have been informed that many large companies operate this illegal practice.

    • Lesley Furber

      hi John, as I’m sure you’ll know your situation is allowed under the current legislation unless the overtime you work is contractual (so written into your contract) which means you would be entitled to holiday entitlement for the overtime hours too. So I can see why ACAS have said this, if your overtime is not contractual. If you have any more questions then please e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Fdicks

    Hi this is a question regarding holiday entitlement

    If your statutory entitlement is 5.6 weeks does this amount to say 28 days (no matter the number of hours you work on them), or 5.6 x the number of weekly hours you work?? i.e. for those working an average 7.5 day it would be 210 hours?

    Any help would be great as trying to work out holiday allowance for shift workers who do 37.5hr per week but a different amoutn of hours each day?

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi, well yes 5.6 weeks is 28 days. If your shift workers, working 37.5 hours, are full-time then they are entitled to 28 days per annum. If they work part-time or irregular hours then you can work it out on the weekly hours they work. It will work out the same, so is up to you. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Margaret Armstrong

    I have recently changed my working pattern for same employer,now working 4 on,4 off,working from 9pm through to 7am.I am paid for 9 of these 10 hrs as 1 hr is unpaid lunch.If I work a bank holiday,I get a day in lieu but only 7 hrs.This means I can’t take a full day off,because that requires 9 hrs! Is my employer legally allowed to do this? My contract states that I should get a day off in lieu if I work a bank holiday (but because my shift may start on a bank holiday,but ends on a none bank holiday,this throws confusion on the matter!)

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Margaret, I’m wondering if you only get 7 hours off for a day off in lieu because this if your company’s normal, full, working day? Do you always work the same hours each shift, or does one of the shifts vary? If you can let me know at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Dave4156

    I was rostered to work on 25/04/2011 which was a bank holiday and said that will be paid time and half and would get time in lieu, however I was absent from work that and was later said that since I was absent from work on my rostered day I will not get days pay as well as time in lieu, Is it fair? Is that how it works? So basically I lost my days pay as well as bank holiday? How is that possible?

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Dave, I’m afraid it’s all going to depend on what your contract or any policies your Employer has about sickness absence (if that was what it was?), or other types of absence and bank holidays. Your Employer does not have any legal responsibility to give you a bank holiday off or pay you for working on it, or pay you time off in lieu generally (unless your contract says otherwise) – so it may be possible, depending on what your terms and conditions say. If you where sick, then what does your sickness policy (or contract) say about being paid when off sick? If you want more information then please e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • jas

    hi my i requested 6 days holidays to follow 3 rest days but employer states i must use another 3 adys holidays to cover rest days is this right…jaz

    • Lesley Furber

      hi, I’m going to reply by e-mail as I’ll need some more information from you to answer this. Thanks, Lesley, Workline

  • jackie.

    Could someone give me a bit of advice please. My daughter is 18 and her company is making her work 2 oclock in the afternoon til 5 oclock in the morning with a one hour break. Does anyone know if she can be forced to do this shift?
    Thanks in advance for any advice.x

    • Samiosha

      thats definitly wrong you look into that if you do not say any thing companys will walkall over ya we all aint slaves we are only working to aern money to pay the bills

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Jackie, I hope you got my e-mail about this last week? Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • anom 54

    Employer saying I have lost the holidays I had in 2009, which I could not take as I was on long term sick leave. When I requested payment for the 2010 holidays they said it was not company policy to pay them and take them when you return. since resigned and got paid all 2010′s holidays, 7 for this year which should be 8, and are saying I have lost the 2009 holidays as per my contract, doesn’t the ECJ and house of lords ruling make that illegal

    • Lesley Furber

      hi, thanks for your query.  You’ve obviously read the article above about this – yes it is now illegal but you can only recover this, at the moment, by claiming at an Employment Tribunal for an ‘unauthorised deduction of wages’.  It might be worth you taking legal advice about this.  If you have any more questions then please e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Tonieh

    Hi ,I am contracted to work 37 hours per week .Every 6 weeks i am on call for a week as keyholder outside normal working hours. This call out period has many restrictions ie no alcohol as you need to drive to callouts,
    Must be within 20 mins of the buildings for alarm activations so it seriously impedes normal life outside normal hours.
    There is no payment for being on call,but there is if and when you actually attend a call out.
    Any advice on our rights as to call outs payments etc would be appreciated.

    Gordon

  • Kenny_dzialoszynski

    Hi, Im employed as an aerial and satellite installer.  I take my company van home every night as I leave my house the following morning and have to drive to my first job which could be 10 minutes to 2 1/2 hours away.  The majority of the time i’m out the door at 6:30am just to get to my first job at 8am.  Once I have finished all my jobs for the day I then have to go to my bosses house to drop off all my paperwork and monies for day and re-fuel and re-stock the van before I can go home.  I normally get home about 6:30 – 7:00 pm.  I’m wondering how much of this time is included in my working hours?

    Many Thanks,  Kenny

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Kenny, I think it’s likely that your working hours will be from when you reach your first job (although do you have a contract of employment and does it specify what time you start work, i.e. is it when you reach your first job, or is it some travelling time before etc?) and when you finish re-fueling and re-stocking the van.  However, this may be complicated if you ever return home during the day – in between appointments? As this probably wouldn’t be counted.  You need to check what your contract says if you have one – any more questions then please e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley

  • BIB

    Hi, I am in the following situation. I work as a home worker for one company. I am required to work from 9am until 1pm every day. I am also self-employed and deal with my own tax affairs on my own. Just today I found out that as a home worker I am entitled to a paid holiday – never knew about it nor was informed by the business I freelance for. I started work in this business 3 years ago and never been paid for holiday that I have taken. Do I have right to claim any payment for the holiday from the past 3 years? What are my rights in this situation? 

    • Lesley Furber

      hi BIB, you are entitled to statutory minimum holiday entitlement if you meet the definition of a ‘worker’ – see the Workline article ‘Am I an Employee, Worker or Freelancer’.  I would need some more information from you to help, i.e. what is your definition of a ‘home worker’, what do you do etc.  You can e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley

  • Stevegibson40

    My son is contracted to work a 40hr week, however, when work is in short supply they are told not to bother going in and if they want payment for the day they would have to take it as holiday pay.
    He went into work today and was sent home..not even a phone call telling him not to go in!!
    Is he entitled to payment and/or could he stay at work to receive payment even though there is no work sometimes?
    I hope this makes sense,

    Steve Gibson

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Steve, this doesn’t sound correct at all but it will depend on what is in his contract.  I’m going to e-mail you seperately as I have some questions and also want to send you some more information.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • The3darrens1610

    hi

    do i have to take my rest days has holidays

    Darren

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Darren, I would need further information to answer this fully – but basically your rest days should not be holidays.  If you want more information then please e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Thanks, Lesley, Workline

  • Tippy1974

    hi hope u can help … i work 4 a haulage company and i`m contracted 2 48hr`s a wk
    wk dont do 48 hr`s sometimes 50 or 60 but we get time off with acurd hrs here and there
    but today is the end of our 26 wk`s and i only had 38 and a half hours 2 work this wk
    so when i got back 2 our yard close 2 my max hours i got told i had 2 got fetch a trailor from down the road bring it back put it though the wash and park up b4 i went home …
    and doing that put me over my 48 hrs by 1 hr and 15 mins …..
    can u tell me where i stand as i told boss i was close on my hours b4 i left 4 trailor
    hope u can help
    shaun

    • Lesley Furber

      hi I’m going to reply to you by e-mail as I have some queries.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Shaun, I presume you mean the 26 weeks is your reference period and you were close to the total hours for all the 26 weeks (rather than just that last week?).  Have you signed an Opt Out? I’d need more information to be able to answer this fully so please e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Thanks, Lesley, Workline

  • lillib30

    Hi – I was wondering if you could help. My Partner has worked for his employer for over 12 years, his holiday year runs from Jan – Dec. He took 1 week of holiday in April, and for the past 2 weeks he has been on holiday. He normally gets paid weekly, 1 week in arrears. Today he received no pay so phoned his company. He was informed he hadn’t accrued enough holiday so he now owes the company hours for taking the past 2 weeks off. I advised my partner that employers can only use an accrual system in the 1st year of employment, so he phoned them back and advised them of this, they state this is rubbish. Could you tell me if they are breaching legislation or not, and if so, what legislation is being broken.

    Many Thanks

    Lisa

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Lisa, as I’ve got some questions I’m going to e-mail you.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Lisa, the accrual system you mention is not something I’m familiar with in law as you start to accrue holiday from day 1 of your employment; although I know some companies do have this sort of system in the first year of employment.  This does seem a very odd situation as he has been there so long, I presume this hasn’t happened before?  Can you e-mail me with more information? Have they made any changes to his terms and conditions recently etc? Has this happened to other people at the company? Thanks, Lesley, Workline – e-mail workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk

  • Jonnydrums35

    should my shift allowance per hour paid as basic,be included in my holiday pay?

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Jonny, the simple answer is going to be that it will depend what it says in your contract.  If you have any questions then please e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • http://twitter.com/twochoicestom Tom Clarke

    Hi Lesley,
    I work 37.5 hours per week but had to work two weekends in a row as overtime (which I agreed). I was told that I had to take two rest days as a result of this. 
    I was told that these were my only options:

    1. I get paid at the correct overtime rates (1.5x) for all Saturdays and Sundays and take 2 days holiday in the 14 day period.
    2. I agree to get paid at 1x rate for the Saturdays and Sundays and get the 2 days in lieu.
    3. I opt out of the working hours agreement and just work right through and get paid overtime (1.5x) for the weekend.

    I went for 3, signed to opt out of the working hours agreement for a couple of weeks. But after some research it seems that I should have been given the two days off in lieu and been paid the correct overtime rate! (1.5)

    Are rest breaks seperate from the working hours agreement?? I.e As I signed the agreement to say I’d work more than 48 hours in a week does that also mean I agreed to not have rest days? The way I see it all I ended up agreeing was that I would work more than 48 hours in my working week…

    Thanks so much,
    Tom

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Tom, thanks for your query.  I think you’re right and you agreed to the wrong option! But, rest breaks are totally separate from the weekly working hours and the Opt Out you signed is only for the weekly working hours (so you agree to work over 48 hours per week) and does not cover the rest breaks.  Unless you work in an industry where daily and weekly rest breaks can be legally breached (see details above) and you can be offered compensatory rest to cover any ‘breach’ of the rest breaks, then you need your daily/weekly rest breaks (unless you agree not to take them).  But it is separate to the Opt Out of the 48 hour weekly limit.  Hope that makes sense – if you have any futher queries then please e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Tom

        Thanks so much Lesley. The problem I have I that I ha originally planned to work tight through anyway. I’ve done the work and am now in my 17th straight day. The only reason I did this was because I was told I HAD to take the two days as holiday. That was wrong. I should have been offered the days off as rest days and my overtime would have still been paid at the usual rate as per the policy.

        • Lesley Furber

          hi Tom, yes you should have a 24 hour rest break each week, which is separate to any holiday (or 48 hours in every 2 weeks/14 days).  Regards, Lesley

  • gary

    Hi lesley. I am a chef and do at least 10hrs a day split shift so 9-3pm then again 5.30pm til 9.30/10pm on a weekday and on saturdays I dont get home until 4pm and go back 5pm til 10.30pm sometimes later than that if busy. sunday I work 9pm til 5pm and thats it for the day and Never get breaks any time I work. This week I have mon night shift off then tues morning shift and thats it, I need to know what I need to do to sort something out as I am pretty sure they are breaking many laws, can you advise me if it is allowed for me to work this much and what I can do as my boss will not do anything to change the current situation even thou it has been talked about over and over. thanks

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Gary, I’m going to reply to you by e-mail as I have some questions.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Stanno103

    Hi Lesley,
    I resigned on 30th June, to finish end of July. I had ten days holiday left pro-rata and had previously booked week 3 of July so I said on 30th June I would take the remaining five days in week 4, effectively finishing at the end of week 2.
    On 15th July (my last day) I was told that my leave for week 4 was not approved because I had booked it after resigning and the company could insist that I work (and they pay me holiday pay).
    Two questions if I may :
    1) Can they prevent me taking week 4 as holiday?
    2) Did they reject my leave notice too late?
    Many thanks for any advice/comments.
    Stanno

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Stanno, thanks for your query.  Basically, yes your Employer can tell you when you can take your holiday, although they need to give you notice to do this (see the legal minimum notice periods above).  Whether they rejected your leave notice too late, I’m unable to say, as this will be what is written in your contract as to what notice they need to give you to approve or decline leave requests.  Did they initially agree it and then reject it later? If you want to e-mail me I’m at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Martin Collard

    When I transferred over from one company to another via TUPE we had to change from fortnightly pay to monthly pay and were given a company loan to do this payable back out of wages over a year. Now I am off sick and am only in receipt of SSP , can my employer deduct the monthly costs of the “loan” from my SSP. It is not a student loan. More like a company bridging loan and is about £120 per month. SSP is killed if this is taken like this. 

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Martin, has this actually happened yet or are you asking up front? It’s going to depend on how the loan was worded I guess, as if you are not in receipt of actual ‘wages’ then it may be that it won’t happen.  You need to talk to your Employer if you can.  Regards, Lesley

  • Ben

    Hello,

    i have a question about college courses for work.  Although my course has now finished i was attending weekly all year until mid-way through June.  The course was on a Thursday evening every week and lasted for 3 hours (Nebosh Health and Safety Mangement).  I was paid for these 3 hours at my normal hourly rate.  However my question is that as these hours were spent studying for work, should these hours class as “working Time” and therefore go towards my holiday entitlement?  I work in the offices at work but the guys on the factory get paid either time and a half or double time for any overtime, which i did not.  I am not too fussed about getting the extra money back, if i should have got overtime rate, but i would like the holiday. 

    Thanks for any advice.

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Ben, thanks for your query.  Basically the answer is yes, if this is work-related training which you are being asked to attend , then this counts towards working time.  However, if you are working full-time and already receive the full holiday entitlement your company gives, then you probably wouldn’t receive any more for this – it will depend how your holiday entitlement is worded in your contract – if it says for e.g. 28 days per annum for full time work then you probably wouldn’t get more.  If your holiday entitlement is worked out based on the actual hours you work, you may.  If you’ve got any further queries then please e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Dusan Harcar

    Hi Lesley. I work for a company as a night shift manager. We get paid every four weeks and on top of my salary payment for this four weeks period i get paid £20 for each night I`ve worked. However when on holiday I do get paid just my slary payment for weeks when on holiday. Example when i work full 4weeks (20nights) i do get paid salary + £400 and when I take 1 week holiday I do get paid salary + £300 which is £100 less for this period (-£100 for week taken as holiday). Is this legal?

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Dusan, thanks for your question.  I’m afraid it’s going to depend entirely what it says in your contract, i.e. whether it says your night shift payment is contractual and should be paid when you are not working it and are on holiday.  If you want to e-mail me I’m on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Thanks, Lesley, Workline

  • Kay

    If my night shift has been cancelled and I was was asked to make up the hours during the day do I have to do this in order to get paid or should I get paid even when I could not to do day shift. I am contracted to work just two nights a week and my contract says for fri 8pm-6am and for sat 9pm-7am. Thank You for your reply.

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Kay, thanks for your query.  It’s going to depend on the reason your night shift was cancelled (i.e. was there no work available?) and what your contract says about your hours of work and whether you can asked to be changed them at short notice.  If you want to e-mail me on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Caz

    Hi,
    I am a staff nurse on a critical care unit. I have been told that our working patterns are shortly to change from 7.5 hour shifts to 12.5 hour shifts but with only 30 minutes break for the entire shift.
    My colleagues and I are concerned that this is not a sufficient break period.  The working time regulation seems to suggest a 20 minute break per 6 hours worked, therefore surely a 40 minute paid break would be the minimum we should expect?
    Many other NHS trusts offer 2×15 minute tea breaks plus a 30min lunch break for the same shift pattern.  Can you advise us please.
    Many thanks.

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Caz, thanks for your question.  I’m afraid that the 20 minute break required by the Working Time Directive if you work over 6 hours is the only legal break required.  You do not need to legally ‘double’ it if you work over 12 hours etc.  There is no other legislation around break times, lunch times.  Hope that helps.  If you want to e-mail me I’m on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley

  • Ms Feeyo

    Hello.
    I am working for my emlpoyer since October 2007. I worked PT 3days a week but since July 2010 I am 4 day part timer.
    I was always wondering why my collegues who are full timers are getting time off in lieu when worked on a Bank Holiday and I was always told that part timers (according to the law) are not
    allowed for a day off in lieu. I am paid 1.5 for working on Bank Holiday but i was never offered an additional day off.

    I am given 16 days off per annum. Which is not the same number of days if you calculate 5.6 x4=22.4
    Is the employer right about my holiday allowance? Or they haven’t applied the new law about minimum holiday allowance?

    Can I ask for the days back which I had lost in the last years due to the emoloyer’s fault?

    Regards,
    Wiola

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Ms Feeyo, I’m going to reply on e-mail as I have some questions.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Michelle

     I’ve work 18hrs a week last month and now I lost 3hrs a week coz i drop one of my shift how many holiday Im entitled to? Do i get the same amount of holiday ?

  • Dylan

    hi can someone help my daughter is 17 the first thing is that they want her to work until 10 oclock at night i`am not sure this is right the other thing is when she started she told them she had college 3 days per week so she could only work thursday friday saturday and sunday which was fine during the summer holiday she has been working some of the days that she would have been at college she has to go to college on wennesday for registration for this term she told them she could not work that day they are saying she has to make this up on monday which would have been her day off any way also i understand that young workers have to have 2 days off per week how would this work with college

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Dylan, if you read above you will see that people under the age of 18 should not generally work at nights (between 10pm-6am) and she should receive a 48 hour rest break each week from work (that does not include time at college – the working time regulations are solely about working).  If you have any further questions please let me know at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Thomas

    This legislation is silent on holiday entitlement when working STW under an employment contract.  STW is in essence part time which attracts a pro rata holiday entitlement. Please clarify.

    Thanks

    Thomas.

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Thomas, I’m going to need some more details about what STW actually is before I can answer this, i.e. what hours you work etc etc.  You can e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Csabou7

    Can a boss really force hourly and salary employees to work over 20 hours consecutively without a lunch break or rest break for several days now???

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi, I’m going to reply to you by e-mail as I have some questions.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • elaine

    hi was wondering if you could help, i work a 4 on four off  split shift rota, shift starts at 8am till 12.45pm then 16.30 till 22.00hrs, am i right in saying you should have 11 hours break between finishing at night and starting again in the moring regards elaind

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Elaine, yes you should have a 11 hour break, BUT there are exemptions depending what industry you work in and what job you do.  If you work in an industry that requires 24 hour continuous service (for example) you can have less than a 11 hour break as long as you receive the time back you did not get out of the 11 hours as ‘compensatory rest’.  If you want to give me more details then you can e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley

  • David

    Hello Lesley.I start work at 0600 driving prisoners all over the country.My nominal finish time is 1400 but we work till the job is done.It is not unknown to finnish work at 2030 a 14.5 hour day.My employers then insist that we start work again at 0600 the following morning-a break of only 9.5 hours-saying that the 11 hour rule doesn’t apply to them.
    As my job entails driving people about and I am usually tired when I start work after such a short break,can I insist on an 11 hour break?.Thanks

    • Lesley Furber

      hi David, your Employer could be right if they fall under the exemption of needing to provide a continuous 24 hour service or a security service.  In this case you are entitled to ‘compensatory’ rest if you do not have a 11 hour break.  If you’ve got any queries then please e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley

  • KitKat126

    I’ve
    been working as a store assistant for an international German supermarket chain
    since June 2011. As they operate on a productivity system, they have minimal
    staff working each day. We are required to work shifts of up to 14.5 hours per
    day, with the first and last 15 minutes of our shifts being unpaid as this is
    the ‘way of the company’.

     

    During
    our shifts, we are not allowed regular breaks because “there isn’t
    time”. Occasionally (and when the area manager visits the store) we are
    allowed a 15 minute lunch break. I do not have a problem (or much of a choice)
    with the length of our working days, but I am not sure that it is legal for us
    to work such long periods with only a mere 15 minute break (that’s if we get
    one). I have been told off a few times for using the toilet without permission
    as there isn’t time for me to do so.

     

    The
    work we do is quite strenuous and tiring (if we don’t sweat, we’re not working
    hard/fast enough), and it is difficult to stay alert and perform to the best of
    our ability when we haven’t eaten during the day and evening and are on the
    verge of passing out with hunger and lack of energy.

     

    The
    assistant manager said the unpaid hours are like a payback to the company
    because they do not legally have to pay us for our holidays, and that they do
    so as a nicety. Although my contract clearly states we are entitled to 5.6
    weeks/28 days paid annual leave. He said that this is also the reason that the
    breaks set out by the company are taken out of our wages.

     

    My
    employee hand book states the following with regards to breaks:

    Employees
    working a 4 hour shift will receive a paid 15 minute break.

    6
    hours is a 20 minute paid break.

    8
    hours is a 30 minute unpaid meal break as well as 2 paid 15 minute breaks.

    If any
    shift extends through the hours of 11:30 am to 2:30 pm or 4pm to 7pm, employees
    are entitled to a 45 minute or a 30 minute unpaid meal break, respectively.

     

    Is it
    legal for them to take our breaks from our wages like this?? And is it legal to
    work such long hours with one 15 minute break (if we are lucky) for the whole
    14.5 hour period??

     

    I feel
    so demoralised and disrespected as a worker and a human being and am feeling
    quite depressed about it. I have raised issues with the managers but feel I am
    fighting a losing battle.They have such an alarming staff turnover rate and
    staff that have started and swiftly left during my employment have all said
    they left because of the issues I have stated. Please help me as I’m on the
    verge of walking out of my job!!

  • KitKat126

    I’ve been working as a store assistant for an international German supermarket chain since June 2011. As they operate on a productivity system, they have minimal staff working each day. We are required to work shifts of up to 14.5 hours per day, with the first and last 15 minutes of our shifts being unpaid as this is the ‘way of the company’.

    During our shifts, we are not allowed regular breaks because “there isn’t time”. Occasionally (and when the area manager visits the store) we are allowed a 15 minute lunch break. I do not have a problem (or much of a choice) with the length of our working days, but I am not sure that it is legal for us to work such long periods with only a mere 15 minute break (that’s if we get one). I have been told off a few times for using the toilet without permission as there isn’t time for me to do so.

    The work we do is quite strenuous and tiring (if we don’t sweat, we’re not working hard/fast enough), and it is difficult to stay alert and perform to the best of our ability when we haven’t eaten during the day and evening and are on the verge of passing out with hunger and lack of energy.

    The assistant manager said the unpaid hours are like a payback to the company because they do not legally have to pay us for our holidays, and that they do so as a nicety. Although my contract clearly states we are entitled to 5.6 weeks/28 days paid annual leave. He said that this is also the reason that the breaks set out by the company are taken out of our wages.

    My employee hand book states the following with regards to breaks:
    Employees working a 4 hour shift will receive a paid 15 minute break.
    6 hours is a 20 minute paid break.
    8 hours is a 30 minute unpaid meal break as well as 2 paid 15 minute breaks.
    If any shift extends through the hours of 11:30 am to 2:30 pm or 4pm to 7pm, employees are entitled to a 45 minute or a 30 minute unpaid meal break, respectively.

    Is it legal for them to take our breaks from our wages like this?? And is it legal to work such long hours with one 15 minute break (if we are lucky) for the whole 14.5 hour period??

    I feel so demoralised and disrespected as a worker and a human being and am feeling quite depressed about it. I have raised issues with the managers but feel I am fighting a losing battle.They have such an alarming staff turnover rate and staff that have started and swiftly left during my employment have all said they left because of the issues I have stated. Please help me as I’m on the verge of walking out of my job!!

    • Lesley Furber

      hi I’m going to reply by e-mail to your query.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Ralf

    My employment contract states:
    “You agree that the 48-hour limit under the Working Time Regulations 1998 shall not apply to you.”
    What’s the point of such regulations if your employer can force an “agreement” out of you or decide not to employ you at all?

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Ralf, thanks for your question.  Your contract should also say that if you don’t agree with this you can Opt back in at any point (giving them the notice they specify).  If your Employer forces you to sign this and you are not happy then this is illegal and if you suffer any ‘detriment’ because you refuse to sign it (i.e. not employing you) then this is also illegal and you can make a claim to an Employment Tribunal.  If you’ve got any further questions then please e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regard, Lesley, Workline

  • Skagav

    hi,i work for a delivery & installation company and drive a three and a half tonne van,we are on a reference 17 week period time calculation.i,ve been off work for the last three weeks for an operation and just returned to work this week to find out that my boss has said that they do not have to had my sick leave time to the 17 week period for the three weeks i was off sick.
    am i write in saying that they have to add the hours if you take annual holiday leave,sick leave & maternity and paternity leave?with me driving a three and half tonne van am i covered by the working time directive?
    i’ve looked up & down the internet for advice but there are to many different answers,could you please help.i’m contracted to work 38 hours a week,do they have to add 38 x 3 for the time off in the 17 week period?

    • Lesley Furber

      hi, I’m going to reply to you by e-mail as I have some questions.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Skagav

        thanks for the e-mail lesley,i know there are issues with the white van man shall we call it,anything up to three and a half tonne drivers.
        we don’t come under the same rules as a tachograph drivers,but everything said for them reguarding working times applies to the white van man under the working time directive,as i can see.
        as for the 38 hours i mentioned that’s just the basic they go off to pay us a hourly rate,we do horrible hours per week,anything up too 60+ easy.that’s why they use the 17 week reference period.on a whole they’re trying to get the hours down by not adding annual leave,sick leave ect ect.
        i wish i knew the law proper to stick it to them once and for all,they’re bleeding us dry,longer hours works out at a lesser hourly rate.just like today out on my own at 4.30 this morning and home for 7.15 this evening,average day.is there anything we can do to stop doing these long shifts when your salaried?

  • Quinlan-b

    Hi my wife has had a week off work as holiday in that week she injured herself which ment a trip to the doctors and hospital then was told to rest her foot until the swelling went down this took the following week to heal but her company have stoped her holiday pay For the week before can that do this ????

    • Lesley Furber

      hi I’ve got some questions so I’m going to e-mail you.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Aaronjagger

    I worked for one of the largest retailers in England.My previous employer said it would be detrimental to my career to not sign out of the 48 hour working time directive when I signed a contract to go salaried. I as a result worked up to 105 hours a week and on average 70 plus hours a week. This equated well below minimum wage.
    I eventually left as a result as I had once collapsed and could not sustain the hours….please advise.

    • Lesley Furber

      hi, I’m going to reply by e-mail.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=516721584 Charley Moroney

    hi, where i work i have been told that i am not entiteld to holiday pay, i did used to work 5 days a week, occasionaly saturdays but have now become a student while still working 2 days a week at the same company. what am i entitled to?

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Charley, what sort of contract are you employed on? Is it a casual PAYE contract? If you want to e-mail me I’m on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • MrBluBlah

    Hi, I am currently doing courier service with drinks and biscuits + cakes etc etc door-to-door, we are required to be at the depot for 8.30am and our last customer at the earliest is 5.30pm But if we have had a load of new customers added we have to aim and catch as many as we can in to keep the business growing which has seen some drivers doing there last call at 6-7pm and the company say because we signed a contract that states “we will do more to help the compant succeed and grow” they can hold us to this, Also we only get paid for our standard 37.5 hours per week anything else is commision after we hit a hard target!!!! please reply!!!

    Thanks!!!

    • Lesley Furber

      hi MrBluBlah, from what you have described above, I’m not sure your company is doing anything illegal.  The clause you’ve quoted is slightly ambigious but probably clear enough to give them the flexibility to ask you to work extra hours.  Your Employer has no legal obligation regarding pay or overtime, other than to make sure you are paid the National Minimum Wage for all the hours you work (which is £6.08 from 1st October 2011) – they do not have to pay  for overtime or pay extra.  If you are regularly working over 48 hours per week then you should be asked to sign an Opt Out to agree to work more than 48 hours (but this is not something you have to agree to sign, legally).  Hope that helps.  If you have any more queries then please e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Karen ( known as kate)

    Hi Lesley, I am having numerous problems with my employer over hol entitlements as its a small business and she just does not know the legal requirements. I have researched a lot myself but I have one oustanding query – I work part time, started in 2006 and my contract says 20 days hol (pro-rata) PLUS 8 bank hols (pro rata). As the abk hol entitlement is stated as extra, should I still get that on top of the now legal minimum of 5.6 weeks hol? I know this legal minimum CAN include bankhols bit if they are shown in my contract as an extra entitlement, how do I stand? She doesnt know so I am really asking for all of us at the company. Thanks! I am hopefully addressing he other various issues but I cant find a definitive answer on this one!  Cheers, Kate

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Kate,  it’s fine that the entitlement is split up into ‘normal’ holidays and ‘bank holidays’ in your Contract and it is your Employers choice what she wishes to do – i.e. give you 28 days in total or more than 28 days.  As your contract is from 2006 (when the entitlement was 20 days plus bank holidays; which rose to 4.8 weeks on 1.10.07 and then to 5.6 weeks on 1.4.09) I would advise she sends you a letter confirming what your holiday entitlement is now.  Hope that helps.  If either of you has a query then please e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Karen

    sorry !  theres a typo in my post above – line 4 should say ” as the BANK hol entitlement….”

  • a tired engineer

    Hi hope you can help as I’m getting myself confused with all the advice on line
    My questions are about work time, rest periods and pay
    I’m a security equipment install engineer
    1 in every 8 weeks we are required to cover call out
    our normal working day is 9am till 5.30pm with 30 min unpaid lunch when on call this changes to 8.30am till 5pm as we cover call out till from 5pm till 8.30 am
    Whilst on call we are regularly called out 5 to 6 times a night and can be out anywhere between 40min to 2 hrs even longer some times and be out all night with little or no sleep
    we get £10 a day after tax for being on call then time and a half before midnight and double after till 8.30 sounds like a good deal until we say were tired and need a rest then we loose 1hrs overtime for each 1hr we take of and were extremely frowned upon if we do
    If we refuse to do call out we would loose all our bonuses and there will be little or no overtime available
    Is anything they doing illegal and any documents about to prove it?

    secondly were are sent on long journeys from Manchester to Canterbury for example and can be expected to be there before 9 traffic depending work between 1 to 7 hrs then drive home we get our 30 min unpaid break but if we stop for more than 30 min that time is deducted from our wages
    Again is there anything illegal about this and any documents to prove it

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi, I’m going to reply to you by e-mail.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • ….

    hi im confused about all this lol, i often finish work at half 9 at night then am back at work 6.30 the next morning, i work in retail so am i actually allowed to do that? also are you allowed to be called in to work when your on anual leave? i often work 6 day weeks and in the past 5 months ive only have 2 days off in a row once, but this says every 7 days you should have 24 consecutive hours off… im getting myself really confused here, i would really appreciate it if someone could just help me out thanks x

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi, thanks for your message.  I think it’s unlikely your Employer would have an exemption under the WTR (but obviously I don’t know) so you should get a 11 hour rest break between finishing and starting work the next day.   Working 6 days weeks is legally allowed if you getting 1 day of 24 hours consecutive rest off per week (or it could be 2 days of 24 hours consecutive rest in every 14 days).  If you’ve got any questions then please e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Wool

    hi i want to no if you are actually allowed to opt out of the eleven hour break rule as we all want to

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Wool – yes, it’s above and there are conditions which are:

      It may be possible to forego your weekly and daily rest break
      entitlements if you choose to do so, as long as:

      You do not breach the 48 hour weekly average working limit (unless you Opt Out – see next section)Provided there is no foreseeable risk to your Health and Safety, andYour Employer has given you the chance of having the rest
      periods but you choose not to (Employers are only obliged to ensure you
      take the rest breaks if you wish).You will therefore not be entitled to compensatory rest.
      Please note though that your Employer must agree to this, as it is technically a ‘breach’ of the WTR, but if everyone is in agreement it is ok.  hope that helps.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Crusty

    Could you comment on the legality of the introduction of an 84 hour working week that is being proposed in several local authority Fire and Rescue Services nationally.
    The 84 hours will comprise of an average 42 positive or ‘working’ hours and 42 standby hours spent on call and responding to emergencies, in provided, on site accomodation, with “no more than  5 days continuous duty to be undertaken in a row”.- ( This equates to up to a maximum of 120 hours continuous time spent at ones place of work.)

    This duty system is supposed to be voluntary, will attract an additional allowance, and is getting some interest from personnel. 

    Is the fire service exempt from the Working Time Directive as an ‘Essential Public Service’ ?                    – although volunteers are to be required to opt out of the WTD.
    Does this exceed the maximum number of hours you should work in any week, even when opted out of the working time directive?
     
    By not opting out of the WTD, personnel will be unable to remain in their current  posting, will not have access to the additional allowance payable, will incur increased care and travel costs, and will have a significant increase in travel time. Are these classed as suffering a detriment? 

    Also, what are the health and safety implications for both the employer and employees? - as the motivation to work this duty system is solely financial. There appears to be little or no consideration being given to personal safety from working such excessive hours,or the safety of colleagues working alongside and reliant on one another in what are often dangerous situations.

    I hope this explains our employers proposal clearly.

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Crusty, I’m going to reply by e-mail.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Robert

    When you mention a 7 day period is that a calendar week or any consecutive 7 days.

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Robert, it’s any consecutive 7 day period.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • SHAUN GREGORY

    Could you comment regards night shift working<
    My wife has been informed that as of next week she will be working night shift.

    She works as a weaver on high speed machines, it is possible that there my be only one other worker on site or maybe no other workers, Is this legal?

    I see that according to law she is supposed to be offered a health check before starting nightshifts, so far her employer has not offered this.Is this Legal?

    Her payday is normally every Wednesday be her employer is constantly changing this day to the next one sometimes with only 1 day notice,Is this Legal?

    SHAUN G

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Shaun, thanks for your questions.  Regarding your first question re possibly only one person on site, that is more of a Health and Safety question so it might be worth you ringing the Health and Safety Executive as they will be able to point you in the right direction.  Re the other questions – her Employer must offer her a health check before she starts night work and at regular intervals after that.  Re your last question – your Employer should specify when she is paid and stick to that but I’m not aware there is anything in law to prevent them changing the date, however annoying and inconvenient that is – as long as she is being paid for all the hours she is working.  Hope that helps.  If you’ve got any further questions then please e-mail at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Mark Popely

    Hello,
    My employer expects me to be on site to start work at 8 am daily. No problem there.
    However, sometimes the travel time can be in excess of an hour, and over an hour back home.
    Does he have to pay for this as an overtime payment, as realistically, I`m sometimes leaving home at 6.30 in the morning to get to site for 8.

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Mark, when you say on site do you mean somewhere different to your actual place of work? It’s going to depend what sort of ‘time’ this is? ‘Normal’ travel to work is not counted as working time.  You need to check what your contract says about what is travelling time etc.  If you’ve got any queries please e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Shazzathegreen

    Hi.  I wanted to change my full time employment to part time.  At present I am a team leader but if I change my hours my boss said I will lose this role and just go back to an assistant.  I work in a Nursery and I have a 3 year old and find working FT a struggle.  Can my boss demote me like this?

  • ats

    is it legal?
    if I want to work and someone(managger)
    wants to send me home because we are not busy.
    is there any limit or anything?

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi, it’s going to depend partly what your contract says, how many hours you are employed to work, whether your contract says you can be sent home if there is no work etc. If you’ve got any further questions then you can e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Wilyb153

    Is there A time frame an employer has to let me know that I have to work over my shift ends for instance I work 6pm to 230am when I came in 30 min later my boss tells me I will stay till 530am I tell him I can’t is there any time frame he has to give me to where I would have to stay?

    • Lesley Furber

      hi, what does your contract say about your shifts? If you are late then you can certainly expect your manager to ask you to work later or take off pay.  However, I would need more information to answer this fully.  They should give you reasonable notice to change your shift patterns, but then had you told them you were going to be late, but there is nothing in law about the amount of notice they need to give you.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Deanpearson3

    I work as a residential care worker who works shifts. Early= 7.30am-2.30pm and Late= 2.00pm-10.00pm.
    I often work an early shift following a late shift, only giving a nine and a half hour break between shifts.. my employer is changing this shift pattern to work in line with the working time regulations. We as a staff do not want this and are happy with the current arrangement. As my work requires 24 hour staffing is there a way we can opt out of these changes.   Dean

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Dean, this paragraph from above is about how you can choose not to have you daily and weekly rest breaks: 
      “It may be possible to forego your weekly and daily rest break
      entitlements if you choose to do so , as long as:

      You do not breach the 48 hour weekly average working limit (unless you Opt Out –)Provided there is no foreseeable risk to your Health and Safety, andYour Employer has given you the chance of having the rest
      periods but you choose not to (Employers are only obliged to ensure you
      take the rest breaks if you wish).You will therefore not be entitled to compensatory rest.”
      This does mean your Employer needs to agree to this as it is technically a breach of the Working Time Regulations so both parties need to be happy with the arrangements. 

      If you have any further queries then please e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • ann

    hi i work any where from 8 – 10 hours a day monday to friday 40 hours a week, the only break we get in a ten hour day is 30 mins lunch break am i entitled for this break to be paid?

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Ann, basically no, there is no legal entitlement to a paid break (legally you need 20 minutes if you work over 6 hours), but if your employer chooses to pay this break he can.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Mick Collingwood

    Hi.  I have been researching regulations about paid holiday but have come across lots of conflicting information.  According to some sites (including this one).  Workers are entitled to 28 days paid leave which may include Bank Holidays.

    However the TUC site and others state.


    Since April 2009 all workers
    have, from the first day of employment, the right to 5.6 weeks’ paid
    holiday per year. You can work out how many days off you should get by
    multiplying the number of days you work each week by 5.6.

    Other European countries have always said that this minimum annual
    holiday entitlement should be in addition to their public holidays –
    usually called bank holidays in the UK. This was not the case when the
    rules were introduced to the UK, and employers were allowed to count
    bank holidays such as Christmas Day against the (then) 4 week minimum.

    Thanks to trade union campaigning, the Labour government  closed this
    loophole. UK workers have now gained better minimum holiday rights so
    that a full-time worker can get the European minimum of 4 weeks plus an
    extra 8 days – the number of bank holidays in most of the UK.

    This is not the same as an entitlement to take bank holidays off work. While many contracts
    of employment do give an automatic right to take bank holidays off,
    some jobs have always required people to work during holidays. What it
    means is that you can take 4 weeks plus either bank holidays or time off in lieu for any bank holidays that you had to work.”

    So who’s right??

    Thanks

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Mick, I’m going to reply by e-mail.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Tiz0504

    in my last job i was paid a bank holiday even though it was not my day to work but because of the new law we were paid , i have now started at a new job but the employers do not recognise this and will not pay us , also if our working day falls on xmas day and boxing day but shop is closed are we entitled to any pay

    • Lesley Furber

      hi TIz, the  8 normal bank/public holidays per year can be included in these minimum statutory holiday entitlement of 28 days per year but at the moment
      there is no statutory right to take bank holidays off. Therefore if you
      take a day off as paid leave on a bank holiday it may count as one of
      your annual leave days under WTD legislation.  I’m not sure what exactly you are referring to when you say the employer ‘does not recognise this’ ? Paying bank holidays? If you want to e-mail me I’m on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • elle

    Hi Can anyone tell me if i take an unpaid break away from my work place can i face a disciplinary. I work in a care home and work 12 hour shifts. Ive been told by my manager that if i go off the premises for my break i will be disciplined. is she right x

    • Lesley Furber

      hi, in law you are entitled to a 20 minute unpaid break if you work over 6 hours.  This needs to be away from your normal work place but the law does not specify anything further.  So you need  to look in your contract/company handbook to see if your Employer has any written rules about where you can take your break.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Paulmooney

    Can I voluntarily work for more than 12 hours per day or is there a limit

    • Lesley Furber

      Yes, but there are restrictions, which are:
      It may be possible to forego your weekly and daily rest break
      entitlements if you choose to do so (for e.g. you volunteer for
      additional shifts), as long as:

      You do not breach the 48 hour weekly average working limit (unless you Opt Out)Provided there is no foreseeable risk to your Health and Safety, andYour Employer has given you the chance of having the rest
      periods but you choose not to (Employers are only obliged to ensure you
      take the rest breaks if you wish).You will therefore not be entitled to compensatory rest.

      Therefore you will need your Employers agreeement.  Hope that helps, regards, Lesley, Workline

  • James

    Hello Lesley. I have a few questions about the hours I work. I work delivering fitness equipment in a white van, I am paid from 2pm until 9pm Tuesday through Saturday. When I was first hired, I didn’t sign a contract of any sort. I was told by my employer, I qoute “We pay you up until 9.00, if you work after that you won’t be paid, but if you finish early you will still be paid up until 9.00.” The problem I have is we RARELY finish early I think since I have started there I can count on one hand how many times I’ve finished early. Most nights I will finish anywhere from half 9, to half 10. Hence I don’t receive any wages for this time period. My first question is this. Can they do this? I am also told I need to keep holidays to cover days off due to not being able to work because of inclement weather, I am always ready and able to work. I have not been off sick once since I’ve started there last Jul. Again, can they do this? Any advice would be most appreciated. Thank you. James.

    • Lesley Furber

      hi James, thanks for your query.  As long as you are receiving the national minimum wage for all the hours you work, then your Employer is able to do this.  Re your second question, your Employer, if they are requiring you to use leave on days you cannot work because of bad weather, need to give you notice to take the the  leave (which I guess might be difficult when it’s weather related). Does this happen? you can e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley

  • Mr Danielbrent

    Hi Lesley,

    Would you be able to clarify the actual position with respect to the eleven hours daily rest entitlement. My employer believes that it means I can work for 24 hours and then have 11hrs rest, whereas I maintain that I can have have 11 hours consecutive in the 24 thereby allowing a lawful 13 hour shift. It seems there is an ambiguity. I do agree that an individual can work over their hours , should they wish, and that also working time can be arranged to give a 26 hr shift with back to 11 hours rest over two days. However my employer says that there is no limit to shift length, even if I ask for my 11 hours and that they interpret reg 10 (1) as to mean a lawful shift of 24 before 11 hrs rest is given.

    What is the correct legal standing on this so to speak.

    Thanks

    • Lesley Furber

      hi I’m going to reply to you by e-mail.  Thanks, Lesley, Workline

  • Alec

    Hello, I began work with a company on a three-day a week contract. However, I was expected to work many hours over the contracted time, so I negotiated with my boss a four-day week salary. I actually worked five days a week plus evenings – extra hours unpaid – because I enjoyed the work.
    Our company was taken over by another company, who announced there’d be layoffs and cutbacks. I worked under the new management for approximately three months.Meanwhile, I found out that others in our company doing the equivalent of my job were paid a five-day week. I approached my new line manager and asked for a pay rise to five days a week, and informed her I was doing at least as much work as those others. She refused immediately and was, I felt, very rude, so I handed in my notice.After leaving the company, I discovered that the new managers had reduced my salary to three days a week when they took over, despite my negotiating a four-day week with my previous line manager.Therefore I worked approx 12 weeks at a reduced rate without realising (I was extremely busy).Am I entitled now to invoice the new managers for the shortfall – ie, 12 x days – or do they have the right to cancel a financial agreement I made with a previous manager? 

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Alec, I’m going to reply to you by e-mail.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • James

    Hi, I have recently discovered I was entitled to holiday pay at a previous job where I was being paid hourly. I made the foolish error of not reading my contract and was unaware I was entitled to holiday pay as an hourly paid member of staff. I was working there for 9 months before being made full time. Apparently the holiday pay is not paid unless it is requested. My question is how long after finishing a job can one request holiday pay? It has now been 7 months since i finished that contract and 16 months since I began it.

    Thanks in advance,
    James

    • Lesley Furber

      hi James, well I’m not sure there is anything in law about the length of time you have to make a claim for holiday pay, but there is a length of time you can complain to an Employment Tribunal about not receiving it and that is generally 3 months.  The only thing you can do is ask them for the payment and see what happens.  So you know for the future all ‘workers’ are entitled to holiday entitlement/pay.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Andious

    Hello, i’m currently in dispute about how my manager is allocating breaks amongst staff. I normally work a 10 hour shift, on a daily basis for 5 days of the week. Although my manager only alllows me to have 20 mins for the entire day? Is she correct?

    • Lesley Furber

      hi, legally yes she is correct you are only entitled to a 20 minute break if you work over 6 hours – although your contract of employment can give you more than this statutory minimum amount.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Pjgaler

    my daughter started work recently, and it was 4 days on 2 days off, 12 hour shifts. surely this is illegal.  the wages were good, but only because its a 60 hour week in our view!  but she is desperate to get back to work, after being ill, and then on job seekers. she received no training, and was put in the deep end. after two days they called her before her shift started and they said she wasnt making enough calls, so not to come back! they said their pay day is on the 7th of the month, and when she didnt receive pay on the 7th for the two days she had worked she called them.  at first they said they would pay her the following month because the two days were too late for that month.(is this allowed?) when she insisted they should pay her straight away as they told her not to come back, they said they would check with the boss and call back, which they didnt.   now they are not answering her calls, and it looks like they are trying to fob her off and not pay her anything.  she is out of pocket for petrol etc, and as she is on job seekers, short on that too.  what do you think?

    • Lesley Furber

      hi, I have some questions so I’m going to e-mail you.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Karen

    Hi I’m starting maternity leave in may 2012 I work 5 days a week and get 28 days holiday a year (includes bank holidays) I’m planning on taking all of my holidays starting from April which they have said I’m entitled to 20 days, would I not be allowed the 8 days bank holidays too?

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Karen, yes you are entitled to all the normal statutory minimum holiday entitlement of 28 days during your maternity leave.  Your Employer is wrong unless there is another explanation for this.  If you have any queries please e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Matthewburgos

    Hello,
    I am an industrial firefighter working 24hrs on and normally 48hrs off. Since we respond to only in plant calls our call volume is limited and we fill our time with emergency equipment inspections of anything from emergency exit lights to fire hydrant maintenance.

    Our normal work day starts with a morning safety meeting at 0700 with a 1hr lunch paid. An our day has ended as late as 0400 the next morning with a break for dinner. Of course if we were responding to an emergency that is without question that it is legal, however would inspections constitute the necessity of working up to 20hr days? Is it legal for an employer to require this of us and of course still require us to be emergency response capable? When I asked about this i was told “we pay you for 24 hours you can work for 24 hours”.

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Matthew, I’m going to reply to you by e-mail.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Jdowling70

    What is the legal situation of investment bankers who work more than 100+ hours a week. Is this infringing the law?

    • Lesley Furber

      hi, the Health and Safety Executive advise that no-one should be working more than 78 hours per week, with all the rest breaks taken into account and if they sign an Opt-Out.  However, it may well be that Investment Bankers are classed as ‘autonomous’ workers (see above) which means the weekly working hours limits will not apply to them – I’m not familiar with the Banking Industry so I’m afraid I can’t help you – you should check your contract of employment to see what it says about the Working Time Regulations.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Fiona

    Hi I work in a restaurant and have been told that I must not take holiday over festive events such as valentines day, easter etc. Also that I am not able to book holiday from mid July and all of August and all of December. Are they able to reduce my available holiday options in this way? (it seems unreasonable as this is nearly 1/4 of the year)

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Fiona, yes I’m afraid your Employer can request you to take holiday to suit their business – however, they do need to give you the correct notice to do this – see above.  Hope that helps.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Thomp40

    Hi, I work in a call centre where stress levels are very high due to the nature of the work ie most calls are problem related . For over a month now we have been using a new phone system were the phone activity in on screen this increases the time spent staring at our VDU’s significantly do can anyone advise the accepted legal (or company) time an employee should spend before a break is called for ? Is there a % of the time spent looking at the screen during a daily shift we should work to ?? !!! Please assist

    • Lesley Furber

      hi, the Working Time Regulations don’t cover this specifically – this is a more of a Health and Safety issue so I would advise you look at the HSE website to see if they have any guidance. I’m not aware there is any but that would be the best place to work.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Cconroy73

    What notice does my boss have to give me when he wants me to stay over.  My shift finishes at 6pm, i work as a retail operative but 3 times this week the 6-9pm girl has not shown up.  They said i HAVE TO stay to cover her, someone said they can only keep me 15 minutes  but my husband picks me up at 6.05pm so i need to inform him and 6pm is too late because he is already outside. Please help.

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi this is going to depend entirely what your contract says about how flexible your Employer requires you to be about hours of work and whether they can ask you to do extra hours at short notice.  There is nothing in the Working Time Regulations about this I’m afraid.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Robert Bowman

    Hi, my wife is a Nurse, I would like to know how much break time she is entitled to working a normal 8 hour day and secondlly a 12 hour day. The employer is under the impression if for what ever reason she missed it then it is her loss. 

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Robert, the only legal entitlement is a break of 20 minutes if you work over 6 hours.  The employer needs to ensure the break is provided but does not need to ensure the break is taken.  If you’ve got any more questions then please e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Reece Carter88

    I work in a vets. My contact states I do a 8 hour shift. ( which I have not signed yet ) Sometimes my boss asks me to work 4 hours then go home for 3 hours then come back to work another 4 hours. Is this aloud ? X

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Reece, you need to refer to the contract and see how it is worded, whether it says the hours can be flexible/the shifts can be split – in law this is allowed but it’s going to depend on what your contract says.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Timanderson947

    Hi,
    Would answer me a question?? I work 12hrs a night mon- fri is this within the law as I’m confussed!! I work in security.
    Many thanks

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Tim, yes that is within the law if you have signed an Opt Out of the 48 hour working week.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • http://www.facebook.com/LeroyJHall Leon Horn

    Just added up my pay for the last 12 weeks…. it came to 196 after tax.

    Just had a week off and I’ve been paid 150 holiday pay??

    Surely this isnt right???

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi, it might be right, it depends if you are doing any ‘overtime’ in a normal week that is not contractual (i.e. not written into your contract) as holiday pay may not be paid on those type of earnings – if you want to send me more details I’m on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley

  • Andy

    I’m a full-time chef for a pub chain. On one day next week I’m rota’d to do 0730-2200, then the next day from 0730-1500. I have signed the 48hr week opt out. Is the break between these 2 shifts legal? I thought the ruling was 11 hours between shifts?

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Andy, yes the rule is 11 hours rest between shifts – however, several groups of workers are exempt from this – for example if you work in an industry that needs to provide 24 hour service, if you are a shift worker (see above for the full list) – if you are exempt then you are entitled to ‘compensatory’ rest for the rest you did not get, as soon as possible.  If you have any questions you can e-mail me on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, lesley, Workline

  • J Mcdonough

    Hi, I work in the public sector working 36.5 hrs flexible working and on an on call rota. Due to government cuts we have lost two members of our team which is now four and one of those is coming off call due to medical reasons. My question is can my employer force me to be on call one week in three? Thank you.

    • Lesley Furber

      hi, it’s going to depend how your ‘on-call’ rota is described in your contract.  If this is set out in a way that is can be flexible (i.e. your employer can change the details of your rota), then yes this is probably allowed.  If you have any more questions you can e-mail me on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • AtotheK

    Hi 

    If i am a business owner, and I wish to do more than 48 hours a week for my business, and I do not have uninterrupted breaks.  Is this legal?  I can not afford an employee at the moment.  But once the business is off the ground I will

    • Lesley Furber

      hi, I’m going to reply to you by e-mail.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Charlie

    Hi, I work as a support worker doing 14hr shifts plus sleepovers. We are given 1hrs break un paid but we dont have any where to go as the people are supported in their own homes and cant leave them alone. I dont get a break at any time of the shift.  Is this allowed.

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Charlie, re your 1 hour break are you actually working during this time or not working?  There is nothing in the legislation that says where your break should be.  However, as you work in the care sector and do shifts you are likely to be exempt from needing to receive the 20 minute break (if you work over 6 hours) during your time at work as long as you get this in ‘compensatory’ rest afterwards, as soon as possible.  If you’ve got any queries then please e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • JamesHeggie

    Hi I work in security, work for a company where I have signed
    an opt-out and they won’t allow anyone to work more than 84 hours a week but
    like you to be close to this. We work either 12 hour days or 12-14 hour nights
    (95% are nights). Basically first thing is holidays, the way I see it is you
    get 5.6 weeks holiday capped at 28 days so guess you book 5 days off to get a
    week? I did this last month so expected to get 60 hours pay but got 43 so I
    looked into this and it says it should be averaged over 12 weeks which is 67. I
    passed this onto head office who have no interest in the matter, I have also
    found out that for the week off which was only 6 days as I came in on the Sunday
    they used 7 days holiday! The contract I have isn’t worth the paper its written
    on as it doesn’t say what my working week or hours are just that I get 28 holidays
    a year.

    The other thing is the contract states that all
    bank and public holidays are paid at double time. As Christmas day and new
    years day both fell on a Sunday my understanding is these become public
    holidays and the next working day the bank holiday i.e 27th Dec and
    2nd Jan? The contract does not state which days are paid at double
    just says all so if above is correct I should have been paid it right. I have
    worked out that I am owed over £300 just from the last couple of weeks. Any
    advice on what to do next would be appreciated

  • Lisa Boyce

    Hi

    I have 2 employees who have some training to do this has been booked for over a lunch break to minimise the impact this will have on the business. They are insisting they must still have a full hours break as they need an ‘emotional break’ from the job ( they are receptionists). They won’t be leaving the practice and will be in the same rooms the training has been held. The impact the extra break will have on the business and patients is huge. Am I right in thinking they are entitled to just a 20min break?

    Thanks

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Lisa, I’m going to reply to you by e-mail.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Mark

    Hi I work 45hr week 1 in every 8 days I do standby/ call out if I work my day 7:30am-5pm and than have a standby job and I work till 2am i get 1hr added on to get home bathed and in to bed then I’m told all I get is 9rhs sleeping time so I have to be in at 12 mid day so if I get till 3 am and book till 4 am I’m back in at 1pm that day 9hr rest I work in utilities which is all manual work if looked on this site and see I should have 11 rest time we used to have to work till 2am two 9hr shifte back to back and not gave to come in but this has chanced if you could help to clear this up thanks mark

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Mark, you say you work in Utilities and it may well be that you are covered by an exemption that means you do not have to get the 11 hour rest break – but without knowing exactly what job you do/who you work for/ if you work shifts I can’t advise further – you can e-mail me at workine@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Mark

        Hi I work for carillion we are subs for bwh water we work 7:30 till 5 week days it not shift work standby is every 8 days and only if we have a job like a leak on a Water main that can’t be left for next days work we are not made to be on standby it is are choose and when it very cold and there is lots of leaks we can cover more if needed

        • Lesley Furber

          hi, it’s likely that is covered by the exemption for Utilities because 24 hour cover needs to be provided.  Therefore if you cannot get the 11 hour rest break this is allowed as long as you get ‘compensatory’ rest for the part of the break you didn’t get as soon as possible afterwards.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Chrischip

    Working time rights.
    I work as a HGV driver on a 48 hour week contract. I regularly have to work around 54 hours per week. My employers operate a 26 week reference period for the working time directive and state that a weeks annual leave constitutes 40 hours rather than a 48 hour week, i.e in this period so far (17 weeks to date) i have had 18 days of my annual leave. thus bringing down my weekly average in line with the working time directive. Is this a correct procedure?   
                                                                       Many thanks Chris 

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Chris, this is going to depend on what your contract says about how annual leave is calculated and how your hours of work are described.  If 40 hours are your ‘normal’ working hours and the rest is overtime this could explain it.  If you have any questions you can e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

    • Waynemc64

      your , as you said 48 hour week contract…..thats your answer..48 devide by 5 =9.36…..you should get the full 48 hours pay..

  • Berriegirl

    Hi
    I am am part time worker (3 full days) but have been off sick from work for the whole of our annual leave period (Jan-Dec).
    I have been told by my employer that I am entitled to payment for holidays I have been unable to take due to my illness.

    The company sickness policy states:

    “When you are absent as a result of sickness, you are entitled to accrue 4 weeks or 20 days annually (pro-rated for part time employees). Whilst you are not entitled to accrue contractual holidays or any statutory holidays un the UK Working Time Regulations when you are absent as a result of sickness, the Firm reserves the right to allow you to continue to accrue contractual holidays during any such period”.

    My pre-illness entitlement was 26 days plus 8 bank holidays (pro-rated) to 20.4 days in total.

    I have now received an email from them informing me that I am entitled to 20 days (pro-rated) to 12 because:

    ” Under
    the UK’s Working Time Regulations 1998, employees are entitled to a
    minimum of 28 days’ paid holiday per year.  Under the European Working
    Time Directive, employees
    are only entitled to 20 days’ paid holiday per year.During any period
    of LTD leave, statutory (as opposed to contractual) holiday
    entitlement continues to accrue. However, this right to accrue
    holiday during STD or LTD arises only in relation to holiday entitlement
    under the European Working Time Directive, as opposed to under the UK’s
    Working Time Regulations 1998. As such, the applicable minimum number
    of paid holiday days per year is 20 days, not 28.  These 20 days must
    then be pro-rated in the case of part-time
    employees, such as yourself.  This gives you a pro-rated annual
    entitlement of 12 per year whilst on LTD.”I am now totally confused – can you please advise?

    • Lesley Furber

      hi I’m going to reply to you by e-mail as I have some questions.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Claire Munn

    As i Domiciliary care service do staff need to have the 11 hour break between shifts.

    • Lesley Furber

       hi Claire, you’re probably exempt from this if where you work provide 24-hour care or you work shifts.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Stuzart60

    Hi,

    I’m currently working part time in a retail store, being on the rota 9 – 6 three days a week. However I am usually kept at least 45 minutes after my shift is due to end to do other jobs, all of which is unpaid.

    Is this legal, or is there any legislation preventing this?

    • Lesley Furber

       hi, it’s not illegal, as long as you are receiving at least the national minimum wage for all the hours you work, and your contract should say that you are required to work additional hours, unpaid, as and when required (or something similar).  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Dean Wilson20

    I’m a security officer and I have worked 31 1/2 in the weekend but went on into the next week and ding anther 8 hours on is that legal

    • Lesley Furber

       hi Dean, you’d need to give me more details about your working patterns, what exact days/hours you worked and how often this is the pattern, and what your normal working pattern is.  You can e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor:disqus .co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Henrywalder

    Hi, I work in retail what is the minimum Amount of staff allowed to be on the shop floor with more than one exit point?

    • Lesley Furber

       hi Henry, I’m afraid that’s a question that Workline cannot help you with – it’s more likely to be a Health and Safety question so you could look on the Health and Safety Executive website to see if you can find an answer there.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Lysysloik

    hi
    I work as a part-timer, 6 days a week (always) and i want to take a holiday break. I asked my manager how many days i have already (I work for 6 months already), and my manager told me that i have just 5 days of holidays, because in my contract states, that i work just 5 hours a week, which is nonsence (i work always 20 hours/6days).
    Who is right? Me or my manager?

    • Natalie Tan

      Your holiday is usually quarterly; this means that your holiday hours are accrued every 12 weeks, so yes you are right. Calculate your holiday pay below:

       http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Employment/Employees/Timeoffandholidays/DG_10034642

    • Lesley Furber

       hi, this is going to depend how your contract is worded.  If it is for only 5 hours a week and the rest of the hours you do is ‘overtime’ which is not specified in your contract, then this does not have to be counted towards your holiday entitlement – it is only due on the hours that are specified in your contract.  If you have any further queries you can e-mail me on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • SRiley

    Can I be made to be ‘on-call’ away from the workplace if I am on annual leave that day?

    • Lesley Furber

       Hi, you need to check what your contract says – you could argue that you are not effectively getting a days leave if you are on-call.  If you want to e-mail me I’m on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Michellegrenney

    I work a 24 hour shift as a lone support worker in a clients own home. I am paid £7 per hour from 9am-11pm then £4.25 per hour from 11pm-7am (sleepng night)  £7 from 7am-9am. I often start work at 5am as that is when the client wakes, yet I am still only paid at the lower rate. I am not allowed to leave the client’s home at all during my 24 hour shift, Is this pay legal.

    • Lesley Furber

       hi Michelle, legally you must be paid at least the national minimum wage for all the hours you work.  However, when you are ‘sleeping’ you need not be paid unless you are actually doing some work.  So you need to work out how many hours you work and see if you are being paid the NMW for all these (which is currently £6.08 per hour) – you can e-mail me on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk if you have any further queries.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Jim

    Hi there, just some advice really, I work in what can be described as retail (car garage). We work from 8am-6pm and have an hours pay deducted from us every working day for a “lunch break”. We are actively encouraged to NOT take this break and are simply frowned upon and made to feel very awkward on the odd occasion that we might decide to take it in a structured manner (ie im on lunch at 1oclock today etc). What instead is the “culture” is to take it as and when you can, sometimes this can be achieved but the majority of the time it cannot and what tends to happen is you will stop to break but will promptly be asked to come off your break to start working again as more work has arrived. We are expected to be flexible so that if we are breaking and a customer was to arrive, or a phone was to ring that you should immediately stop and attend to the matter, this tends to be exasperated possibly due to being understaffed to deal with instances of people taking their entitled break so as I said this rarely tends to be a “block” of time rather dots and dashes throughout the day when available. My question really therefore is, can they deduct this hours pay from us when its so actively discouraged to take, and if not shouldn’t they have to provide us with a structured break from work (ie the legal 20min minimum) bearing in mind the hours loss of pay every working day? Sorry to rant but theres a lot of variables involved here and is difficult to summarise, hope it makes sense and sincerely appreciate any advice you can give!

    • Lesley Furber

       hi Jim, I’m going to reply to you by e-mail.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Xoranium

    My boss threatened me with my job unless I took unreasonable flight times to turkey, the late flight means I will arrive at my hotel at 12.30 am and only have sleep for 5hrs till I have to work again. I try explain I will not function well with so little sleep after long travel and working before I travel. Please help, do I have any rights here?

    Xoranium

    • Lesley Furber

       hi I would need more details to answer your question – what you do, what industry you work, what your contract says about travel, what normal hours you work etc.  You can e-mail me on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Steven Clough

    I Work in a Cinema, and do shift work.

    Does the 11 hours rest still valid in this industry?
    Also when I made a complaint about this years ago, there said there can do as long as its not more than twice a week.
    Coming in to work at 9am after finishing at 1am/3am leaves my snappy and unproductive.

    What can I tell my boss if there try to fob it off?

    • Lesley Furber

       hi Steven, if you are a shift worker then you are exempt from the 11 hour rest break, but should receive ‘compensatory’ rest for the portion of the 11 hours rest you did not get, as soon as possible.  This legislation is all to do with Health and Safety, so the only thing you can do is explain to your boss, if you can, that these hours are  making you tired and potentially unproductive and see what happens.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Joe

    Hi
    I work in a kitchen as a chef. I have been there for 4 months and my contract states I get 28 days yearly leave. It does not state my weekly hours, it just says a maximum of 40 hours.I recently took 10 days leave and was paid just 5hrs pay for each or those days. Even though my hours vary weekly I do at least 3 12 hr days a week with 1 or more split shift of 5 hours.
    I questioned this and was told I only get a % of my normal pay for leave, is this right???
    I have been told that from April I will not get any holiday pay, but a 9% increase on my hourly rate and this will compensate leave pay. Is this right???

    • Lesley Furber

       hi Joe, I’m going to reply to you by e-mail as I have some questions.  Thanks, Lesley, Workline

  • Guest

    Working as a head chef with a contract that states i must work a minimum of 40 hours to gain my salary and i have not opted out of the 48 hr rule, i keep finding myself working in-excess of 60 hours a week and keep getting told it is the nature of my job. As i am 1 of  7 managers on site and there is only 1 other that works similar hour and 5 more that work 40 hours or less is there anything i can do to bring myself back in line with my salary hours.

    • Lesley Furber

       hi, I’m going to reply to you by e-mail as I have some queries.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • kev

    work in the dock industry,i operate overhead gantry cranes on container ships,12 hour shifts,recently refused to work an extra hour was told i would be disciplined if i did not do as instructed,how is this possible

    • Lesley Furber

       hi Kev, you need to read your contract of employment and see what it says about being required to work extra hours.  If you’ve got any queries when you’ve read how it’s described then you can e-mail me at workline@freelancadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • RML110

    Hi,
    Bit of a complicated one this so I will try to explain as best I can.

    Recently left my employers after 12 years excellent service to them under some shocking circumstances.  I am attending an appeal hearing next week and I have raised the following issue with them concerning my leaving there employment.

    I would like to focus on the Companies failure to abide with the Health and Safety Executives regulations on the Provision of Breaks (No Provision of breaks made at all even though 30mins per day deducted from pay).

    Companies failure to comply with Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992. Regulation 4. 

    Unpaid Overtime with respect to the none provision of breaks.

    Companies failure of it’s duty of care to it’s employee’s i.e. failing to make provisions for breaks (even though a system was put into place by a previous manager that worked for all employees) 

    Failing to conform with it’s own company directives with reference to RTW interviews (2 Occasions both where I was admitted to hospital for heart attack type symptoms) and there importance in capturing employees concerns, needs and potential health concerns.

    Failing to correctly pay holiday entitlement on dismissal (28 Days entitlement, 20 days taken by time of dismissal with only 11 days of the working year left to run)

    Companies failure to correctly pay my salary as per my contract for approximately 6 years (early shift pattern payments).

    So as you can see a fairly lenthy list of items to cover.

    What I would like to know is are my concerns listed above legitimate enough to be seeking compensation?  If my concerns are legitimate what would be the best way to approach this appeal hearing, they have refused me the right to a solicitor to attend with me.

    Any help at all would be most appreciated.

    • Lesley Furber

       hi, I’m going to reply to you by e-mail.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Darren

    Darren Wagstaff
    i work in the care industry and sometimes work 14 hr shift and never get chance to take a break dueing the shift are we allowed to take the break at the end of the shift and finish early my employer says no and we miss our break please help

    • Lesley Furber

       hi Darren, if you work in the care industry and are a shift worker it is likely that you are exempt from needing to have the 20 minute rest break that you are legally due (if you work over 6 hours).  However, the rest break you do not get should be given as ‘compensatory rest’ as soon as possible, if possible, but that does not have to be until after your has ended.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Suzi

    hi, i have been off work 4 times in a year but 2 times with medical advice stating i was unfit for work, yet my employers state this is not acceptable and have issued me with a warning is this legal.

    • Lesley Furber

       hi Suzi, I’m going to reply to you by e-mail as I have some queries.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • david brown

    Hi ,ive been working as a hgv driver 7 years  4 on 4 off ,can my company decide to change this and force me to this change,they have proposed a shift pattern where i will onlg get 1 day off in betwween 11 days , within the month i get a 2 day off and a  3 day,but the 1 day off  i thought as a driver is not healthy or safe,
                                 Can they do this?
                                  kind regards david brown

    • Lesley Furber

       hi David, I’m going to reply by e-mail as I have some queries.  Regards, Lesley, Wrokline

  • Jen

    My contract says that my normal working week is 36 hours – which is 3
    shifts of 12 hours, but I am constantly being put down for 4 of these
    shifts in a week, taking me up to 48 hours (Which I believe is the
    maximum I can work without signing an opt out). I would prefer to only
    be doing 3 shifts a week as is contracted, do I have the right to insist
    on this?

    • Lesley Furber

       hi Jen, it’s going to depend what your contract actually says in terms of extra hours your Employer can ask you to work, on top or your contracated hours, whether they have the flexibility to ask you to do this with no limit etc.  If you want to read through your contract and if you have any questions you can e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Danielle York

    Hi, my partner is classed as self employed (we have to do a tax return every april and he pays National Insurance seperately by Direct debit every month) however he gets his wages from his “boss” a subcontractor. Just recently he has been asked to work nights and reading through the information above this has all been ok. However he went back to normal day work, getting up at 5.30am, travelling 2 hours on a train and then getting home the same way at about 6/7pm. He is a lift engineer so it is quite manual work. While back on normal day work he was asked to travel across london bu train to attend another site for a different job, all in all he was working 15 hours, but this could have been right through the night to possibly 6am the following morning. How would this stand? I am not sure about the content of his contract. But this seems highly unfair.

    • Lesley Furber

       hi Danielle, if your partner is genuinely self-employed then it is unlikely that the working time regulations will apply to him (i.e. the rest break provisions above).  They cover employees and workers only.  If you’ve got any further questions you can e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Pm_robertson

    I work in a residential childrens home, the management are attempting to impliment a new rota, which would mean some being in the building for 25.5 hours and 24.5 hours at a time. Can they do this, the current “sleep in” arrangement means an employee is on site for 23 hours.

    • Lesley Furber

       Hi Pm, I’m not aware that there is a time-limit on sleep-in arrangement hours.  Are they changing other conditions like pay and breaks?  If they are changing a term that is in your contract of employment then they should be consulting with you about this change and not just imposing the changes.  You can e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk  if you have any further questions.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Mas7656

    hi can you tell me if a carer does a sleepover uninterrupted, then works 3 = 5 hrs next morning is it law that you can’t work for another 24 hrs? 

    • Lesley Furber

       Hi, I’m afraid there is no law to that effect.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

    • Beth

      hi mass. our care workers work an 8hr shift, then a sleepover that night and then an 8hr shift the next morning. this is actually their rota and in their contract. 

  • Kacha

    I am work support worker in a private house, I work 129.5 hours per 4 weeks, I work intensely on week 4 and 1. It is 9 days in a row, one day off, 2 days in a row, one day off and I work 4 days in a row again, I have 3 days off. Is it legal?

    • Lesley Furber

       Hi, from what you have described it sounds legal – if you are a care worker then you are possibly exempt from the need to have the rest breaks described above including the weekly rest breaks (which are 1 x 24 hour continuous rest period in every 7 days or 2 x 24 hours continuous rest period in every 14 days).  If you have any further questions you can e-mail me on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Beth

    Hi I hope you can clear up a few questions, I am classed as a shift worker. I work in a residential home. I do 3 weeks night and 6 weeks day. I work from 9:30pm till 8am for 4 nights, but i only get paid for 9.5 hrs. I have been told, the other hour from 7am to 8am is unpaid. This is when the 2 members of staff  are meant to have there break. most of our residents are i need at this time. When I come off  night-shift to start my days, I can come of on monday morning and start my back-shift on the tuesday afternoon. most of us complain about these shifts. is there anything we can actually do about it.   

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Beth, I’m going to reply by e-mail as I have some questions.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Donellew

    Hi there, i work a part-time job but am nearly 5months pregnant, due to working in a bakery i only work the afternoon shifts as i get bad morning sickness, my boss told me people are complaining about me doing 3 5 hour shift a week as my contract states i have a minimum of 15 hours per week, this week i only have 1O hours but my contract is on a miminum of 15. Is this legal? or should they be paying me for 15hours anyway?

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi, thanks for your message – are you doing 3.5 hour shifts is that what you mean?  In your contract does it say your hours can be reduced/changed at any point for any reason (without consultation)? This is important to check.  If your contract does not say anything about this then they are changing your contract and can only do this if they consult with you first.  I’d probably need a few more details, how long you’ve been there, how long you’ve been working these reduced hours etc, to answer this completely so if you want you can e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Emma

    i have been working as self-employed for three years i was offered this as an alternative to PAYE due to the fact i use my car to of set costs.  However i follow the same terms and conditions as other employess.  However i have never recd holiday pay, and it was offered and then withdrawn.  Recently i mistakely divulged confidential information by accident regarding the sale of the company and many employees were worreid about their jobs.  As a result of this due to the draconion of my employers i fear that instant dismisal is something my employer would seek.  I would be very grateful if you could inform me of my rights and the if i am entitled as others to holiday pay as i have just got by without this.  Any information or advice you have would be great.  I have been a loyal hard working self-employed person for this company for three years

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Emma, I’m going to reply to you by e-mail as I have some questions.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Jules

    I am a freelance employee on a temporary staff contract. I have been advised by a friend that I am entitled to claim payment for Public and Bank Holidays even if my employer closes their offices on those days and I am thus prevented from working those days. Please could you clarify what the current legislation says my entitlement actually is.

    Thanks
    Jules

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Jules, thanks for your message.  First you need to be clear whether you are freelancer or a worker? if you are a worker (from what you describe ‘temporary staff contract’ you may be) then you are entitled to holiday – if you are a freelancer then you may not be. All workers and employees are entitled to 28 days holiday which usually includes Bank Holidays (although these can be given on top) – so if you are full-time then you should automatically receive payment for these days.  If you have any questions you can e-mail me on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk. Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Lexvernfrench

        hi my boss is self employed do i need to work up my holidays i’ve worked all year so far am i due holidays or not because my boss said recently when i wanted some time off i wouldn’t get paid because i did not work them up

  • Sophie

    if i did a 7 hour shift from 9-4 then had a 7 hour break to then return to work at 11.00pm till 12:00 noon and then had a 20hour break until my next shift is this legal i am enployed as a private carer

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Sophie, this quite possibly is legal – if you are a shift worker or work in an industry that needs 24 hour cover, or you can be described as doing ‘unmeasured’ working time – see above – then you are exempt from needing a 11 hour break between shifts.  If you only got 7 hours rest (rather than 11) you should receive the additional 4 hours as soon as possible, if this is possible – if you then had a 20 hour break after your 11pm-12midday shift then this could have included the 4 hours you were ‘owed’ from before.  Hope that helps.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • A Barnetson24

    Hi I work in private nursing home, which the employers dont pay for bank holidays, days in leiu or time and half.
    Is this right

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi, you need to paid for bank holidays (all of the normal ones if you are full-time, pro-rata’d if you are part-time), although this may not necessarily be on the day of the actual bank holiday, depending on any shift patterns you have – you must get your full entitlement paid over the whole year though. With regards to day off in lieu these will generally be paid (but I would need more information from you about what your contract says about these).  Are you saying your Employer doesn’t pay time and half for overtime – they have no legal obligation to pay more for overtime worked. If you want to e-mail me I’m on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Davemiller68

    Hi, i work shifts of 8 hours with 4 days on and 2 days off. Starting with a shift at 0500hrs till 1300hrs then the next set of 4 is a late shift which starts at 1300hrs to 2100hrs, with being on call from 2100hrs to 0500hrs.
    Can you please tell if i can work this late shift finishing at 2100hrs and then return to work at 0500hrs the next day to work an early shift , only having 8 hrs rest between this shift.

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Dave, as you are a shift worker then it is probable that you are exempt from needing the 11 hour rest break between shifts, so this 8 hours is acceptable.  However, you should receive ‘compensatory’ rest of the 3 hours (11-8) you didn’t get, as soon as possible, if this is possible.  If you have any other queries you can e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Jjohno2004

    Hi.
    I started work on the 23rd march 2009 my employer said i am not entitled to holidays until the following year he has done this with every member of staff who work there.we do not have contracts he reckons there is no need and i know this is wrong can anyone confirm this .there is six of us and it is his own company
    thanks

    • Lesley Furber

       Hi, yes if you are a ‘worker’ then you have a right to holiday entitlement from day 1 of your employment – the legal minimum is 28 days per year (if you work full-time) which can include bank holidays.  Good luck.  Lesley, Workline

  • Anncollins69

    hi i work 7 days a week 2 hours per night .how many paid holiday entitilment do i get please 

  • bettyboop

    hi im contracted to a 28hr week,but its always been 32-40+ weeks.we never get a propper brake,i normally work a 10hr day shift at a time in a residentail home,we get cups of tea ect but never have time to enjoy it,as were always needed.Is this legal? And also as im contacted to a 28hr week,no set days times ect just expected to go in when they say,should i be getting time and a half if i exceed 28hrs?

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Bettyboop, as you work in the care industry it’s likely that you’re covered by the exemption that means if you can’t have a 20minutes break (if you work over 6 hours) then this is allowed as long as you get the time back as ‘compensatory’ rest at the end of your shift.  With regards if you should be getting time and a half – this is going to depend only on what your contract says, if it has provision for paying extra; there is no legislation that says you should get extra pay for working extra time over your normal hours; the only thing the law says is that you should get at least the national minimum wage for every hour you work.  If you’ve got any questions you can e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Johanna

    Hi, I am a contractor working full time for just one company. There is no agency involved, so I invoice the company directly and they pay me directly. My contract states a fixed daily rate and a working day is 7.5 hours.
    I used to do several hours overtime per day on a regular basis without getting paid extra. Now the workload has decreased and my boss has decided to pay me less than the daily rate if there is not enough work to fill 7.5 hours per day. I have to stay close to my computer all the time though, because I never know when I will get a task to do. Is it fair that I get paid only a part of my daily rate if I work less than 7.5 hours? (just to clarify: my contract does not mention anything about this).
    Thank you for your advice.

  • Markmcisaac

    hi,
    i work on and offshore on dive boats my contract is 37 1/2 hrs a week and a daily bonus if offshore has been for years but i only get 1 day for every 7 nights away, now iv been away a few times now for a month at a time working 12hr shifts and the latest was n/shift, the thing is i have asked for my 4 days due for the 28 days away and am not getting them as there busy so that means iv been working 28 days nightshift to get home thursday afternoon to go to work fri morning!! is this legal?? they said that you have to put in a holiday request for your rest days but if we are busy you wont get them.
    regards mark

    • Lesley Furber

      hi I’m going to reply by e-mail as I have some questions.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Anne

    I am a domiciliary care worker and unsure if I am covered legally to go into clients home at 6.30 am?  am I insured to work after 10pm?  …. sometimes i work from 6.30 start to 10pm finish with an hr in-between to have lunch ..can this be correct?

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Anne, thanks for your message.  I’m not sure what you mean by insured?  Your Employer can set your working hours as long as they do not breach working time limits – legally if you work over 6 hours you are entitled to a 20 minute break.  If you’ve got any questions you can e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Malcolmgreenaway

    Hi

    This may be a little long, but I will try to explain myself as best as I can.

    I work for a company that our work could be mainly flying to other countries, not an airline. I will clock on for work in th UK then part of my work is in this country, then I will fly abroad somewhere, anywhere in the world. Once I have returned to the UK and finished all my relevant paperwork I will clock off, this maybe some 72 hours later, in this time I may of been given a minimum of 11 hours rest time in the country I am in. The company may then start me on another job 11 hours later and again go abroad,not much of my work is in the UK, the company and my job are located in the UK. Could you tell me how this would affect me under the WTD and if the down time I am given in another country would contribute to my rest period, I am paid for the full time I am away including the rest period.

    My next question is, our company have gone onto to annualised hours, I understand their reasons and how it works but I think the company may be abusing this slightly to work only in their favour. I have been contracted to do 50 hours per week and an annualised 2600 hours, however the company are saying they can work me more than that per week. I don’t have too much problem with that, except that if we work over these hours what would be classed as overtime and that they have said they will review this on a quarterly basis and then decide if any extra hours done would be paid as overtime or hours deducted from my annualised hours. I thought that a company could not do this as they would be making profit from my wages by holding onto them for that period of time. The last thing was that, if i was not able to complete my hours each month that the following month they could make me work on my days of, I am given a three month roster and which they have said they could give me seven days notice to swop my days off, is this legal. When I signed my annualised hours contract it stated that it maybe in exceptional conditions, could be changed with consultation with both HR and myself and 28 days notice has to be given by either party. Would they be able to change my days off with only seven days notice, as I have pointed out the 28 days and their reply was that is only to change my shift pattern, which I would of thought changing my days off is a change to my shift pattern.

    Sorry this is a bit long winded, at present the company employ over 200 staff to do the very same job and at lot of them are unsure of the legality of what the company is doing, so the reply to this would benefit them as well.

    Look forward to your answer and help.

    Many Thanks

    Malcolm

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Malcolm I’m going to reply to you by e-mail.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Kevin Hobson

     Hi,

    I am working for a company which has recently been taken over by another company.

    My question is i am being forced to take a lunch break for a hour were people on shifts are allowed to work 8 hours straight through.

    The shifts they work are 07:00 till 15:00 and 11:00 – 19:00.

    There is nothing wrote into their contract that defines this or when i have to take my lunch and also why they dont have to do this.

    My understanding is that as long as i take a rest it doesnt matter when i take my hour lunch break as long as it is in my working hours as specified above:

    A break of 20 minutes if your daily working day is more than 6 hours
    long (or 30 minutes if you are aged 15-18 years and you work more than
    4.5 hours at a stretch).

    Can somone please clarify this for me.

    Cheers

    Kev

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Kev, yes you are correct everyone should have a 20 minute break if they work more than 6 hours.  It is fairly normal for most peoples lunchbreaks to be unpaid (I presume your’s is?) and depending on what your contract says your total weekly working hours are your Employer has every right to ask you take it at a certain time.  I presume you are doing a different job to the shift workers? which may explain why you are being asked to do different things.  If you have any questions you can e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • suesquires

    i work as a community support worker, visiting clients in their own home with call times varying  from 10mins to several hours. We use al voip-track logging in & out system and these times are shown on our  wage report. Your website says we must get paid the NMW for any time while on business including travelling between clients and waiting to meet another carer.. We only get what is called a “visit Premium” and I believe it is paid for a maximum of 6 mins and is supposed to cover the travelling time.(Sometimes depending on the property, it can take 4-5 minutes  to lock up and get out of the building The time it takes to get from one client to the next is usually a lot more than that and the result is  we can be out on shift for 8hrs  and only get paid for 4hrs. Also the visit premium pay is not itemised so there is no way of working this out or checking that it is correct. 
    my querie is:- is this legal. Why do we have to work 60-70 hours to make a normal working week of 30 – 35 hrs.

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Sue, you posted similar on the ‘Care Workers’ page as well?  I advised you that you needed to get more details of the ‘visit premium’ from your Employer as 6 minutes is clearly not very long.  If you want to e-mail me I’m on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • suesquires

        the email address 
        workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk doesn’t seem to be valid. I’ve replied to this post separately but not sure if you have received it.

      • AD

        Hi,

        I have just come across your website and registered but found this
        e-mail address for replies, and would be very grateful if you could answer this
        question.

        I will be starting nights in a 25 bed care home soon on bank, meaning i
        have effectively a zero contract hours, which is fine as i knew this when i
        joined, but i was told i am entitled to 20 days holiday accrued depending on my
        hours worked of course(12hr shifts), but i read that the legal bit on your site
        says all workers are entitled to 5.6 weeks(28 days) holiday, i got this when i
        was permanent doing a fixed 36hr varied 12hr day shift in another home, but is
        this right or do the extra days only get added if i get made permanent nights.
        Thank you for your time.

        Regards.

        AD

        • Lesley Furber

          hi AD, on a zero hours contract you are likely to be a ‘worker’ but workers are also entitled to the statutory minimum holiday entitlement of 28 days (which may include bank holidays) – pro-rata’d to the actual hours you work.  It’s not just permanent employees who have this right. If you’ve got any further questions you can e-mail me on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Nicolawilkinson

    hi i work 4 10hr days , do i have to make hours up for a bank holiday monday .

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Nicola, it’s going to depend what your contract says.  I presume you mean you took the monday off as holiday?  You can e-mail on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • TC

    I work in a childrens home. I start work at 2pm one day and paid till 11pm at night. I then sleep in the home getting paid a fee to sleep in then can claim overtime if I have to get up for the kids.

    I then wake and start work at 7 am till 230pm.

    Occasionally mainly at weekends we dont get to sleep till 2 or 3 am due to the kids returning drunk or not settling. I still have to get up for 7am.

    Should I being paid hourly through the night as I am still on site for work purposes?
    Im I getting adequet time between shifts? 11 pm till 7 am?

    How many hours can i work past 11pm before it becomes illegal to work as too many hours worked in a row?

    Should my workplace be letting us go home on full pay if up through the night?

    If I have been working lots of hours on night shift and crash whilst driving the next day, will the employer be responsible due to them not sending you home after being up?

    Looking forward to your responce.

    Regards

    TC

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi, I’m going to reply to you by e-mail as I have some questions.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • sadie

    hi it might seem a silly question i work 40hrs a week and have pay for all the bank holidays but when working out my holidays im left with 3 weeks holidays does my holiday entitlement count as actual days im trying to work out whether where i work 5 days a week and 2 off if they can count a weeks holiday as 7 of my holiday days when if i was in work  i would only work 5 off them or am i entitiled to actually take 21 full days holidays i only get 3 full weeks off work a year due to losing the other days to bank holiday to me im only getting 15 days and bank holidays. many thank

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Sadie, if you normally work 5 days a week (and have 2 days off as rest days) then to take a week off you should only be using 5 days.  You don’t say if you work shifts though or an irregular working pattern.  If you want to e-mail me I’m on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Patrick Harte

    Hi, I am part of an ICU on-call service employed by an NHS Trust. We are all working full time and have just moved over to a new on-call pay system. Management have withdrawn WTD payment that would have been paid as an addition to our monthly salary. They have stated that this is under investigation regionally ( N. Ireland) and that other on-call services in some trusts have had this withdrawn a number of years ago. The reason given at the time was that on-call does not fall in to working time directive payment. Is this right? Can they withdraw a payment with no reason other than “it is being reviewed”.
     Thanks for your advice. 

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Patrick, I’m going to e-mail you as I have some questions.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • ang

    hi, i work in a nursing home, and we work full days, 7:45-21.15, we then sometimes start  7:45 the next morning, are these legal hrs.also im contracted 321/4  hrs a week at 6.08 per hr.   I was off sick for two weeks.  for the first week sick i was paid 34.00 , please can you tell me if this is right.  regards ang.

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Ang, in reply to your second query about sick leave – are you just entitled to Statutory Sick Pay? If that is the case it is not payable for the first 3 days of sickness – more details are here  http://www.freelanceadvisor.co.uk/go-freelance-guide/sickness-and-statutory-sick-pay-ssp/

      Regarding your hours of work – you should have a 11 hour break between shifts but as you are probably a shift worker and also work in an industry that requires continuity of service, it is likely that you are exempt from this requirement.  This means that if you do not get the full 11 hour rest you should get what is owing to you as ‘compensatory’ rest as soon as possible, if possible.

      If you’ve got any queries then please e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Dazzza

    Hi, I have drivers who work 8-am till 4pm sometimes later and they are also expected to be on call all night as well. If they get called out during that time are they still expected to start their next days shift at 8am ?

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Dazzza, the same answers as above, you need to check your contract an it depends what industry you work in/what jobs you do/if you are a shift workers.  If you’ve got any queries you can e-mail at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Dazzza

    Can my employer make me do on call from 10pm until 8am when I already work 8am-4pm each day?
    If I get called out does this not break my 11 hour rest period?

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Dazzza, it’s going to depend what industry you work in/what job you do as you may be exempt from the need for a 11 hour rest period.  It’s also going to depend on what is written into your contract about on-call.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Gareth

    Hi
    I work in the restaurant industry and frequently find myself finishing between 12 and 1am. Then beginning work the next day at 8am the next. It takes me an hour to get too and from work. Leaving me with 5-6 hours rest before I take washing in to account. I signed an opt out form stating I would work more than 48 hours but it dis not mention I would have this little rest. Are these working times then legal?

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Gareth, thanks for your message.  If you are a shift worker then you may be exempt from needing the 11 hour rest break but you should receive the portion of the 11 hours rest you did not get as ‘compensatory’ rest as soon as possible, if possible.  I would really need to know what total hours you are working each week.  I’m afraid your travel time to and from home is included in this ‘rest’ time and is not separate.  If you have any questions you can e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley

  • Franklinian32

    i work for a high st retailer, i they want me to work a shift of two and a half hours, is this legal?

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi, yes it’s not illegal at all but obviously I don’t know what your current terms and conditions are and whether this type of shift is written into your contract.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Barrera777

    Hi there, i’m a male and i work as a security guard.just 3 weeks ago my partner has given birth to twins, the day after the birth i spoke to my employer in regards to paternity pay and they said i was not entitled to it because i did not notify them in time. My supervisor knew my partner was pregnant form the moment we found out but he didnt tell me that i had to notify the head office, therefore for the two weeks i took off i will not get paid. Is there any way i can get money for the two weeks i was off. Also today (Monday) i’m working till 4pm till 11am..is this legal?
    Thankyou
    Adrian

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi, thanks for your message.  Paternity leave rules say that you must inform your employers of your intention to take paternity leave
      by the end of the fifteenth week before the baby is expected – full details are here http://www.freelanceadvisor.co.uk/getting-a-job/paternity-leave-and-pay/ 

      It might be worth you contacting your Head Office though and explaining to them that your supervisor was away of this but you weren’t made aware you needed to tell Head office.

      With regards to your working hours, are you referring to the length of time you’re working or rest breaks during or after this time?  There is nothing in the Working Time Regulations that defines how long a shift can be (unless you are a night worker).  If you’ve got any questions you can e-mail me on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Jackie

    Hi
    I work on a shift rotation for the nhs in a busy switchboard and for the past 15 years we haven’t had a break when we are working a night shift ( 10 hrs ) and a weekend shift ( 7 hrs ) which may I add if doesnt bother us as we can eat etc at our desks . Now all of a sudden we have been told we HAVE to have a break and we must make the hours up elsewhere.  Can we refuse this as none of us feel that we need or indeed want a break either on a night shift or a weekend shift .
    Thanks

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Jackie, thanks for your message.  Basically, it may be possible to forego your weekly and daily rest break
      entitlements if you choose to do so (for e.g. you volunteer for
      additional shifts), as long as:
      You do not breach the 48 hour weekly average working limit (unless you Opt Out – see next section)Provided there is no foreseeable risk to your Health and Safety, andYour Employer has given you the chance of having the rest periods
      but you choose not to (Employers are only obliged to ensure you take the
      rest breaks if you wish).

      You can explain to your Employer that you do not wish to have your breaks but they can refuse you on Health and Safety grounds.  Hope that helps.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • dan

    i work in a care home for the elderly, i work 1945-0800, 12 1/4 hour shift, i get no official break, but do get quiet times during the night sometimes, but i am still at work and if any resident gets up i have to deal with them, do these quiet times count as my break? or should i be getting a proper break off of the floor, as sometimes the nights are so busy that we get barely 5 mins to sit down, it can vary massivly..

    • Lesley Furber

       Hi Dan, thanks for your message.  Basically because of the industry you work in and because you are a shift worker then you are probably exempt from needing to have the statutory 20 minute rest break (if you work over 6 hours).  If you have any queries you can e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Ridgwayryan

    hello, i work in security, and work nights and days, …. if i have just finished a 12 hour night shift on lts say friday morning for example, and then they want me back at work 0800 saturday morning is this ok? – how many hours break/rest days between working nights and days do i have to have, as trying to turn your body clock around within less than a day is very difficult, because if i sleep all day friday after my night shift, i wont sleep on the friday night, and then will want to sleep all day saturday, but i cant as ive got to be at work, very demanding! lol thanks, Ryan. please e mail me back, Ridgwayryan@homail.co.uk

    • Lesley Furber

      HI Dan, I’ll e-mail you back now.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • John

    my employment advisor made me agree to working 8am to 6pm seven days a week this totals 70hours per week well in excess of the max 48 hours allowed
    can he make me work in a job where its 7 days a week working these hours? he also seems to think its funny to having forced me to agree to apply for jobs in dundee(i live in fife 12 miles from dundee) and would have to travel by bus the only access to dundee from fife is via the tay road bridge but in the winter when there are high winds both the road and rail bridges are closed when winds hit 60mph when i pointed out i would be unable to get home if the bridges are closed his reply was “its not my problem”
    how would i stand legally if an employer prevented me from leaving work early if high winds could possibly close the road bridge? would i be sacked for leaving to go home or is an employer in dundee legally obliged to allow employees from outwith dundee to go home if closure of the road bridge and rail bridge prevent them doing so
    if winds exceed 60mph the pedestrian walkway is also closed to pedestrians so even walking the bridge back into fife isnt an option
    my idiot advisor seems to think i could apply for jobs working in shops in dundee city centre and they stay open until 6pm hence the 8am to 6pm nonesense but when last in dundee i checked these shops and 98% of them closed at 5 or 530pm not 6pm also the employees i saw in these shops were all under 25 im 54 so doubt i would be considered
    also as there are over 2000 unemployed in dundee a dundee employer has plenty to pick from who live in dundee unless of course they dont want to work preferring instead to sit on their backsides claiming benefit and watching jeremy kyle

    • Lesley Furber

      John, thanks for your posts I’m going to reply by e-mail.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi again John, your e-mail address is not working so I’ve pasted my reply to you here:

       Hi John, in answer to your first post:

      You don’t say what job you are doing or what industry you are
      working in but if you need to work over 48 hours per week then you
      need to sign an Opt Out.  You should receive a 24 hour continuous
      rest period every 7 days (or 48 hours in every 14 days, but that is
      the Employers decision which one they choose), but there are some
      industries/jobs that are exempt from this. See this article about
      what happens if weather affects your ability to get to work -
      http://www.freelanceadvisor.co.uk/go-freelance-guide/did-you-miss-work-due-to-the-snow-know-your-rights/

      Re your 2nd comment – see this article about Sunday Working -
      http://www.freelanceadvisor.co.uk/go-freelance-guide/sunday-working-rules-and-regulations/

      Re your 3rd and 4th comments – the rest breaks from work include
      your own travelling time, they are rest breaks ‘away’ from work. 
      Again it depends on what job you are doing, what industry you work
      in, some jobs are exempt from needing the 11 hour rest break.  I
      have no knowledge of benefits I’m afraid so I can’t advise what
      would happen if you lost your job and what would happen to your JSA.

      Regards

      Lesley

      Workline

  • John

    further to my previous comments i forgot to say i would have to be up at 530am to be able to get a bus at the back of seven for an 8am start what worries me is that i have a dog and cant leave it this length of time without being walked i live alone and elderly neighbours arent able to walk her for me and dont want to get into trouble for exceeding the max hours an animal can be left though she would be walked in the morning and left food and water
    by the time i get home it would be after 7pm and by the time i walk my dog and make something to eat it would be 10pm before i know it and would be that tired i would be ready for bed and feel i cant work these kind of hours and have no social life if i have to work seven days a week without a break also the buses to dundee on a sunday are every two hours could i opt out of sunday working if working in a shop due to the lack of public transport
    no doubt my idiot advisor would tell me to use the train on a sunday yeah right after forking out £30 for a seven day ticket im damned if am forking out a further £8.98 for a return train ticket to dundee on a sunday as after paying rent(which would have to be paid as soon as i start work i lose full housing benefit) my council tax would also increase as well add into this money for bills and food i will be lucky if am left with £3.50 in my pocket all because some idiot employment advisor thinks its funny to force me into a min wage job in dundee while he can walk to his work which takes 10 minutes and finish on a friday and can socialise on a weekend this goverment it appears doesnt like the unemployed more than the labour goverment does

  • John

    with regard to having an 11 hour rest period if i worked until 6pm in dundee my bus home is at 8 mins past 6 now unless my employer was willing to let me away before 6pm i wouldnt be able to get this bus home the next bus is ten past 8 which means waiting nearly an hour and am not home until 20 mins to nine thats a hell of a long day and by the time i walk home walk the dog and make something to eat its 1030 before i know it even if i go to bed at 1030 im still not getting 11 hours rest only 7 hours
    so my idiot advisor thinking i can work these hours without adeqyate rest periods is totally wrong how would i stand legally if i refused to go to work until i had a proper rest for 11 hours as the rest period is included in travel home time but have to wait for an hour for a bus
    besides which if am finding am getting stressed out because am not getting enough rest time am going to the doctor and getting signed off due to exhaustion how do i stand legally regarding this? if my employer paid me off because i went off sick would it affect any claim for jsa?

  • John

    sorry correction to above its a two hour wait for a bus not one hour and its the last bus back to cupar which is the quick bus the 42 service takes longer but is more often including a sunday but even then only every two hours
    also having arthritis i dont fancy hanging about in the cold for two hours in the winter in rain or snow waiting on a bus due to having arthritis mind you if i find im getting pain due to hanging around in the cold i will just go to the doctor for medication or to get signed off for a couple of weeks as the stress of working these hours and not getting proper rest breaks would stress anyone out
    how do i stand legally if an employer paid me off  because i was signed off by the doctor would i be able to claim jsa after my period of sickness ended?

  • Donna

    Hey, I work in a community care home but it’s more like nursing work. I do shift work of a mix of early/late shifts. A late shift is 14.30-22.00 and can follow to an early shift from 7.00-14.30 the following day (sometimes a double shift so 15 hrs) should we be having an 11hour rest break in that time? Donna

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Donna, thanks for your question.  If you are a shift worker and because of the industry you work in, the answer is probably not, you are likely to be exempt from the need to have a 11 hour rest break between shifts.  However, you should receive ‘compensatory’ rest for the amount of the 11 hour break you did not get, as soon as possible.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Leeann1980

    hi. My normal working days are monday and Tuesday, but next week my employer will be closed on those 2 days to have some work done on the premises. There is no where else for me to work for the day, as it is his only business, but he has told me I will not be paid for those 2 days, even though I am available to work and can’t due to no fault of my own. Is this correct?

    • Lesley Furber

      HI Leeann – this shouldn’t be correct but it is going to depend on what it in your contract, so you will need to check that.  The situation is this:

       
      “If my Employers business premises is temporarily closed (e.g.
      due to flooding, fire, power supply failure) are they obliged to pay
      me?

       

      If an Employer has to temporarily close their business premises at
      short notice and there is no work available for its employees as a
      result this is called a period of lay-off.  During a lay-off you are
      entitled to receive normal pay (unless there is a contractual right to
      be laid off without pay or employees consent to not being paid).

      If your contract of employment
      has a right for the Employer to impose a period of lay-off without pay,
      or you consent to a period of lay-off without pay, you should be
      entitled to a Statutory Guarantee Payment for any complete day of
      lay-off (for more information about Lay-Off’s see the Direct Gov site here).

      If you are entitled to normal pay but do not receive it you can sue
      your Employer for damages or claim unfair constructive dismissal (if you
      resign as a result of the non-payment) on the grounds of a breach of
      your contract of employment; you may also claim that your Employer has
      made an unauthorised deduction from wages.”

      If you’ve got any further queries you can e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Bril422

    Bril422  i work 4x 12 hour shifts every week over four days, should i get 48 hours holiday pay if i put four days holiday in thanks as i have only been getting 38.

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Bril, if you work shifts then if you take a week’s holiday you are due a weeks pay.  This is worked out by finding your average weekly hours worked over the preceeding 12 weeks of pay at your average hourly rate.  This does not include any ‘overtime’ though if this is not contractual, not sure if any of your hours are overtime? If you’ve got any queries you can e-mail me on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Joan Mckenna

    Hi Lesley: Do the Working Time Regulations apply to US citizens working for US companies in the UK?

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Joan, quite possibly, are you employed/contracted under UK law? If you are then yes they could apply.  You need to look at your contract and/or amendments to see what law you are covered by.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Mon1984

    Hi there,
    I’m currently off work sick, but hoping to get back in the next 2 or 3 weeks depending on what the doctor says.   My annual leave entitlement starts Jan-Jan and includes 29 days plus 7 set bank holidays..  I had not taken any annual leave before I went off sick and had 5 days holiday leave booked in May (but I was off sick).   

    I had a meeting with HR today and they advised I will loose a portion of my holidays as I have been off over 12 weeks (by time I go back probably be off 18 weeks in total).

    I see that the WTD states I should get a minimum of 28 days (including public holidays).  I was wondering if this would mean that the 7 days public holidays would come off the 28 days and leave me with 21 days – even though I have been off sick for 3 of the Public Holidays that have fell…would I get these back onto the leave to take?

    Any advice of information would be fab.

    THANKS
    Mon

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Mon, I’m going to reply by e-mail as I have some questions.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Mon1984

        Hey Lesley, I’m not sure if you’ve sent me an email yet…I might have deleted it by mistake :-)

        Mon x

  • Barry

    is it right that during a member of staff rest day an employer can arrange for mail to be delivered to that person late in the night surely this is a form of harassment .Even under section 8 of the human rights act a person is entitled to a family and private life.

    Thankyou

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Barry, I’m not clear what you mean by ‘mail’.  If they are not asking you to do any work on your rest day then it should not be a problem but it may depend on the what actually happened.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Lecturer

    Hi Lesley,

    I work as a lecturer in H.E. working 19.5 hours per week over 3 days (6.5 hours per day) as I have a commute of 2 hrs each way. I prefer not to take a break during the day as I have two hours on the train ‘break’ after work and do not want to get home any later. My employer has noticed that I have not been taking breaks and has asked me to take an unpaid 20 min break, and proposes to reduce my working hours and salary as a result. I do not want the break and I certainly don’t want a reduction in salary. Do I have to take this break?

    Thank you :)

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Lecturer – an individual worker does not have to take the daily rest break period if they choose not to but your Employer has to agree to this – by foregoing the rest this must not take you over the 48 hour weekly average working limit (unless you Opt Out) and there must be no foreseeable risk to your Health and Safety, and your Employer must has given you the chance of having the rest periods
      but you have chosen not to (Employers are only obliged to ensure you take the
      rest breaks if you wish).  If you want to e-mail me I’m not workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Lecturer

         Thank you :)

  • Joshuax

    I am trying to dig some info regarding employ. agency conduct.

    It happened to me a couple of times that after receiving assignment from an agency (the agency sends txt messages one day earlier), I was being sent home by employer (how hires the agency). The supervisor said the agency booked a few people too many (which is not a novelty in this business). I wonder, can I claim any money (e.g. cost of travel, or equivalent of 2hours of work)? The lack of respect to private life and time is appalling. 

    PS Just to mention, my contract agreement does not say anything about it.   

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Joshua, unfortunately I’m not overly familiar with the legislation that is called ‘The Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses’  but I’ve attached a link to it here – http://www.bis.gov.uk/files/file24248.pdf so you can have a read of it if you want.  Certainly, if you were at the hirers for any period of time then you should be paid for this.  Good luck.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Matty Norris1977

    I work for a utility company and have to take part in a standby rota. I was called out various times throughout the night and the callouts added up to 8 and a half hours. This is on top of a normal days work. I finally got to rest properly at 5:30 in the morning. Does the 11 hours continuous rest start at this point?

    If I was not on call, but was called out by a collegue during the night from say 02:00 to 04:30, what rest time am I entitled to??

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Matty, the answer is going to depend on what you do (Utility Companies often require 24 hour cover?) and if you work shifts – as you may be exempt from needing the 11 hour rest break if you work shifts and/or the Company needs to provide 24 hour cover.  If you are exempt from the need to have a 11 hour rest break then you should receive ‘compensatory’ rest for the period of the 11 hours rest you did not get.  Hope that helps.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • barworker

    I work in a bar and my employer stipulates that i must arrive on site 15 minutes before my shift starts (unpaid for this time) and if i am not on the premesis 15 mins before my shift i am liable for a disciplinary hearing.

    Just wanted to know where i stand with this as i live next door to my place of work. and been there 15 minutes early seems a bit excessive . Would this be in my contract or can the employer not force me to do this?

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Barworker, there is nothing to stop your Employer requiring you to do this (as long as you are being paid at least the national minimum wage for all the hours you work) – it may be something that is written down in your contract or is a verbal requirement that has become ‘custom and practice’ at your Employers. Hope that helps.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • barworker

        hi looked in my contract and can’t see anything about arriving 15 minutes early. surely if it is a verbal agreement, they a) cant force me to do this and b) cant discipline me for arriving 10 mins before my shift?

  • Paul996307

    I was off sick for 3 months during this time shift had some days cancelled they company are now saying that I owe these shifts as well

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Paul, I’m not sure what this is related to, I cant’ find another recent query from you.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Johnnycfc

    I have been working for the last 13 months doing my contractural three nights and the next two on over time. Am i entitled to get them put on contract as i am losing out on holiday pay etc, my company says due to wages restrictions they cant offer me them on contract but keep coming in anyway on overtime?

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Johnny, I’m going to reply by e-mail as I have some questions.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Joan

    Hi, ive been working for the company 17 h a week (2 nights)+ i have contracted liability to work all bank holidays. My anual holiday leave is 8 days a year. And for working each bank holiday i get 3.4 hours extra pay. Wanted to know if the number of annual leave is right. Thank you

  • workaholic

    I am a carer working full time within the NHS. My manager has told me that I cannot take a whole week of at a time but am only allowed to take 12 hours per week.  I work alongside one other carer but as part of a larger team so there are qualified staff to cover me.  Surely this can’t be right.  How can I book a holiday or go anywhere?

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Workaholic, thanks for your question.  Your Employer can tell you when to take your holiday or when not to take it (as long as they give you appropriate notice) so they are not doing anything wrong, if you are able to take all of your holiday entitlement.  However, it is does seem very unfair and also not good for your health – do they mean this to be for a short period of time or throughout all the year? I would speak to them again about it if you can.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Pickle1960

    Hi Im a care worker. And have been told that we are not allowed to work no more then 5 days without having a days break. Bearing in mind i have done this for 4 years, and have aways had Fridays off as I look after my Mother, which was agreed. Now because they are changing he shift, it turns out hat I cannot have every friday off. Can you advise.

    Thanks
    M

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Pickle, legally you should have 1 x 24 hours rest day every 7 days (or 2 x 24 hours rest days every 14 days – your Employers choice) but your Employer can operate differently to this if they are being more generous.  However, if they are changing your shift patterns if may be they are changing your terms and conditions – it is going to depend on what your current contract of employment says about your work patterns/shifts, if they can be changed etc.  What sort of arrangement did you get to have each Friday off, was it in writing?  And did you apply for this under the right to request flexible working, as that is something you could do – details here –   http://www.freelanceadvisor.co.uk/go-freelance-guide/do-i-have-the-right-to-work-flexible-hours/  If you want to e-mail me with the answers I’m on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Martyn

    I currently work for a water company and I am contracted to do standby/Call outs, The company does a roster of what days I work with others in my team. We do a fixed 37 hour week of 4 out of 6 days per week and are guaranteed 2 back to back days off either a Saturday /Sunday or 2 midweek days if on call over the weekend. The issue I have is that even though I do standby on a Sunday the company still classes this day as a day off on my roster is this legal, as it is not a day off if I get called out to work. Yet the company still says we get 3 days off a week are they breaking the law by saying this and implementing it?

    • Martyn

      Can I also add that the company does not class our days work as a shift officially but on our rosters it is called a shift

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Martyn, yes you cannot have a rest day if you are on-call and required to work.  However, legally, your Employer is only required to give you 1 x 24 hour rest period in every 7 days (or 2 x 24 hour rest periods in every 14 days), so they are not breaching working time regulations.  Hope that helps.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Lilyh89

    i am a shop worker an i work 35hr + a week.  My boss has always paid us for our 20min break, but has recently said that it is unpaid.  he now has told us we have to come in 20mins before our shift or stay 20mins after our shift to cover this time.  can he do this?

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Lily, yes he can do both.  Your 20 minute break does not need to be paid (and many Employers don’t pay it) and your Employer can ask you to do unpaid ‘overtime’/extra hours, as long as you receive at least the national minimum wage for all the hours you work.  However, you need to look at your contract of employment to see what it says about your break (whether it is paid or not) and your hours of work (and whether your Employer can ask you to work extra hours that are not paid) – if your contract does not allow for either of these things then your Employer is changing your contractual terms and conditions – you can read more details about this here -  http://www.freelanceadvisor.co.uk/go-freelance-guide/written-statements-and-contracts/
      Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Johnsutton2319

    hi i need to know what breaks a part time worker should be having, is there any law stating that workers who work 4 or 5 hours per day is meant to get. my boss is telling me that i must take a break unpaid and i only work 4 hours per day, they are telling me i have to have a 15 minute break or 5 mins in each hour, but only after working the first 2 hours of my shift, is this right?

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi John, it’s going to be entirely up to your Employer.  Under the Working Time Regulations you must have a 20 minute break if you work over 6 hours (which is usually unpaid), but if your Employer chooses to set more regular or frequent rest breaks they can – especially if the work is demanding physically or is some other work when it is advisable to have more breaks.   Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • guest

    Hi

    I work as a heating engineer and i am contracted to work 8.00am to 4.30pm my company say i have to be on site for 8.00am sometimes i am leaving the house at 6.00am in the morning to do this am i entitled to any pay to do this?

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Guest, I presume you work at different locations?  The national minimum wage legislation (which is the only law about pay) says that you must be paid at least the NMW for time when you are travelling on business during normal working hours – you should be paid
      for all travel time in connection with your job (not to or from home to
      work) including travelling from one assignment to another (except if you
      are on a rest break).  This includes waiting to meet someone in
      connection with work.  You do not have to be paid the NMW if you are traveling between home and work if you are going to a place that is not
      your normal place of employment (i.e. you do not get the NMW for any
      additional travelling time in these circumstances).

      So it’s going to depend on what your contract says about your normal place of employment, your hours of work and what it says about travelling to other locations as part of your job (if that is what you are doing) and how those hours are counted.

      Hope that helps.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • on the road again

    Hi, I have recently had my job role changed and am now having to travel nationally around the UK. In most cases I am traveling in excess of 2.5 hours out of my normal working hours (one way) to get to work and I am not been given any of this time back in lieu or compensated for this time in anyway. I am away from home on average 3 nights a week which I am not happy about but feel like I don’t have a choice. Is this legal for a company to expect you to use so much of your own time to travel for work and not gve you any time back? I understand anything up to 2 hours to travel to and or from work would be reasonable but this seems very unfair…..I would be grateful for any advice..

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi, I’m going to reply by e-mail as I have some questions.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Radiobutton123

    What I really need to know is what aspect of the law applies to my situation, as it is atypical. I am scheduled by a central office and travel from home to different locations to do electronic installations and repairs. I usually travel between two and five hours to site, then do my work and travel home or stay in a hotel before returning home or to the next distant site. I recently did an 18 hour shift, including driving. My period of work is unpredictable and often depends on others (electricians, carpenters, etc) completing their tasks.

    My schedulers seem unaware of the rules and seem to regard my health and safety as nothing. For example,  I am working all night tomorrow, starting driving at 15:00 and probably finishing work at 03:00 (12 hours), then driving to arrive home around 05:30 (14.5hrs).  I am then meant to begin the next job, driving at 11:30am (same day) to arrive at 13:00 for a 2 hour task, and remain on that site for another task (starting at 18:00) that will take 7hrs, (till 01:00 tuesday) followed by a 2.5 hour drive home (done at 03.30 Tues). 

    What body can sort these abuses out?  My schedulers seem to operate with impunity. They are amateurs and do this random stuff to all of us field engineers. Many of the guys don’t even get paid for driving!  Is there a remedy??

    Thanks for any help.

    • Lesley Furber

      hi I’ve got some questions so I’m going to reply by e-mail.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Debbielynn

    hi my husband and i work nationally doing refits in supermarkets. we travel alot and dont get paid for driving . often we drive to scotland on our day off to work the next day !! for instace we did a job this week in watford finished on the sunday . then had to travel to wales went to work on the mon& tues night finished weds at 9am in the morn the had to drive 3 and a half hours back to watford to start that night at 8pm  is this legal ?  

    • Lesley Furber

      HI Debbielynn, I’ve got some questions so I’m going to reply by e-mail.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Virginiabaker65

    Can I have Just only 9 hours between my shifts as I finished today at 9.30 and due in at 7 tomorrow ?

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      Hi basically yes. It’s going to depend on what industry you work in/what job you do as some people are exempt from needing the 11 hour rest break. In circumstances where you can’t get the 11 hour rest break you should be entitled to compensatory rest for the portion of the 11 hours rest you did not get, as soon as possible, if possible. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • alex

    Hi. My name is Alex. I have been employed as a
    waitress in a restaurant for the last 5 months. For the last 2 months I
    am asked to come 15 minutes earlier and leave 15 minutes after I finish my
    work. In total, as I noticed, it is 30
    minutes unpaid work and I still have to, during that period, serve customers
    and swipe floors for free. Is it lawful? There is nothing in my contract
    requiring me to do so.

    Moreover, in my contract I suppose to be guaranteed
    16 hours paid work every week. For the last 2 months, since my manager changed,
    I work no more than 8 hours a week. That is not what I agreed and asked for
    when I signed the contract nor there is nothing that would suggest In my
    contract contrary to that issue.

    Am I entitled to be compensated? Would not it be
    unreasonable to go to the Employment Tribunal to present my augments? Are they
    strong enough and can they be supported by any lawcase?

  • leefaber

    hi there, i work as an engineer and my normal weekly hours are 7.30 to 16.30 and theres overtime aswell but once every seven week i come on to a call out rota were i still work my normal weekly hours with somedays overtime then come home and if the phone rings i could have to go anywere from leeds to birmingham to wales etc to attend breakdowns, how do i know whats safe to work after ive finished my shift, do i have a rest period when i get home that i should be doing as i can only be home an hour then be out another 5 hours etc just wanted some help really cheers

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      Hi Lee, I’m going to reply by email as I have some questions. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • http://www.facebook.com/charlie.streete Charlie Streete

    Can you tell me is the WTD perod of reference be it the 17 week or 26 week period a rolling or fixed period . I have always understood it to be a fixed period and as a HGV driver I work days are usually 12 or 13 hours long 5days a week I can usually get 3 to 4 hours of breaks in during the day to stay legal as a HGV driver and some to stay legal within the WTD rules

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      hi Charlie, thanks for your message. Can you explain what you mean by rolling? If you mean does the period start again once it’s completed, then yes, the reference period keeps re-starting. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • dave

    I work four 10 hour nights,get paid for 9.5 and get 2 20 minute breaks is this legal

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      Hi Dave, from what you’ve described, basically yes this is legal. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Bruce

    I know someone who works for a garage and therefore works almost 60 hours a week. As tomorrow is the 1st September they are going to work today for 0845 as normal but having to work until 1am tomorrow. They are then expected to be back in work for 0845 tomorrow to work an 8 hour shift. Surely this cannot be legal with no breaks and no option to not do it?

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      Hi Bruce, it’s going to partly depend what is written in any contract of employment he may have about the hours of work he is required to do and he if can be asked to work more hours. If he does not get a 11 hour rest break that is acceptable in certain circumstances (see details above under rest breaks). Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Alanp

    Hi
    I’m looking at a new job which requires you to work 2 x 15hr night shifts then 4 off.
    Is this within the requirements ?

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      Hi Alan, sorry for the delay in replying (think the comments section was playing up last week as there were no notifications!). It sounds ok yes. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Tino

    Hi after some advice i work 16 hrs ad kitchen assistant i have been informed my days and times have been changed they are making me work thur fri sat sun 2 til 630 i have a 2 year old and 2 10 year olds these times r no good to me as a paren also told them everybody else gets a wkend off in a month apart from me i also wrk for same company on a monday 8 til 2 ad carer it means i wouldnt c my children on a wkend but they saying i have to walk if a dont like it

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      Hi Tino, sorry for the delay in replying (think the comments section was playing up last week as there were no notifications!). You need to read your contract (if you have one) about the hours of work you do and whether these hours can be changed. If there is no provision in your contract for your hours to be changed then they are changing your terms and conditions of employment, which they can do, but they must consult with you first – see this article for more information – http://www.freelanceadvisor.co.uk/go-freelance-guide/written-statements-and-contracts/
      Hope that helps, Lesley, Workline

  • Keith Burn

    Hi We are an employer who employ some staff on night shift.They work away from home and on Friday morning we pay 6 hours sleep time so as they can rest before travelling sometimes up to 8 hours in their own vehicles.They also receive the appropriate amount of travelling time after the sleep time.Does this comply with WTD.I look forward to your answer.

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      Hi Ketih, I’m going to reply to you by e-mail. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • sarah

    Hello wondering if you can help, I work in retail i finish some nights at half 9 and i am back in work again at half 7 the next morning. Am i meant to be getting the 11 hours consecutive rest period? Thank you

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      Hi Sarah, yes unless you’re a shift worker or there are unforseen circumstances etc (see full list above) which means you do not need the 11 hours consecutive rest but need ‘compensatory’ rest for the portion of the 11 hours rest you did not get. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Kenny

    If I work a 40 hour week but my average working week is averaged out at 4.4 days per week should I still get 28 days holiday

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      Hi Kenny, if 40 hours is the full-time working week at your company then yes you should get 28 days holiday (which may include bank holidays). Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Mini mouse

    hi i work 40-45 hours a week, i am then on call 7 days a week from 11pm to 8am as the live in duty manager, i have no contract for the live in it is just verbal. Am i entitled to full days off?

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      Hi Mini mouse, it’s going to depend what industry you work in, what job you do. If you work in an industry that is exempt from rest breaks (see these exemptions at the top of this article) then you should receive the rest you did not get as ‘compensatory’ rest as soon as possible. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Mini mouse

    hi lesley i work in a public house with a bed and breakfast.

  • Mini mouse

    i am on call for the residents staying in the b&b and the fire and burglar alarm.

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      Hi, as you are providing a 24 hour service in a sense I would think you may be covered by these exemptions. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Mini mouse

    hi lesley, i have had an informal meeting with my employee, and requested one day a week off call, he agreed. Then the next day back tracked saying he could not commit. I then sent him a letter stating what we discussed in the meeting and re compensatory rest time. i have now received a letter to attend a grievance meeting. Please can you help as i have no contract for the on call. i have a contract for my day job as a manger. Can i record the meeting? Can this be put on my personnel file at work as i have no contract for the on call ? Please help

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      HI Mini-mouse could you e-mail me on lesley@workline.org.uk with the full details of this as I’m not clear what is going on here. Your Employer can only invite you to attend a grievance meeting if you have put in a grievance. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Nippy

    Have I got to give my workers time to wash their hands at the end of their shift or can I make them work up until 5.00pm which is what they are getting paid for? some people are leaving their stations 10 mins early to wash & collect their belongings so they are clocking off dead on 5.00pm …. all this downtime is adding up!!

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      Hi Nippy I’m going to reply to you by e-mail regards. Lesley, Workline

  • Sean t

    I want to know if there is a law for how many hours in 1shift you are allowed to work as an engineer in the UK. And also if your shift is contracted to 12 hour shift as a sub contractor and the firm provides transport, when the 12 hours are up and you wish to return home, and if some off the co-workers are still working, what is the legal status for getting me home?

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      Hi Sean, no there is not a law about how many hours you can do in one shift, the law is about the hours you work in a week (and average over a longer period) and rest breaks during the day and during the week. As far as I’m aware there is no legal requirement for your Employer to provide transport to get you home, it is a contractual issue, that your Employer provides – so you need to read your contract in terms of what it says about this, and if it does not say anything then you need to ask your Employer what happens in this situation. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • ady

    I work for a security company on 12 hr shifts. At the moment i am working 4 days 3 nights with 4 days off and then i work 3 days and 4 nights with 3 days off duty.
    Due to some personel reasons i wanted to change over to permanent nights but my line manager is saying that he will have to ask HR as “moving onto nights permanently has a knock on effect with the working directive, whereby you are not exempt from the 48 hours week”
    can you please advise if this is correct?

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      Hi Ady, it’s difficult for me to tell as it would depend how many hours a week you would work on permanent nights. Generally, as a night worker you should not work more than an average of 8 hours in each 24 hour period, excluding overtime. I’m not clear though, have you already opted out of the 48 hours per week working limit (not sure what he actually means by ‘not exempt from the 48 hours week. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • anton

    hi i am contracted to work 55hrs a week but this is starting to cause problems at home and is also having a bad impact on my health. i am going to approach my boss about going to 48hrs a week but i know this is not going to go down well. i am a manager and i know my boss will say i can no longer be in this position if i am not willing to do the 55hrs a week , would this be legal and also i know i might have to take a pay cut but can he only take the money of me for the hours that i dont want to work (ie 48 – 55 = 7hrs).

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      hi Anton, presuming you have agreed to sign an Opt Out of the 48 hours per week working limit, if you are contracted for 55 hours per week and want to reduce this, then you would need to mutually agree a change of hours. So, if your boss then said you could no longer be a Manager if you reduced your hours he may be within his right to do this. I would expect him to be able to consider what parts of your job you could not still do and see if these could be done by someone else before ‘demoting’ you. You should only lose the 7 hours pay if they agree to a cut in your hours and you stay in the same job. Do you fit into the categories that have a legal right to ask for flexible working – read this article for more information? http://www.freelanceadvisor.co.uk/go-freelance-guide/do-i-have-the-right-to-work-flexible-hours/

      If you have any questions you can e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • J Dickson

    I am a Care worker for my Local Council and I have a 16 hour contract, but I always work more than this usually about 22 hours per week, which I really need, and I work a shift Pattern of Mornings one Day, and Mornings/Evenings the next, 7.30am till 11.00am mornings, and the following morning is the same except I have to start an afternoon shift at 3.50 pm, till 21.00 pm, and when I get home by around 11.30 am, after my Morning shift, I am then expected to have my lunch, by 12.00pm, and I have to start preparing food again by 14.30 pm, and I am finding the short space of time that I am expected to eat two Meals in really difficult, I suffer from a Digestive problem, and I need to eat at intervals of four hours, but this short amount of time in between my working shifts is making my life very stressful, If I eat a meal at 15.00pm I then have to go at least six hours until I get home to be able to have a very light snack, as I cannot eat late in the evening either, I have to prepare all of my meals myself as certain ingredients in Microwave Ready Meals make me ill, I have to have Dairy free foods, and there is no time for a break as we are timed between our Clients calls. I really need to know my rights if they are allowed to do this to me, and not giving enough time between Shifts. I am sure this is infringing on my Human Rights at Work.

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      Hi, I’m going to reply to you by e-mail as I have some questions. Thanks, Lesley, Workline

  • stupotter

    hi leslie could you clarify the working time directive for truck drivers. if for say he was going to work 13 hours how much break should he have if for talking sake he had a 45 minute break after 5 and a half hours work would he then need to take another break after another 6 hours work

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      Hi, I can’t give you advice relating to truck drivers specifically I’m afraid. Generally though the legislation requires that you have a 20 minute break if you work over 6 hours. This is the only break you need to give.
      You would be best to look at sites related to your industry to check this, I’m sure there are many. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Me star

    Hi, my partner works odd shifts, they can be a day shift- 6am-2pm or late 2pm – 10pm or night 10pm – 6am. These change daily & what worries me is he can be on a night shift and drive home which takes nearly an hour then has to be on a late shift the next day. Again he has to leave the house at 1pm, so he gets about 6hrs sleep. Most of the time he doesn’t sleep well due to the ever changing patterns of working hours. He works in a hospital boiler house so must be dangerous if half asleep. Does he have any rights to either have 11 hrs between shifts or expect a clearer shift pattern?

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      Hi Me Star, as he’s a shift worker then he is probably exempt from needing the 11 hour rest break. It’s unusual to have shift patterns that keep changing though? Is this normal for the other workers too? If he can’t speak to his Manager about it then could he join a Union? Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • bebo

    Hi I work as part-time sales assistant in a cards and gift shop. I work only two days as I am studying at university. my employer force every employees to take one hour break if im working more than 6 hours a day. But I want to take only 30mins break as that’s enough for me. Is he allowed to force me to take one hour break.

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      Hi Bebo, yes basically he can specify the length of break he wants you to have (you only need to have a 20 minute break by law though if you work over 6 hours). Can you ask him if you can take less? Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • laura

    Hi, I work for an agencym 36 hour contract per week with the 11 hour rest period inbetween shifts. Our shifts are in 8 hour 15 min a day in one sit ranging from 7.45 am to 11 pm. Overtime is always available and I have found myself working 20 hour shifts with a break of less than 11 hours and back in for another 8 hour shift. Now I have no problem with this but my employer is now telling me that this is no longer available and that we cant work over 48 hours a week and never less than the 11 hour break. With xmas coming up and all the bank holidays around this time I want to be able to work 20 hour shifts if I can but they wont allow it. Is this allowed? I opt in to workl overtime and it is authorised by the company I work for not the agency but the agency are stopping me, Oh I also work in scotland if that changes anything and I am over 18. Thanks for the help

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      HI Laura, there are 2 issues here – the Working Time Regulations and the Agency Workers Regulations. If you are a shift worker you are potentially exempt from needing the 11 hour rest break between shifts. And you can personally say you do not need your rest breaks if the company has offered them to you but you choose not to take them, as long as this doesn’t affect your health and safety (see more details above). If you were to work over 48 hours per week you would need to sign an Opt Out agreeing you would work over 48 hours per week. So it’s your agency that are saying you can’t do this? Under the Agency Workers Regulations you should work the same ‘normal’ hours of work (and get the same overtime rate) as permanent ‘comparable’ employees where you work. More details are here – http://www.freelanceadvisor.co.uk/go-freelance-guide/agency-worker-regulations-awr-what-is-it-and-what-does-it-mean/

      If you’ve got any questions you can e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk
      Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Anu

    I am contracted to 37.5 hrs per week. My usual shift pattern is 7.5 hours per day. My employer held a meeting last friday that they want to split the 7.5hours into two in one day i.e. shift to start at 7am and finish at 10am, go home and come back at 4pm till 9.30pm to complete the shift. can they do this.
    Kindest regards
    Anu

  • ankerman

    hi im a part time hgv driver doing a night shift, and i have been told that a company can not send you out on a delivery that takes longer than 9hrs driving to get there and back in the same night shift under working laws NOT driving laws. is this true?

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      Hi Ankerman, the Working Time Regulations say that if a night workers job involves special hazards or heavy physical or mental strain then
      you cannot work more than 8 hours in each 24 hour period (i.e. no
      overtime can be worked). If it does not involve hazards/strain then night workers should not work more than an average of 8 hours in each 24 hour period, excluding overtime. Your Employer can though have a Workforce Agreement in place that amends these time periods. Hope that helps? Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • ankerman

        hi lesley thanks for the advice, i have had conflicting advice from different people over this. i think they are getting mixed up with what im asking so can i refresh with u….a company CANNOT ask you to go out with a delivery that will take you longer than a 9hr drive there and back unless you take an 11hr rest period or the truck is double manned? the issue is a bit confusing because of the tachograph laws and the working laws, is there somewhere i can get it in black and white that…we are NOT alloud to go to a delivery and be back the same night that is longer than a 9hr round trip?
        thank you

  • lee

    Hi my employer has implemented a change in my shifts i now have to work split shifts with a continuous working (they call it) agreement. My concern as the health and safety rep is the rest period between working days- they can make us work till 2300 hrs and then start again at 0500 hrs. My job is very physical as well as driving hgv trailers on a busy port. We have been working this new shift for only two weeks and i have had a report today of a driver falling asleep while doing his job. I don’t think six hour including traveling is enough can you help.

    Thanks

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      Hi Lee, I’d need to know more about your hours over a week, to see the pattern of hours you work – you can e-mail me on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • http://www.facebook.com/rich.s.bull Rich Bull

    Hi, i recently started a job which is salaried at 40 hours, 9-5. I have always worked 8-5. It states in my contract that any overtime done in the week is incorporated in my salary.
    I have just received a revised contract saying that my normal working hours are between 8 and 6 yet i’m still salaried at 40 hrs per week.
    Does this also mean that i am contractually obliged to work until 6 for nothing as well?
    Thanks,
    Rich.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Rich, your employer does not have to pay you for ‘overtime’ or all the hours you work (as long as you receive at least the national minimum wage for all the hours you work). If they have revised your contractual hours then they are changing your terms and conditions – which they can do but they must consult with you first. More details of that are here – http://www.freelanceadvisor.co.uk/go-freelance-guide/written-statements-and-contracts/
      Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • mark griffiths

    can you help my son works 08.00 till 16.30 then 22.00 till 06.00 on thursdays is this legal with the amount of break he is 22

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Mark, yes quite possibly. If he works shifts or works in an industry that is exempt from the daily 11 hour rest break then the hours could be ok as long as he receives ‘compensatory’ rest for the part of the 11 hour break he did not get as soon as possible. It’s obviously going to depend what his working hours are like the rest of the week – and his working hours need to averaged over a ‘reference’ period which is normally 17 weeks and he should not work more than 48 hours per week unless he has signed an ‘Opt Out’ agreeing to work more than 48 hours. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • http://www.facebook.com/andy.rafferty.37 Andy Rafferty

    Hi Lesley
    Over the last 20 years we have allocated the 3rd Januray as a stat holiday this year they are saying that we are no longer getting it as a stat it will be a floating day is this allowed without any consoltation or agreement is this right??
    kind regards
    andy

  • Nev

    Hi, I work in a Hotel as a kitchen staff. My hours can be 7am-3pm, 8am – 4pm or 3pm-11am. Sometimes, usually when someone is on holiday I will work split shift, usually 10am-3pm and back at 7pm-11pm. Lately we do not finish our 3-11 shift till midnight, maybe a little after and back in work for 7 or 8am. Am I entitled to the 11hrs between shifts?
    Regards,
    Nev

    • lesleyfurber

      hi Nev, as a shift worker you are probably exempt from needing to have the 11 hour rest break between shifts. However, if you do not get the 11 hours rest you need to get back the part of the 11 hours rest you did not have as ‘compensatory’ rest as soon as possible (but this does not need to be paid for). Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Michael

    Hello

    Please advice

    Me and my colleague work at the reception as a security guards, most of the time night shifts always 12 hrs. Our rate is 7.5 p/h, meanwhile during the day another 2 guards get 8.5 p/h. I do not think we should get less than they working night shifts…?! What shall we do ? We work 12 hrs and they do only 10 from Mon – Fri only ! We have asked about one free weekend in a month but employer refused. We do much more hrs , only nights and no weekends off at all. What about unsocial hrs ? Can we make our employer to increase rates somehow ? There is one more think, there is a construction site next to our building and they have asked us to do regular patrols there but my contract does not says anything about it. Construction site has own security company so why would we do patrols there if our wages is still the same but we have more responsibility right now.

    PLease advice !

    m.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi I’m going to reply by e-mail as I have some questions. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Emma

    Hi Lesley I am filling in a form to get onto an approved suppliers list, the question is ‘Under which National Agreement’ does your company operate. It is related to the Working Time Regulations? I dont knwo what to answer, however we are aware of the WTR 1988. please advise asap please, thanks

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Emma, I’m afraid I don’t know what that means either! Can you ask the organisation where the form came from? Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • http://www.facebook.com/angela.gibbon.16 Angela Gibbon

    Hi i am a care worker in a supported living home i work shifts last week i was on 3pm 930pm shift when our night staff did not turn up my manager said i had a duty of care to stay and cover the night duty which is 930pm to 730am the next day there is only one waking night and a sleep over my question is can i be made to do this as i had family commitments and had no brake from starting at 3pm.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Angela, I’m not sure what you mean by only one waking night and a sleep over in this context? As a care worker you are probably exempt from the daily rest periods so yes, if your contract says that you need to be available to do other work/do extra hours as requested (or something similar) then this is probably allowed. Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • suesquires

        I’ve come to the conclusion that us care workers have no rights regarding working hours and rest periods. Most work for minimum wage or less when you factor in the unpaid travel time. Often we are out alone at all hours and in remote locations. It’s about time the unions used their muscle and put up a decent fight for the 2 million careworkers in this country who are in fact life savers to the people we care for.

        • lesleyfurber

          Hi Sue, thanks for your comment. I can’t say I disagree with you from the queries I get from care workers. I would urge all care workers to join a Union as the more that do, over time this should only have a positive effect for the workers. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • ian

    hi Lesley, i have just started working in the food industry, i am expected to work from 14 00 – 22 30 and then start work again at 06 00 till 14 30. this is not a one off, the other staff tell me this happens all the time. i am unsure if i am classed as a shift worker, and the place i work is in a train station but not owned by the rail company that controls the station. can they make me work those shifts with out the 11 hour rest period? also my contract says 10 hours to be worked 5 out of 7 days, yet this week i am on the rota for 6 days. can they do that?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Ian, you probably would be classed as a shift worker therefore would be exempt from the 11 hour rest break, but you should get ‘compensatory’ rest back for the part of the 11 hours break you did not get. Does your contract have a clause that says something like, you can be asked to work extra hours when necessary etc? Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=748166341 Dave Inmyforties Williams

    hi lesley im a security guard and work a 4 on 4 off shift pattern i work in a gatehouse with another person but 2 weeks ago my boss moved the second guard out of the gatehouse to another part of the premises so now work a full 12 hours shift on my own. the problem is now i don’t get time for a break so end up doing the full 12 hours without a break is this legal or should they provides cover and if so what breaks am i entitled to Thanks dave

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Dave, as you are in the security industry and a shift worker you are probably exempt from needing the daily rest break of 20 minutes (if you work over 6 hours). However, at some point you are obviously going to need a break so they should really provide you with cover. Can you talk to your boss about it? Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Steph D

    Hi Lesley
    I am a veterinary nurse and I work 5 days per week one of my shifts is usually a 17 hour night shift where I start work at 4pm and finish at 9am I am expected to do 3 hourly checks on the animals during this time but I am provided with a rest area. I also work one in eight weekends where I start at 8.30am on saturday and finish at 9am on monday again I am expected to check on the animals every 3 hours all day and night. Is this legal even if I am provided with a rest place because most nights and weekends I do not get a full 3 hours between checking the animals because they need walking/feeding/medicating or need the kennel cleaning out.

    Also after a weekend I finish on a monday morning at 9am then my next shift is tuesday night starting at 4pm until 9am and I am then given the rest of the week off as time in lieu for the weekend. Recently my employer has said that we cannot now book the Tuesday night shift off after we have worked a weekend even though we use 2 days holidays to take it off becuase it is a 17 hour shift.

    Please help

    Thanks Steph

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Steph, I’m going to reply by e-mail as I have some questions. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • http://twitter.com/Mimbly11 Mimbly

    Hi there. We always thought that annual leave was not part of the 48 hour working hour directive for our drivers but have been told now that the leave counts as working 8 hour days. Is that correct? We give all our drivers 25 days holidays plus all the bank holidays and that’s add up to a lot of hours

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Mimbly, holiday does not count towards the working week if that is what you mean? If you have any further questions you can e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Angela MacLean

    I work for a german retailer and have just been told that the week before christmas all the workforce will not get a day off. We are open 7 days a week and get 2 days off per week currently. However they have now decided that no-one will get a day off in the period Monday to Sunday before Christmas week. I think this may be illegal, can you advise please.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Angela, it’s going to depend what your contract says. Legally you are only entitled to 1 x 24 hour continuous rest period in every 7 days (or 2 x 24 hours in every 14 days). So, you need to check your contract to see what it says about your Employer being able to change your hours/ask you to do more work/change your rest days. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Angela MacLean

        Yeah I understand that Lesley but we’ve been told we will work for 7 days on the trot and not get a day off, that’s my gripe as I feel I should get at least 1 day (or 24 hours as you put it) rest in this 7 day period but they are insisting we work for 7 days in a row without a break, apparently it’s the area manager’s decision. My contract of employment says I will get 2 days off per week. Thanks

        • lesleyfurber

          Hi Angela, your Employer may be able to argue that this is a ‘foreseeable’ increase in activity which would mean you are exempt from the need for rest breaks for this period. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • john wells

    Hi Leslie,

    Would you be able to clarify for me the entitlements for residential caretakers on 24 hour call?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi John, can you be more specific as clearly the Working Time Regs cover a lot of areas. My e-mail is workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • gazi

    hi I,m a sales rep manager and sometimes the reps need to drive 3 hours to customers we send them to and come back 8 or 9 a clock in the evening when they have started at 8 am, they only get paid for the 8 hours, sometimes they would leave early from the place we send them, for example we r based in london and we send them to Norwich, my boss says that they must stay there untill 5pm as this is the time that they should finish work but then they must travelle for 3 hours sometimes 4 depending on the traffic to get home, thhey have complained the other day that they need to leave early from the place we send them from in order to get for 6 or 7 pm. it would take them 1 hour the most to get home if they had worked in the place where the company is based. so my question is the time it takes them to get home should they be paid for it.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Gazi, I’m going to reply by e-mail as I have some questions. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • john sutton

    hi, i have worked 4×12 hour shifts,7pm to 7am starting monday night and finishing friday morning for the past 15 years. my holiday entitlement used to be 33 days per annum including statutary holidays but have suddenly dropped to 19 days excluding statutary holidays. this doesnt seem fair as employees working less hours(35) on dayshift over 5 days, monday to friday still get full entitlement.you could argue that us on nightshift cover 5 days also. any help much appreciated.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi John, are they now saying it is 19 x 12 hours? Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • http://twitter.com/Naijamaican Duchess Naijamaican

    hello Leslie,

    thanks for the useful article.

    I wanted to ask a question and hope you are able to help.

    I am self employed and recently became involved in working with a couple of websites that offer freelance introductions.

    The sites are okay for finding work, but I am finding that its flooded with workers from Asia and India.

    This is not an issue but I am finding that there is an issue with the way things are run.

    These sites are allowing people to put up jobs and sometimes make unreasonable demands on time and so on.

    The sites are also taking lots of money from earnings and calling them different fees.

    And prone to a lot of errors.

    My efforts to find out a phone number or mailing address for the freelancing firm that recently took over my previous one have been fruitless.

    Also these sites are not setting any guidelines that alow people who take on jobs to take days or time off or to opt not to work weekends.

    Is there any regulation for such sites in the uk.

    if so i would appreciate information on this.

    thanks.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi, thanks for your query. I’m afraid I’m unable to help you with regard to these sites, as I have now idea how they are regulated. However, if you are a genuine freelance then the working time regulations may not cover you, it will depend on your actual ‘status’ when you are doing the work – see this article for more details http://www.freelanceadvisor.co.uk/resources/am-i-an-employee-self-employed-freelance-or-a-worker/
      Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Carl

    Hi,

    An employee has asked if they are entitled to travel time pay.

    I have checked the contract (not normally involved in that side of things), and it states their normal place of work is our head office, but they work at client sites?

    Some days they have to come to the office to collect parts, meet colleagues, etc, other days they travel directly to the client sites from home. The traveling home if the same, sometimes via the office, sometimes directly home.

    Any help appreciated.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Carl, thanks for your message. I’m afraid your Employer needs to look into this as the rules on travel under the National Minimum Wage legislation are complicated – they currently state that travelling on business in connection with your job during normal working hours should be paid – (but not travel to or from home and work). So your Employer needs to decide ‘where’ they start their work and should pay for travel time from that point. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Mags

    Hi,
    I work a 6 on 3 off rosta. My shifts vary from 12hrs long to as little as 6hrs long. I’m paid calendar monthly a basic wage of 166hrs, which equates to 38.5hrs a week which I’m contracted to work (166×12/52).
    If I complete all my shifts for the month, my basic pay of 166hrs is awarded with no adjustment made, regardless of how many actual hours this amounts to.
    The only adjustment made is when I work overtime, or have time off sick, and paid/deducted a month in arrears.
    166hrs / 30 days in the month = 5.5hrs per day average.
    Effectively, I’m paid 5.5hrs a day every day of the year!
    However, if I take a day off sick, the number of hours deducted is the actual length of shift, which could be 12hrs, meaning, I could lose over twice as much money for being off sick than I could possibly earn for being present:
    Sick – 12hrs
    Present + 5.5hrs
    Is this right? My holiday entitlement works the same way too: If I take all my 12hr shifts off, I only get 18.5 days a year.
    Thanks.
    Mags.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Mags, I’m going to e-mail you as I have some queries. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Craig Fairweather

    hi lesley,

    I work shift work and because of the present situation in our industry have been asked to make cuts to our terms and conditions. One of these has been not to work a friday on days so the plant can close for the weekend to save money, which has seen us now work a 9 hour shift. With us losing a friday they say we are only entitled to 8.3 hours holiday pay. Is this right? Can they do this?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Craig, thanks for your question. I’m not clear what you mean by 8.3 hours holiday pay, based over what period? You can work out your holiday entitlement using the various methods in the article above. In relation to whether they can change your terms and conditions, the answer is yes they can, but there are several things your Employer must do, to do this fairly. Have a read of this article here – http://www.freelanceadvisor.co.uk/go-freelance-guide/written-statements-and-contracts/

      Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Mr Doreen Fairclough

    hi i work from 7.45 am to 15.45 pm three days a week then 15.15 pm to 22.15 pm two days a week, my employee is trying to change my hours to do split shift 7.30 am to 12.30 pm then 17.00 pm to 22.30 pm four days a week working the four days consecutively are the split shift legal as i would only be getting 9 hours between finishing at 22.30 pm and starting again at 7.30 am.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Doreen, thanks for your message. You don’t say what industry you work in, but as a shift worker you are probably exempt from the need for a 11 hour daily rest break. If you get 9 hours rest between the shifts then you should get the 2 hours (from the 11 hours rest) you did not get as ‘compensatory’ rest at another time. But this does not need to be paid. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • dougie

    my employers have told us that we have to come to work on our days off to do driver cpcs without pay does this effect my working time directive

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Dougie, I don’t know what cpcs is, is it training? Depending on how many days off you normally get per week, you may need another day off to ‘compensate’ for this at a later date. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • darran roberts

    hi

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Darran, really sorry but I’ve only just seen this message. When you say he’s given you a disciplinary notice, do you mean he’s given you a warning and that you’ve not had a disciplinary hearing? If you want to e-mail please do as I dont’ have access to your e-mail address. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • d paris

    I have been working for my employer for 7 months on an apprentice wage of 3.18 as Im am studying a diploma. My childcare was twice this hourly rate, so after much discussion, I was given a different role at minimum wage.

    Thoughtless of me, but I booked flights for July when I could get them as cheap as possible and went in to work to book it off, but it was refused. I was told that they would try and cover me, but if not then I would recieve disciplinary action. A week later, I am called into the office and given a typed up version of an ‘oral’ warning for this matter, and made to sign it. This will stay on my record for 12 months.

    Can I be given a warning when I havent even been on the July holiday? I assumed it would be given after.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi D, what was the exact reason they gave you the ‘verbal’ warning. It seems slightly harsh but if what you did was against company policy, then the company is within their rights to give you a warning. It’s going to depend exactly what they have described as the reason for the warning. Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • d paris

        I understand the warning as it would breech ofsted ratio’s if they are understaffed, putting nursery in jeopardy as they quote. But how can I be issued with an oral warning BEFORE I’ve taken this unauthorised leave? I am extremely unhappy there anyway and the staff turnover has been rediculously high. I am actively looking for other work and had hoped to be in a new setting by summer. I now worry that having an oral warning will hinder my chances of finding work. Had I been able to change my job before july 29th holiday, there would have been no reason for a warning. Am I making sense? It just seems wrong that I’ve been given a warning before the actual holiday refusal in July.

        • lesleyfurber

          Hi D, I would imagine you have given the warning because you booked leave without authorisation (regardless of when the leave was for); but obviously I don’t know what is written on it or what your company policy is. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Wayne

    Hi Lesley

    Quick question regarding this point

    “A Weekly Rest period of 24 hours uninterrupted rest within each seven day period (Young Workers aged 15-18 are entitled to 48 hours); or, at the Employers choice, a Fortnightly Rest Period of 48 consecutive hours within each 14 day period.”

    Is it possible to “opt out” of this?

    I work in a manufacturing environment and I work overtime most weekends (personally i’d like to do most weekends when money is tight – 4 hours a day) I work a 40 hour week

    The way I understood it is that my company could not demand I work but I can if I want?

    Thanks

    Wayne

    Waynedobson1978@aol.com

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Wayne, it also says above ”

      “It may be possible to forego your weekly and daily rest break entitlements if you choose to do so (for e.g. you volunteer for additional shifts), as long as:

      You do not breach the 48 hour weekly average working limit (unless you Opt Out – see next section)

      Provided there is no foreseeable risk to your Health and Safety, and

      Your Employer has given you the chance of having the rest periods but you choose not to (Employers are only obliged to ensure you take therest breaks if you wish).

      You will therefore not be entitled to compensatory rest.”

      This does mean essentially though that your Employer needs to agree to this. Hope that helps, Lesley, Workline

      • Wayne

        I’ve spoken about this reply to our Union (GMB) and they are saying that the 48 hour rest period in 14 days of working is enforced by law and can not be overruled if I want to work?!

        • lesleyfurber

          hi Wayne, I’ve double checked this (as the advice I gave you was advice that the Solicitors who used to provide us with advice gave me) and found that under the terms of a collective or workforce agreement, the
          right of adult workers to rest breaks and rest periods can be varied, so long
          as the employer undertakes to provide equivalent periods of compensatory rest (and if you are a shift worker then you may not get the chance to take the weekly rest period, but again should receive compensatory rest).
          However it now appears workers cannot opt out of statutory minimum rest entitlements on an
          individual basis. I think for the time being, until I can get more clarity on this I’ll remove the above paragraph from the website. Sorry if I have misled you. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • kayasoul66@gmail.com

    HI Lesley,
    I am contracted to work 45 hours per week and have just received an email from my manager stating that lunch breaks are not included in these hours so I should add 30 minutes on to the beginning or end of each day so that I am actually working for the full 9 hours each week day. This would bring my hours up to 47.5 hours per week plus over 15 hours a week commute. My question is simply, do lunch breaks count as part of my hours (paid or unpaid) or do I have to be at work for 9.5 hours a day to account for these breaks?
    PS. 90% of the time I work through lunch, eating a sandwich at my desk.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi, breaks (whether paid or unpaid) do not count towards your working time if you are doing no work. If you work through your lunch, is that because you want to/need to, or are you required to? You don’t say how long you’ve been with your Employer and if this is a new idea or something you just weren’t aware of? What does your contract say? Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • kayasoul66@gmail.com

        Hi Lesley.
        I work in construction (as an unqualified acountant) and have worked for the same company for eight years. I usually have a sandwich at my desk because there aren’t many facilities on site and I have to drive for 10 minutes just to get to the gate so a trip to the supermarket (or cafe) is at least 40 minutes so I don’t usually bother.
        This is through choice as I could stop on the way in to work and get a sandwich.
        I have worked on various projects around London for the company but this is the first manager who is more concerned about seeing heads at desks rather than the quality of work produced. I have always worked my full hours, even though I have started earlier and finished later when required. My contract states hours of work are 45 but it doesn’t say anything about lunch breaks.

        My partner recently (three weeks ago) had a spinal fusion operation and I took a weeks holiday and a weeks unpaid leave to care for him and asked my manager whether I could start and finish earlier so that I could care for my partner. I asked to start at 7.00 and finish at 4.00 (rather than my usual 8.00 – 5.00) but now it seems that my manager wants me to start earlier and finish later leaving me less time at home to care for my partner. If I added 30 minutes on to my day for lunch it would negate coming in early, however my manager has already said that he wants me to start at 8.00 again from next week so I will leave my house at 6.30 to get to work for 8.00 and then stay until 17.30 so I won’t get home until almost 19.00.
        I hope this additional information helps.
        Thank you for your response so far.
        Kaya

  • deb

    hi lesley my husband works as a homecare assistant in clients own homes he works from 6.30am till he gets home at 2pm then he is back out at 6.30pm till 10pm and he has not had a break all day till 2pm he works these shifts every day except sun and mon he want to cut his hours down but they refuse what rights does he have ? thank you

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Deb, sorry I didn’t see your message until now. He should get a 20 minute break if he works over 6 hours, although as a care worker may be exempt from needing this rest. His Employer does not have to agree to his request to reduce his working hours I’m afraid. Let me know if you have any more questions. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • aniyachorazy@hotmail.com

    Hi Lesley,
    I am employed for 37.5hrs a week. there is two of us having to cover opening hours from 9 till 6. I am being forced to do 1hr lunch – breaks in the middle of mu shift and I am not getting paid for them. I am trying to get my employer to let me start working at 9 till 5 with 30 min break, or 10 till 6 with 30 min break, my coleague is happy to do the same on alternate days so the openign hours are coverred. They don’t pay me enought salary so I have to work freelance after work to make the extra and my employer is complaining I am tried. Hence my request to allow me to chnage the hours of my lunch breaks. I would gain 2.5 hrs a week to either rest or do my other job. My employer seams to have a problem with that.
    Can they force me to take 1 hrs UNPAID lunch break – even though by law they only required to give me 20min? If they insist am I entitled to ask them to pay me for 30 min extra every day they want me to take longer lunch break?
    Kind Regards
    Anna

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Anna, as long as your Employer gives you a minimum 20 minutes break every day if you work over 6 hours, then that is there only obligation. After that, they can decide what length breaks they put in their contracts of employment and certainly breaks do not have to be paid. You would be asking them to change your terms and conditions of employment and they may not want to do this for just one (or two) people and they have no obligation to do this. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • SusieQ81

    Hi Lesley, I am an assistant manager working 39hrs a week in retail. We haven’t had a manager for the last 5 months, although a local manager should of been duel siting and has done no work regarding our shop I have done it all with no extra pay etc and our area manager is aware of this. My question is this manager has now decided to do something with our shop and are changing all of our rotas is one part. They are now expecting me to work 8-6 but to only be paid 8.30-5.30 as they don’t seem to include the money handling to open the shop up and the cash up as part of our working day. This would result in me working 5hrs for free for the company. I know we are expect to do some unpaid work as it were for the welfare of the company but this amount seems wrong to me. Can you advise please. Many Thanks

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Susie, your Employer can ask you to work hours for no pay, the only thing the law says is that you must receive at least the national minimum wage for all the hours you work – so if you divide your weekly gross pay by the hours you work and if the hourly rate is the same or more than the national minimum wage then your Employer is, I’m afraid, not doing anything wrong. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • http://www.facebook.com/amanda.shaw.9 Amanda Jane Shaw

    hi im in a bit of a query, i am employed at shire hotels and i am employed in conference and banqueting but i work on the restauraunts as well, this week they have me on a 7 in the morning till 6 at night but i am also rotered from 6 at night till 11 or 12 the same day is this legal?? i am also 20 years old. i need help to see if this is legal or not thanks for your time ( im on my mums laptop so thats not me :P)

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi, thanks for your message. As you are possibly a shift worker then you may be exempt from the daily rest breaks so that could be ok. But you would need to have the rest you could not take as ‘compensatory rest’ as soon possible, if possible. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Amy

    Hi, I currently work In housing support in a sheltered housing complex, I work four 12 hour shifts on then four days off, my employer has other sheltered housing sites that run from 9-5pm, the workers of the 9-5 sites are required to also do on call on a rota basis, this means when they finish their 8hour shifts they are required to take a mobile phone home and respond to any emergency calls until they are back on site at 9am, in our job roles we are not allowed to do moving and handling or personal care, which is what the emergency calls regularly entail, the worker then goes into work and begins working until 5pm, I have recently been asked to join the on call rota, as my place of work runs differently 9am-9pm, I wondered how I would be able to do on call also, I was asked to change my shift pattern to work 8 hour shifts, early shift 9-5 then back shift 1-9pm, and would be required to do on call on my early shifts, plus I would work 6 weekend out of 8 , then on my two weekends off I would be required to work one of those in another site. Iam just looking for advice in relation to the on call hours that are being asked and as their is no suitable rest period between shifts starting and on call runs straight into the next working day is this allowed? Also what is the point in having an on call system to aid someone in an emergency when we can not fulfil what is required, as we don’t do lifting or personal care? I feel this like sending an electrician out to do a plumbers job???? This is basically to save the employer money as their are services in place who provide lifting and handling and personal care but at a much higher rate than that being paid to the employees.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Amy thanks for your message. If I have understood everything you have said correctly then if you are working in the care sector then you are probably exempt from needing the daily and weekly rest breaks. Have you seen our Care Workers article, it’s here, which has more information suited to your situation – http://www.freelanceadvisor.co.uk/go-freelance-guide/care-workers-what-are-your-rights-at-work/
      Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Amy

        Hi Lesley,

        Thank you for replying to my query. Can I just clarify though, that my employer ( local housing association) strenuously refute that we are a care sector, we only provide low level housing support, so would that mean we are not a care provider therefore how would the working hours work out if we aren’t a care provider?

        Thanks Amy

        • lesleyfurber

          Hi Amy, as you are a shift worker this also exempts you generally from the rest breaks. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • grizza603@gmail.com

    I work for a large German Retail Company, and we have always had half an hour breaks, wheather you work 7, 8, 9 or 10+ hours. Now the company are insisting that we take 1hr, which seems nice, but we have a very basic canteen, and most of the staff do not want to have a 1hr break. They have brough in this measure straight away, with very little notice.
    There are some staff now who have to come in half an hour earlier because they have to have an hour break.
    Is this legal? Break times are not in our contract, we have been doing this for years, and all of a sudden they have changed it. They have only just stopped us working ‘Lates and Opens’ as we weren’t getting 11 hours rest between shifts!

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi, your Employer can change your break times. However, if you have been having the same break times for a long time then it may have become custom and practice and then they are in effect changing your terms and conditions – they can do this but they should consult with you first over the changes – more details are here – http://www.freelanceadvisor.co.uk/go-freelance-guide/written-statements-and-contracts/
      Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Trevor Henderson

    my employer is now stipulating that I must take a 30min break every day even though I am only working 7 hours a day. I have never taken a break in the last 4.5 years and have been told that I will face disciplinary action if I don’t follow their instructions. I have also been informed that I am not allowed to clock in until the exact starting time on a morning. Is this legal and binding or bully boy tacticts? These conditions only apply to our department and not the whole company. your help and advice would be most grateful.

    • lesleyfurber

      hi Trevor, legally you need a break of 20 minutes per day if you work over 6 hours so your Employer is totally within their rights to ask you take a 30 minute break. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • proud2badriver@yahoo.co.uk

    I’ve been employed for about three-four months as a LGV driver supposedly under the Working Time Directive of 48 hours per week (I say supposedly because my contract of employment does not make a specific mention to the Directive, only “the maximum hours worked in one wek must not exceed 60 hours and the average hours worked over a 17 week period must not exceed 48 hours).

    Recently I was approached by an agency I did some work for last year who asked if I wanted a Saturday shift. I turned the offer down as I had already made plans for the day but on return to work on the Monday, asked my manager if I could have done the shift. She said no as I was employed under the WTR and could not do more than 48 hours per week. As I have been averaging about 50-51 hours per week and paid overtime, I found this answer confusing.

    There is a clause in my terms and conditions that state that I must get written permission to work for somebody else which is fair enough. However, in another clause, it does say that “the employee agrees that his average working time may exceed 48 hours for any seven-day period.”

    My questions are therefore :-

    A, Can I opt out of the 48 hour rule with my current employer? If so, how?

    B, Providing I do not drive more than the regulated hours, could I work for an agency during my own time?

    Regards

    Neil Willson

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Neil, if you are regularly working more than 48 hours per week over the 17 week reference period, then you should have signed an Opt out with your Employer. The clause in your contract sort of covers this (not well), but you should have been given an option to Opt back In to the 48 hour limit (e.g. only agree to work 48 hours). You really can only work for someone else if your current Employer agrees to this. Your Employer does appear slightly confused about your working hours limit though. If you did work for someone else then it is likely that you would need to sign an Opt out for both companies, so the Companies themselves are covered. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Busylady

    Hi my son works nights in a warehouse. His contracted hours are 10pm to 7.30am He starts sunday night and finishes friday morning. The employers are pushing the night shift (4 People) to start at 6pm and not allowed to leave the following morning until all their work is completed. The workload is ridiculous far too much for them to cope with and he is working anything between 12 and 16 hours. Although they do have breaks sometimes they work through to get the work done. I am very concerned that it takes him 45mins to an hour travel time both ways. Surely they are contravening a lot of health and safety acts in not allowing them enough sleep time and expecting them to operate fork lift trucks. He basically drives home from work goes straight to sleep, a text message disturbs his sleep telling him how much work to be done and the time he has to start. He has no social or rest time and is frequently rushing off to work with no decent meal. On top of this they are now expecting him to work friday nights as well. Because they are tired they are obviously making mistakes and the manager is threatening diciplinaries. Legally how does he stand and what can he do about it? Jobs are hard to come by and he does not want to leave.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi, thanks for your message. As he is a shift worker then he will be exempt from needing the daily and weekly rest breaks but should get compensatory rest for the part of the break he did not get (so if he’s working 6pm to 7.30am that is 10.5 hours rest between shifts so he would be due half an hour compensatory rest to take him up to the 11 hours daily rest period). Commuting time is not counted. As a night worker he should not work more than an average of 8
      hours in each 24 hour period, excluding overtime and if his job involves special hazards or heavy physical or mental strain he cannot work more than 8 hours in each 24 hour period – unless there is what is called a ‘workforce agreement’ in place to change these hours. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • serina

    hi, i work in a local corner shop and was wondering about the rule of 11 hours rest between shifts, its a small company with a small work force, we all work different hours to suit, eg. i work 5 hrs on a monday evening, tuesday afternoon, thursday afternoon, saturday evening and sunday morning. i chose these hours as they suit as a single parent, someone told another member of staff about this rest rule, and am now worrying that my boss is gonna change my hours which will make life more difficult. what is the law on all this, i have 8 hours between my sat and sun shifts then 30 hrs till next one on mon, can you advise me please?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Serina, if you are a shift worker then you are probably exempt from the need for a 11 hour break (you can read more details in the article above). Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Douglas Spowart

    Douglas Spowart

    Hi Lesley,

    I am employed in an NHS Regional Medium Secure Unit (Forensic Mental Health). I have worked there for 11 years. We are paid for 37.5 hours (weekly), with the current shift pattern being early shifts 07:00 to 14:30 hours; late shifts 13:30 hours to 21:00 hours (both 7.5 hours duration); with the potential to have a 20 minute paid break according to the RCN website, (although I am unsure if there was ever a local agreement and I am unable to put my hands on my contract at the moment), and night shifts 20:30 hours to 07:15 hours (10.75 hours – only paid for 10, with 45 minutes being added to time owing if no break). I am aware of the law regarding breaks of 20 minutes for shifts over 6 hours. However in view of the particularly difficult environment it is hardly ever possible to take a break, which the majority of staff are happy with. Management have recently put out a consultation document saying that they want to make changes. They have given two options 1) Extend the hours by 30 minutes, with the aim that staff have a 30 minute unpaid break during the shift. 2) A complete change to a long day model, being 3 shifts of 07:00 to 20:30 hours (13.5 hours with a 1 hour unpaid break) and 4 days off; night shifts 19:30 to 07:15 hours (11.75 hours with a 1 hour unpaid break, apparently only being paid for 10 hours). Without going into great detail, but drawing on my experience, as a shift leader I don’t see how it is going to be possible for staff to take breaks under either of the new regimes, any more than they are able to at the moment. It has generally been accepted by staff that the benefit of leaving work after 7.5 hours outweighs the need for a break. My question is can staff opt to maintain the status quo or do we have to just accept this draconian dictat. Incidently they have only given two options on the response sheet, either 1 or 2. I can see no benefit either for staff or patients,

  • Mike Burbank-Clayton

    Please clarify.

    I am an HGV driver, employed full time on a night shift. It is normal for me, and others, to be on shift, (clocking on, to clocking off), for 12 hours on each of five working days.

    Some years ago, the work force to which I belong, collectively decided to ‘opt out’ of the Working Time Directive’s 48 hour week directive.

    Recently, we have heard rumoured that as of the end of April 2013, there will be no ‘opt outs’ of any kind for night workers. Where or how this rumour started I have no idea, but it is running rife in a multitude of companies. I can find no indication or reference to this anywhere on the internet. Please will you either confirm or refute this rumour.

    Best wishes, Mike

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Mike, I’m afraid this rumour is not correct as far as I know. From what I know, in February 2013 the European Commission announced that negotiations on revising the Working Time Directive, with regard to removing the 48 hour Opt Out had not succeeded. These negotiations had been running for several years but it looks like they are now over. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Danny Shearer

    Hi.
    Im confused to what my actual entitlements are, Im a security guard who works 14 hour shifts with NO break in this time, some days i am only given 10 hours break between shifts. Is this legal? My weeks are split over the space of a month and are as follows i dont know if it makes any difference, 2 weeks 5 shifts consisting of 2 x 12 hour shift and 3, 14 hour shifts totaling 66 hours each week and 2 weeks of 2 x 12 hr shifts and 2 x 14 hr shits totaling 52 hours a week. so on all my weeks in doing over 48 hours but feel i am being treated unfairly. last thing with these amount of hours i am doing I a also being told that i a only entitled to 22 days holiday a year now is this correct considering I work every bank holiday as well?

    • lesleyfurber

      hi Danny, as you are a shift worker then you are probably exempt from needing the 11 hour break, but should get the part of the break (say 1 hour) you did not get as ‘compensatory’ rest as soon as possible. You are entitled to 28 days holiday including the bank holidays. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Michael

    Hi

    I’m just asking about the daily rest brake of 20 minutes if your daily working day is more than 6 hours long. If you work a 14 hours day are you entitled to a 20 minutes brake all day or are you entiltled to 20 minutes ever 6 hours.

    thanks for you help

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Michael, under the Regulations you are entitled to a 20 minute break if you work over 6 hours (but just one; not every 6 hours). Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • David Smith

    Hello Lesley,
    I work as a service enginneer, supporting medical equipment throughout the Northwest of the UK.
    I opted out of the 48 working week, although my contracted hours are 39, my average over 17 weeks is 53+
    We cover breakdowns by being on-call from 7am Friday to 6;59 am the following friday one week out of five.
    My normal day starts at 6am until 3;30pm then I cover out of hours until 8 am the following morning.
    A 250 mile round trip is quite normal and on some occasions, I’ve returned home twice in a day (Saturday) only to have to make another 250 mile round trip elsewhere. From the Friday 12:30pm to Monday 8:00am there is only one engineer to cover the area. For example I had to cover for other engineers being on holiday, I started out at 6am on a Wednesday, received 6 call outs during the day/night and got back home at 8:30am the following day. Apart from stopping for fuel no breaks were taken, as each call-out has to be responded to within 4 hours. I took the rest of the day off but lost the days pay. What rest period rights have I got over the 12 days that I’m expected to be either working or available for emergency call-outs.
    Thanks…

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi David, I’m going to reply by e-mail as I have some questions. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Scott rathbone

    Hi, i have a funny and confusing work system i work in Logistics/transport. and my hours are anything from 5am till what ever time i may finish meaning up 10pm at night, i get paid on a “daily Wage” which is pretty disgusting if i may say, is there a cut of point where my employer can longer pay me for a days wage and pay extra?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Scott, thanks for your message. No there is no ‘cut off point’ as such, as there is nothing in law that says your employer needs to pay you overtime etc. But your Employer must pay you at least the national minimum wage for all the hours you work (which is currently £6.19 per hour) – so you need to work out if you are receiving that amount for all the hours you work each day. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Stephen

    Hi can I work an afternoon 1pm till 10pm and then go on and do a nightshift 10pm till 7 am the next morning

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Stephen, yes in theory you can (but you should have at least a 20 minute break) – but you should get ‘compensatory’ rest for the 11 hours daily break you did not get, as soon as possible. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Alek

    I have asked for 1 day of my holiday. Can daily rest hours be included in that day?

  • Kevin

    Hi Lesley,
    I Work shift pattern 12hrs
    6am-6pm and 6pm-6am on a 40 hrs week
    rotational.24-7 period.

    I was off sick due to a back
    injury (Sciatica)and came back to work on the 11th April on amended
    duties working Days Monday to Friday 8am-4pm.

    I expected to go on my fixed

    Holiday starting the 3rd May until the 18th May but am
    still on amended duties and am still attending Physio so don’t know when I will be fit to return to full shifts.

    My manager has stopped my
    fixed holiday as I am only working 8am-4pm and am not on the shift rota due to
    my back injury.

    I am trying to get some guidance

    as to my situation as I have looked in the Staff Handbook and BMS system and
    have found nothing that relates to Shift workers returning to work from amended duties and their leave entitlement for their restdays and weekends.

    Please could you assist me if possible, I look forward to hearing from you.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Kevin, if your question is whether you holiday entitlement for the period you are working reduced hours will be reduced, then yes it will – you will only be entitled to the holiday related to the hours you have worked. If your question is whether your Manager can refuse or change your holiday leave then again, yes they can but they need to give you appropriate notice to do this. Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Kevin

        Hi Lesley,
        Thank you so much for varifiying the situation I am happy with your comments.Regards Kevin

        • lesleyfurber

          Thanks Kevin! Lesley

  • http://www.facebook.com/emma.l.mace Emma Louise Mace

    Hi my partner has just started at a new job as a waiter he has had issues with the 3% tipping where when the company work out his tips at the end of the night for some reason he always ends up owing them and hes only getting about 1.50 out of a 30 pound tip. Plus they keep changing his shifts without any notice at all. they told him he was supposed to be in at 10am today when he turned up at 11am and when he told them yesterday the rota said 11 they said oh yeah we changed it. he has worked extremely long hours this week through doing split shifts mainly 10am – 5pm then back on at 6 til close which sometimes is 3am. then they are telling him he has to be back in for 10 am the following morning to do the same again!!! I thought you were meant to be given a 11 hour break between shifts. And if you finish after midnight a employer is supposed to help you sort out transport home, he has to walk home at 2-3 am which takes 2 hours

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Emma, if your partner is a shift worker then it is likely he will be exempt from the need to have a 11 hour rest break – but he must get the part of the 11 hour break, he could not get, as ‘compensatory’ rest as soon after as possible. An Employer has no legal obligation to provide transport home, and I’m afraid that his journey home (however he does this) is not counted as his ‘working’ time but his ‘rest time’. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • http://www.facebook.com/michaelmickh Mick Hammond

    Hi, i work part time although i don’t have a contract, i started working in July 2012, the vacancy i applied for was for 16 hours per week.

    I have asked for a “Written Statement of terms of conditions of employment” and i am awaiting that, i was told they have to provide it in 14 days, is this correct?

    Also as a 16 hour part timer, are there any limits as to how many hours a day i can work, could they give me 2 days at 8 hours and could they give me 5 days at 2 hours and 2 days at 3 hours to make up my 16 hours to make up my 16 hours.

    I asked them to increase my hours to 30 so i could get Working tax Credits but they won’t yet when we have staff on holiday i can easily do 30 hours a week.

    I work in a shop and it is open 7 days a week, i once worked 6 days out of 7 in a single week and once worked 9 days on the trot, 5 days from wed – sun from 1 week and 4 days from mon – thur the following week, is this allowed or are they breaking the law?

    I look forward to your reply

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Mick, thanks for your message. You should receive a written statement within 2 months of starting work. There are no limits to how many hours a day you can work, as you describe above. You need to have 1 x 24 hour rest break every 7 days or 2 x 24 hour rest breaks every 14 days (your Employer can decide this) so working 6 days or 9 days is ok. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • http://www.facebook.com/michaelmickh Mick Hammond

        Thanks for your reply Lesley.

        I never received a contract or a written statement and i asked for one yesterday, as i have no statement where do i stand? Could i possibly refuse to work a certain day?

        Kind Regards

        • lesleyfurber

          Hi Mick, it may put you in a difficult situation if you refuse to work a day (especially if this takes you under 16 hours), as effectively you could be seen to be refusing to work. If you need to refuse to work because you have other commitments then you need to let them know (they should have known this when you started). I know having a written statement does not help, but as you have been there since July 2012 it could be seen that you have effectively ‘accepted’ your working conditions if the working pattern has always been like this and you have not complained before (if you know what I mean). Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Nory Wright

    Hi, I’m a public sector worker. I am entitled to 20 days annual leave in addition to 6 fixed plus 6 floating public holidays per year. Last year I was unable to take my full annual leave entitlement due to sickness. Prior to going off sick I had 11 days annual leave in addition to 6 days public holidays (5 of which were fixed)

    I returned to work in February this year to be informed that I was only entitled to 3 days to carry over. On questioning this further, I was informed that the legislation had changed from 28 days entitlement to 20 and as I had 17 days off in total this would count for the 3 days.

    From what Ive read, my understanding is that your annual leave entitlement is statutory and public holidays are contractual…is this right? Can my employer include the public holidays into my 20 days annual leave entitlement?…and has the legislation changed from 28 days to 20?

    I look forward to hearing from you

    Nory

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Nory, if you have a read of this article it explains the situation regarding carrying over annual leave because of sickness in more detail – http://www.freelanceadvisor.co.uk/legal-advice/holiday-entitlement-and-sick-leave-some-clarity-in-2012/
      Basically the UK legislation has not yet been amended to reflect this, but case law confirms this is an entitlement – however it is likely that the UK will enact legislation which says that only the original 20 days holiday entitlement (when the WTR came in originally) can be carried over, and this includes bank holidays. The annual leave statutory entitlement is now 28 days which can include bank/public holidays. Any amount you have on top of 28 days is contractual. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Denny Raymond

    Hi, I started working for an online company as a freelancer almost 3
    years ago. I work 3 days a week (Mon-Weds) when I asked about holiday
    pay I was told I wasn’t entitled to any as a freelancer/ Self employed
    but from reading this article it would appear that I am. In accordance
    to the HMRC ‘Are you self employed?’ questionnaire I should really be employed – they offered me a permanent position but the
    salary wasn’t enough so I declined but i’m still there and now they
    would like me to do an extra day a week, which is brilliant but I just
    don’t know where I actually stand as far as whether i’m entitled to
    receive paid holiday or not. Can you help?

    • lesleyfurber

      hi Denny, for you to receive holiday entitlement under the WTR your employer would need to class you as a worker, which it sounds like something they are not prepared to do. This article explains more about ‘status’, but basically if your Employer is not prepared to regard you as a worker for these purposes then only an Employment Tribunal can decide your ‘status’. http://www.freelanceadvisor.co.uk/resources/am-i-an-employee-self-employed-freelance-or-a-worker/ Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Frank

    Hi, I’m a casual worker and I work for one employer for around 350 hours a year. I recently asked about receiving holiday pay (I’ve been working for this employer on the same basis since 1995). After some confusion they acknowledged that I was entitled to it and up to the end of March had accrued 2 days. When I asked about back pay for preceding years they said I had lost the leave as I hadn’t taken it. It is not possible to take time off as I work random hours. At a meeting with HR the firm then said I wasn’t entitled to it as it had “always been included” in my hourly rate. I know this is wrong on several fronts. First, it’s “rolling up” which is illegal. Second, self-employed staff are paid the same rate, so how can theirs include “holiday pay” when they’re not entitled to it?, and, third, we haven’t received a pay rise for a decade at least and there was no communication saying holiday pay was included. I’m not sure of how to proceed as I think they’ve just made a lot of this up to avoid paying holiday pay over and above our wages. When did casuals win the right to holiday pay in this country?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Frank, the working time regulations introduced the right to paid holidays for workers originally in 1998. Yes ‘roling up’ is illegal if it is not itemised in writing what portion of your pay is for holiday. If your firm won’t budge on paying you back-pay then you may be able to put in a grievance? I think it is very unlikely that the company will offer back pay. You may have a claim at employment tribunal, if you wanted to go that far, for non-payment of holiday pay – however, normally you need to make a claim within 3 months of the ‘act’ you are complaining about – but they may make an exception in your circumstances. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Frank

        Hi Lesley, thanks for responding. Holiday pay has not been itemised at any stage since 1998, which is why I thought there was something suspicious about the answer from HR. I’m wary of raising the point about my self-employed colleagues getting the same rate in case they get vindictive and cut their wages! Extremely annoying, but I feel like I’m headbutting a brick wall.

        • lesleyfurber

          Hi Frank, yes I understand. Basically you need to decide if this is something you wish to make an issue about (i.e put in a grievance or make a claim at employment tribunal) or not. I expect not, understandably. Good luck, Regards, Lesley.

          • Frank

            You expect correctly. I’ll trap them in their own lie and leave it at that. Can I bring the rolling up issue to anyone’s attention in authority or does it have to be lodged as a grievance?

          • lesleyfurber

            hi Frank, a grievance first would be best, other than that it would be at employment tribunal. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • John

    Hi I work 12 hours night shifts 4 on 4 off. My contract clearly states 28 days holydays per year not mentioning pro-rata basis at all. I understand that my employer can give me more holidays in the contract than what the law says, i was quite happy about this. however when i take holidays they put me on 5×9 hours shifts on the rota, this way i can only take 5.6 weeks. can they do that?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi John, 5.6 weeks is the legal minimum you should have (28 days) so it sounds like you are getting what is in your contract? Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Kathleen bullock

    Hey. I am contracted to 40 hours a week. Working in a restaurant I’m expected to work some hours over unpaid. Customers don’t always want to leave on time. Unfortunately they are repeatedly putting me on the rota for 50 hours and then I’m expected to work the extra like usual. My normal week will be 4 split shifts (7-12 + 6-11) and a 10 hour shift on a Sunday. I had a conversation and was told I would be paid for any extra shifts I work a week but still nothing. What are my rights? Im so tired all the time but that doesn’t seem to bother them. Kat

  • Oleta H

    Hello.

    I have recently quit a weekend hotel job on a casual contract (zero hours – because the contract does not state any specifics). On a typical weekend I would work 16.00 to 02.00 on the Saturday and then come in on the Sunday at 10.00am. Is this legal? Furthermore, the company deducts half an hour from pay, every 6 hours that is worked, however this is not stated in the contract. I once worked a 16 hour shift (starting at 10.00am) and did not get a break until 23.35 due to my complaint to the manager (I was about to faint from exhaustion). I still got an hour deducted from me, despite their complete disregard. Are the company within their right to do this?

    Oleta

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Oleta, yes if you were a shift worker then you would probably be exempt from needing the 11 hour daily rest break (but should get the part of the 11 hours rest you did not get, back as ‘compensatory’ rest as soon as possible). Legally you should have a 20 minute rest break if you work 6 hours or over, but companies can require different length rest breaks. With regards to your pay you should get paid at least the National Minimum Wage for all the hours you work (not the breaks) – so if you were getting this averaged over all the hours you worked then that would have been within the law. More details on the NMW are here – http://www.freelanceadvisor.co.uk/getting-a-job/the-minimum-wage-tvfilm-industry-rates-agency-workers-and-unpaid-work-experience/
      Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Kev

    Hello, I am confused about breaks at my workplace.
    There are different departments located under one roof in the same workspace, we all work 12 hour shifts.
    If I am required to work, let’s say in department A, then I get one 30 minute break which is fine. If I am required to work in department B then I am told to take three 10 minute breaks.
    Is it a legal requirement to receive a 20 minute uninterrupted break?
    My problem with a 10 minute break is that it’s not enough time to walk to the canteen, heat my meal up in the microwave, eat & walk back to my place of work.

  • Kev

    Hi Lesley, thanks for replying. I just want to be certain before I raise the issue with my superiors.
    I work 12 hour shifts as a machine operator at a manufacturing facility, sometimes days, sometimes nights. My break is never interrupted as the machine is stopped while I am away.
    Am I within my rights to demand a 20 minute uninterrupted break during my 12 hours at work?
    Thanks in advance.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Kev, as you can see from the link I sent you, I’m not sure I can give you a straight answer to this, as a tribunal would look at all the details of your situation, so it is not as simple as saying yes you should get an interrupted 20 minute rest break. As a shift worker you would be a ‘special case’ which means you could be exempt from this. I would talk to your supervisors about the problems you have with a 10 minute rest break, as you described below, and see if they will accomodate your request for a 20 minute uninterrupted break. Good luck, Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Tom Davis

    Hi, I work in a company where my normal working hours are 09:00 to 17:00. I have recently been asked to work throughout the night. I have been given the following day off as rest.
    I am, however, expected to work 09:00 to 17:00, 1 hour drive to the overnight job, work from 18:00 until 05:00, then drive home for the rest day.

    My question is, what is the maximum concecutive hours you are permitted to work in a 24 hour period.

    Thanks

    Tom

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Tom, thanks for your message. There is nothing laid down in law that I am aware of about the total maximum hours you can work – the law only talks about rest breaks and night work restrictions. You should have a 11 hour break between ‘shifts’ but there are special case exceptions to this; as you are being given a rest day off this is probably ok. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Richard Roll

    Hi, I work as a school site controller, I am required to live on-site although not in rent-free accomodation. I provide cover overnight and am called out on average once per week – the alarm is connected directly to my home and mobile phones.

    I am seeking some guidance regarding the NMW for time spent on call at work; City of Edinburgh council v Lauder and others (2012) seems to contradict McCartney v Oversley House Management (2006), Jaeger (2003) [Landeshauptstadt Kiel v Jaegar (2003)] and SIMAP (2000) [Sindicato de Medicos de Asistencia Publica v Conselleria de Sanidad y Consumo de la Generalidad Valenciana (2000)].
    Can you clarify this please?
    Many thanks.

  • disqus_9gEvzAiy7A

    Hi, I am on 42.5 hours permanent job per week and my company is asking me to travel outside the working hours and would not pay for the flight times as sometimes I travel Internationally. Please let me know if there are any regulations involved

    Mat

  • Kaybe

    Hi, I am a healthcare worker (public sector) and my department has been told that when we work nights (7pm – 7.30 am) we have to take a 30 minute (unpaid) break before midnight and a 30 minute (unpaid) break after midnight. This is fine but we have to find someone to cover our break for us in the latter break. We have been informed it is a legal requirement we have this break so doesn’t our employer have to provide cover for us? It is very difficult and rarely do find anyone to cover us. we are having a meeting in a couple of weeks and I do not know if I have any rights.
    Any advice?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Kaybe, the only legal right you have is to a 20 minute break if you work over 6 hours. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Kaybe

    Hi, sorry another question. In March I requested 33.75 hours holiday for a full weeks holiday in August which was granted. We have recently changed onto Electronic Rostering and I have now been told I have to have 41.25 hours. This will eat into my remaining hours allowed and means I will not be able to have a full week at another time. I am contracted for 33.75 hours per week but with the new electronic rostering they work it over a month so some weeks I work 30 or less hours and others 40 plus. Can I insist on a full contracted week as previously agreed and signed off by my Manager?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Kaybe, sorry I’m not sure, I would doubt it though if they have introduced a new rostering system; as long as they are being consistent with the way they apply this across all staff . Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Spinxox

    I currently do three 12 hour nightshifts a week and for the last 18+ months i have done these in a back-to-back pattern (fri,sat,sun,mon,tue,wed – have 8 days off then back to the shifts).

    As i work unsociable hours, myself and the rest of my colleagues have found this pattern to benefit us more than doing split shifts.

    Now the problem is, management have a bee in their bonnet and have decided that they are going to upset the apple cart by splitting our shifts.

    Just wondering if we have any ground to stand on to dispute this decision as we have been working our contracted hours in this format for over 18+ months.

    My contract only states how many hours a week i’m contracted to work, not how i work them.

    Many thanks.

  • Nichola

    Hi, I have a question on behalf of my father who is a HGV driver.

    He adheres to the driving hours and tachograph rules however he is currently in dispute with his manager. From what I understand from him my dad is under the impression that for the current time period (ending 26th July) he is ahead of his driving hours. His manager has told him that he needs to make hours up, from some print out of hours (I believe taken from the tachograph hours) it does look like he needs to make these hours up. However Dad believes that bank holidays have not been taken into consideration. Apparently for annual leave 8hrs of driving time is accrued, he has taken no holiday days since the start of this driving period (some time in february) but there have been several bank holidays and he thinks the discrepancy is because the 8hrs for the bank holidays has not been included in his total driving time. His manager doesn’t believe that he should gain any hours for bank holidays. My dad is taking these bank holidays as part of his 28 day holiday entitlement.

    I am hoping you will be able to clarify whether or not 8hr should be added for each bank holiday when it is taken as part of the annual holiday entitlement.

    Thanks,
    Nichola

    • lesleyfurber

      HI Nichola, thanks for your message. If the bank holidays are part of his 28 day holiday entitlement, and he has taken those bank holidays off, then they should be treated the same as normal holidays I would imagine (although I’m not an expert on tachograph rules of course). Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • lesleyfurber

    Hi Richard, I haven’t had time to look at this in any detail but I hope to be able to reply to you by e-mail tomorrow. Regards for now, Lesley, Workline

  • James

    I work during 40 hours a week during the day mostly. However once a month i am required to complete 4 night dutys. This involves working from 6pm – 7am with 2 hours worth of breaks to be taken in this time. I am given one day off before and two days off after to adjust to the sleeping patterns.
    I have read that during a night shift you should not work more than 8 hours. Is this correct ?

    • lesleyfurber

      HI James, thanks for your message. If you read the ‘Night Work’ section above it says that “you are a night worker if you regularly work at least 3 hours during the night time” so it’s probably unlikely that you would be described as a night worker overall. But yes, night workers should not work more than an average of 8 hours in each 24 hour period, excluding overtime. Your 2nd question is a difficult one – they should have said yes or no in the right time as you are aware, but it would have been worth chasing their response, and it would also be worth your while checking what ‘notice’ they want you to give to request 5 days holiday (for example). Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • April

    Hi, my partner is currently working as a carer. He is often given shifts from 6.45am until 9.30pm with 1-2 hours break. No other breaks during the day. This also occurs one day after another so this isn’t 11hours rest between days. Is this right? Just seems awful, and very tiring. Thanks

    • suesquires

      I too am a carer and this seems to be normal practice and somehow “lawful” due to this industry being exempt from rules regarding rest breaks. plus if like me he travels between clients the time spent travelling doesn’t count as work! I love my job and my clients but how the companies get away with this I don’t know but they do!

      • April

        Hmmm, yeah doesn’t seem great as people have drive etc… Not very safe! Just don’t understand why the ‘cater’ position should be exempt from rest breaks

  • Edward Millward

    Hi I manage a food retail outlet which is open from 7am to 10pm. My day is 0630-1600 if one of me evening staff cant attend work for whatever reason I am expected to work it myself which is a 15.5 hr shift (is this legal) if I refuse I am threatened with disciplinary action, also if this takes me over my contracted hrs they refuse to pay me which is in breach of my contract. Where do I stand.

    Thanks

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Edward, yes that length of shift is legal – if you are a shift worker then you are probably exempt from needing the daily rest break. If you refuse to work this extra time – does your contract say that you may be required to work extra hours? If it does then yes they could threaten you with disciplinary action if you refuse to work the hours. They should pay you for all the hours you work. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Rob

    I’m a chef working In a restaurant that is open from 6am to 11pm and this week the managers have decided to start doing an on call shift should anyone ring in sick or if it gets unusually busy. We have been told that on our day off that has been designated as the stand by shift we are required to be available to cover should the need arise and failure to do so will result in the same disciplinary procedure should you fail to turn up to a normal shift. Effectively meaning you are not able to make plans for any time that day as you could potential be called in at any time. I’ve worked there for 6 years without needing such a system and was wondering firstly is it legal as its not within my contract and what compensation should I be entitled to for being on call.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Rob, as you are probably a shift worker then you would be exempt from needing the daily/weekly rest break so applying an on-call period to your rest day is probably legal. If the system is not in your contract, then they are changing your terms and conditions of employment – which they can do but your Employer must follow certain steps – more details are here http://www.freelanceadvisor.co.uk/go-freelance-guide/written-statements-and-contracts/

      You should get compensation for being on call but there is nothing specified in any legislation about this. An on-call payment would normally be a % of your daily rate, it would be very unusual for it to be more than 10% though, but all industries are different and set various rates. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Zool

    Hi Lesley, I work in IT & part of my job is On-Call support at nights & weekends. My contact specifies that i will be on-call on a rota basis & It used to be I would cover 1 weekend in 6 but as all the other members of staff have now left i am now on-call 365 days a year from 8 am to 8 pm & I don’t get paid for the extra weeks I now cover. Obviously I am not happy about this as I’m overworked as it is & I lost 3 weeks holiday last year & two the year before as I simply have no time to take them & often pressured into cancelling them as no one else can do my job in the company. I have just been informed that my company now wants to open till 12 every single night & they just expect me to provide extra on-call support till midnight for this as well. Is the company I work for breaking my contact in doing this & what rights do I have to say no as my contact does say I will provide on call support on a rota basis but over the years this has turned into permanent 365 days a year support. Thanks

  • Colin Somerville

    Hi Lesley, I’ve recently started a job working for a call centre outsourcer. I have previously worked for Sage UK, and British telecom and I’m used to reasonable requests however this new employer seems “shady” . They have requested that I attend work 15 minutes early before my shift so that I can log onto there systems. I have already queried it and they says I’m paid to be ready to take a call. As I work 6 days a week this is 75 minutes per week x 52 = 3900 (65 hours) . I find this really unfair as if I wasn’t working I wouldn’t need to log into there systems and that is part of my duties therefore job.
    I could understand 5 minutes before shift but 15 is a joke, it’s not just me being persecuted its a lot of other people where can I take this so that I can benefit everyone I work with?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Colin, thanks for your message. I’m afraid there is nothing stopping your Employer asking you to do some work unpaid (as in your example) – the only thing the law says is that you have to be paid at least the national minimum wage for all the hours you actually work (so including the 15 minutes before you start). Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Anne Dwyer

    My partner usually works 8.45 am-5 pm weekdays as well as some weekends and oncall shifts. He is due to work a saturday shift 8am-12noon, followed immediately by an on call 12noon-8am, followed by working sunday 8am- 12noon. Are these acceptable working hours?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Anne, thanks for your message. Yes, if he’s a shift worker then he is not necessarily entitled to the daily rest breaks so these hours are acceptable in these circumstances. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Cliff Hunt

    I currently use a 17 week reference period to record my drivers WTD I am not sure what figure to enter on a given day(s) when one or more of the staff are
    A) On Holiday
    B) Off Sick
    Please can you help
    Regards
    Cliff

    • lesleyfurber

      hi Cliff, I’m going to reply to you by e-mail. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Timothy Reed

    I have employees working shifts. The shifts currently allow 11 hours rest between them, however certain employees wish to come in earlier on certain shifts. If I allow this then they will only get 10 hours daily rest (or even less) between shifts. If I allow them to do this would I be breaching the Working Time Directive / Regulations?
    Thanks
    Tim

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Timothy, thanks for your message. If your employees are working shifts then they are likely to be exempt of the need of having 11 hours daily rest. However, if they only get 10 hour rest then you would owe the 1 hour ‘compensatory’ rest to be taken at soon as possible. If you’ve got any queries you can e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Sal

    My partner works in a nursing home doing 12 hour days he is constantly busy and does not have a break at all during this period – is this legal? He also has to handover at the end of his shift so does extra 15 – 30 mins without pay Thanks

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Sal, as a Care Worker your partner may be exempt from needing the daily rest break, so yes this is likely to be legal. Also, if he does some unpaid work this is also legal – as long as he receives at least the national minimum wage for all the hours he works. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Ryan Black

    Hi, My as a postal worker i had to work an extra half an hour which took me over 6 hours without a 20 minute break, the boss states we must take our break at the end of our shift instead of half way through . According to ACAS It’s extremely important that workers take breaks. Studies have shown that heavy workloads and stress can make workers less productive, increase the risk of mistakes, and affect health. and should have their break at some point during the middle of there shift rather than adding the break to the end or beginning of work. I subsequently made a mistake that cost me job while not getting a break during the 6 hours do i have a case at court to argue? or to add to my case atleast

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Ryan, you could certainly try. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • lesley

    Hi-i work in a betting shop & we have recently been told that we do not need to have the 11 hour rest period continuously, is as long as we have 11 hours worth of breaks in total during the 24 hour period. As most of our shops are open from 9am to10pm I am finding this both troubling and hard to understand. Can you help clarify thing for me? Chee.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Lesley, if you are a shift worker or work in any other ‘exempt’ categories (see above), then yes this could be true, as you would be exempt from the need for the daily and weekly rest breaks. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • bruce bissett

    currently work as fulltime in retail, working 5 days out of 7 and alternate weekends. employer now saying we must work 6 days out of 7 during December and take lieu days in oct. also work 3 weekends out of 4 in December. can they enforce this? causes childcare issues.

  • jim

    hi i have been told that i must work a split shift next week. 8am to 4pm(includes 1 hour unpaid break) and then from 6pm to 9pm. can i claim travel epenses to go home and back at 4pm(about 14 miles round trip)

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Jim, that’s going to depend entirely on whether your Employer pays for this or not. I think it’s unlikely as Employers don’t normally pay for home-work travel. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • jim

    hi its me again. sometimes i work 8-30 to 1-30 which is 5 hours but i only get paid 4.5 hours for it as the company says i must take a30 minute unpaid break. i am the only member of staff on duty and i am not allowed to close the shop. should i be paid for this.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Jim, if you are working then you should be paid in theory. However, Employers can ask staff to work for unpaid periods (at the start and end of the shift for example) and this is ok as long as all the hours you are working you are being at least the national minimum wage. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Darren

    Hello

    Just a quick question about holiday pay. I work Monday to Friday full time. My firm then has a rota for covering evenings and weekends. If the Rota says you are on call then you are unless other staff will swap with you.

    The being on call at weekends is usually a 24 hour period, 9am Sat – 9am Sun, and 9am Sun to 9am Mon. Bank holidays are treated the same.

    Being on call means being available at short notice to attend work, so no going very far from home etc.

    It is usual to work 2 maybe 3 Bank Holidays a year ‘on call’ and then 3 Saturdays or Sundays a month.

    There is no extra holiday provided for working Bank Holidays, or being on call. The holiday entitlement is 20 days plus bank Holidays. But obviously on 3 Bank Holidays at least a year you are ‘on call’.

    I was just wondering if this was allowed ? Can you opt out of 28 days holiday in writing ?

    Many thanks

    Darren

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Darren, basically no you can’t opt out of the holiday entitlement and if you work a Bank Holiday then you should get the holiday entitlement ‘back’ to use at a later date. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Tony

    Hi,
    I noticed that you’re exempt from counting unpaid overtime into your 48 hour working limit. I currently work in the creative field and barely have a lunch (if any) and generally have either work allocated in that time or work related meetings, which puts my hours per week to a total of 40 – 45. We’re asked to do pitch work after hours because this type is classed as non-billible (In-which, we’re given notice either on the day or the day before). We’re basically pressured into doing the overtime and if we refuse, we’re taken into another room where we are ‘talked’ into it. It’s hard to say no in the risk of further pressure, so this puts weekly hours between 50 – 65.

    Most of the time we’re told that there’s a busy week coming and have no say in the matter, it’s just expected.

    I’m surprised there isn’t much employees can do about this, as it enables employers to use this exemption as a loophole to run their staff into the ground by saying ‘They volunteered’.

    My question, is there actually anything we can do?

    Thanks in advance!

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Tony, thanks for your message. Yes you do count unpaid overtime into your weekly working hours (unless you have volunteered to stay). However, if you have agreed to sign an Opt Out your Employer can ask you to work over 48 hours per week. The Government advises that the minimum amount of rest in any week you should get is 90 hours. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Lee

    Hi

    I would be grateful of your advice.
    Iam on a weekly set salary for 48 hours. I always do approx 52 – 68 hours which entails shifts of : 7am – 4pm/5pm – 23:30pm ish ( usually midnight ) . I am then on the rota for a 7am start the next day. Is this legal ?

    Thanks

    • Lee

      It is a pub / hotel business

      • Lee

        Also may i ask, all these extra hours i am doing, should i receive time off in lieu ? And also can my employer ” make ” me work later, ie/ if im rostered to work til 9pm, can they say that i have to work til midnight ?

        Thanks

        • lesleyfurber

          Hi Lee, as you are a shift worker then you are probably exempt from needing the 11 hours rest break. But you should get back the time from the 11 hours you did not get as rest as ‘compensatory’ rest as soon as possible (although this does not have to be paid. You should be paid for every hour your work (you do not have to receive time off in lieu), unless your contract says you are required to work some hours unpaid – however you should still receive at least the national minimum wage for EVERY hour you worik If your contract says you can be asked to work late, then yes your Employer can ask you to do this. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Freya

    I am paid hourly, 8 hours a day, 3.5 days a week.
    8 hours frequently get lengthened by 30/45/50 minutes through the month.
    My tally of hours is often 5 over what I should be doing but I have been told that I won’t be paid for this time due to not having been asked by the manager to do over’s.
    It is a care industry admin position and frequently needs a caring approach, not a ruthless one so time is given for the best possible work outcome for the residents.
    I feel that I am being taken advantage of and have been told to take the time as I will not be paid for it.
    Do I now work to rule as this will not benefit the service user. Do I have any rights to claim payment or should goodwill go out the door?
    Thank you
    Freya

    • lesleyfurber

      hi Freya, it’s all going to depend on what your contract says. If your Contract requires you to work ‘other’ hours above your normal weekly hours, then you need to do this unless you agree with your Employer, in writing, otherwise. These extra hours do not have to be paid for, however you must receive at least the national minimum wage for all the hours you actually work. If they are offering you the time back to take off at a later date (? are they?) then that is a fairly good compromise? Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Freya

    Thank you for the post Lesley, I am now in the process of clawing the time back in increments, which is acceptable to the management and has been agreed. I will be more careful in future when I clock in and off from work……the ball is firmly in my court to take control of my scheduled working hours and not to get caught with overs that would be difficult due to the type of business, to get back.
    Again thank you for your input, much appreciated to know there is someone with the knowledge that you can talk to.
    Freya

    • lesleyfurber

      No problems Freya! Thanks for the kind words! Lesley

  • caireen

    Hi my names caireen and I’m a carer. I’m really confused at my right’s. I’m on a zero contract hour but I have quite a steady Rota.I work 12 days then two off of working this all the time withy Monday Wednesday Friday Sat and Sunday from half 7 in the morning and finishing at 10 at night. Is this right?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Caireen, can you explain your shift pattern again as I dont’ quite understand what you have written… you said 12 days on, 2 days off, then listed several days that are not consecutive. Thanks, Lesley

      • caireen

        Sorry I’m not very good at explaining lol I work 12 on 2 off my twelve on I work everyday but Monday Wednesday Friday Sat Sun and then Monday and Wednesday working from half 7am and finishing at 10pm then my two off is always a Sat and Sun hope this makes more sence

        • suesquires

          These are not continuous days so it can’ t be counted as 12 days on

          • caireen

            And the Tuesday and Thursday I work half 7am and Finnish at 6pm

          • lesleyfurber

            Hi Caireen, I’m sorry that still doesn’t make any sense. As sue said this is not continuous. Are you saying you work on Tuesdays and Thursdays one week then Monday and Wednesday the next? Lesley

          • caireen

            No I work
            Monday. 730am till 10pm
            Tueday 7.30am till 6pm
            Wednesday 7.30am till 10pm
            Thursdays 7.30am till 6pm
            Friday Sat and Sunday 7.30 till 10pm
            When Monday comes I do the same as above when this Sat and Sun comes I’m off.then back to work to start the twelve days over

          • lesleyfurber

            Hi Caireen, thanks for explaining that. If you are asking whether these hours are acceptable under the Working Time Regulations then yes, as a care worker you are likely to be exempt from the need for the daily and weekly rest breaks. The Government recommends that you should get at least 90 hours rest per week, so it might be worth working out your total hours and total rest breaks over a a 14 day period. The one thing worth saying is that your zero-hours contract should not be that at all if you are working such regular shifts. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • zara

    hi my name is zara and i work as a night carer on a 7 night on and 7 night off but at the moment a new manager take off and side it is against healt and safety for staff to 7 night but yet they said staff is not allowed break because they are paid to work for there brake time even though staff said the would perfered not to be paid and get a break sometimes at night

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Zara, if you are a care worker then you are possibly exempt from needing a weekly or daily rest break – so what your manager has said about it being against health and safety to work 7 nights on the go, is not necessarily true, but it may be how the company chooses to operate which is fine. If you don’t get a daily rest break that may also be ok (rest breaks aren’t usually paid). More details about Care Workers are here. http://www.freelanceadvisor.co.uk/legal-advice/care-workers-what-are-your-rights-at-work/
      Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Miranda

    Hi, I working like domestic assistant in the NHS hospital. One my colleague got permanent contract from 8am till 5pm (Mon-Fri), come to work to hospital from 6pm till 10pm and stay to work in night shift from 10pm till 6am. And 8am come back to first work. Is it by law? How many hours per 24 hours can work people?
    Regards,
    Miranda

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Miranda, are you saying this person has 2 jobs? She should have agreed to Opt Out of the 48 hour per week working limit by doing this. It’s going to depend what job this person does, some jobs will be exempt from the need for weekly and daily rest breaks. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Miranda

    Hi Lesleyfurber, thank you for your reply. Yes, this person has 2 jobs. From 8am till 5pm he working in the fridge factory, make fridges and from 6 pm till 6am working like domestic assistant in the hospital. He working 20 hours per day, every week day. Is it possible by law?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Miranda, yes this could be possible, but he must have signed an Opt Out of the Working Time weekly limit of 48 hours, at both employers. Both Employers should be aware that he has another job. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Gaz Smith

    Hi Lesley

    I have Just reading some of your replies to the various
    questions. You told Miranda that it was possibly
    legal for someone to work 20 hours a day five days a week (8am till 5pm and 6
    pm till 6am) Presumably most of the hour between his jobs is spent travelling
    between jobs and let’s say the person concerned spends 30 minutes traveling to
    their first job and 30 minutes traveling home form their second job. When does
    this person sleep? Would you not agree that if he were to have an accident or more
    seriously cause someone else to have an accident then his employers would be
    legally responsible for allowing him to work without sleep for such a long
    period of time especially if that accident was at work and in that sense at
    least it is illegal? I hope I don’t come across him driving home on a Friday
    falling asleep at the wheel.

    Also I am wondering why you said to Zara she is possibly exempt
    from needing a daily or weekly rest break. I thought the WTR said that everyone
    has
    to have 24hrs rest per week. I think Zaras manager is right and she should be
    having a full 24 hours rest per week unless there is a very good reason not to.
    Work patterns should not be designed just to ignore the WTR even if the
    industry concerned is exempt. I think the same principle applies with daily
    rest periods. A rest break is about having a rest because you are tired not
    about if you are paid or not.

    You also told Lee as a shift worker he is probably exempt
    from needing an 11 hour rest break. We can all understand that occasionally due
    to unforeseen circumstances it may be necessary to work on into a rest period
    and then get compensatory rest time but Lee is saying he is often working up to
    68 hours a week and always more than 48. Lee is also saying he often gets less
    than 7 hours between shifts which I assume means even less than 7 hours sleep.
    He is doing the work of two men and getting less rest than one man. The hotel
    needs to employ more staff so that they can conform to the WTR. That’s the
    whole point of the WTR, protecting people from this sort of abuse

    You have also told someone who works in a betting shop that
    it could be true that they are not entitled to an 11 hour continuous break if
    they are a shift worker. This chap is
    not saving lives or caring for the elderly and whilst I don’t know his full
    details there seems to me to be no reason why he cannot have his full 11 hours
    break, just being a shift worker if indeed that’s what he is because I am not
    sure, in itself is not a reason to ignore the WTR. In fact it could be argued
    the reason he is a shift worker is because the company want to ignore the WTR

    I know of a specific company that shall remain nameless that
    employ people on shifts as described above and callout. Their employees are
    often bullied into working 16, 18 20 hours even around the clock 24 -25 hours. The
    work they do is stressful, responsible, potentially lifesaving and involves a
    lot of driving. There is no need for is employees to work like this as much of
    the workload is easily foreseen and the company makes many millions so they can
    afford to employ people properly. Just because the company may be exempt does
    not allow them to deliberately design shifts that flog their employees to death
    risking their and other people’s lives.

    Companies have a responsibility to design patterns that
    conform to the WTR as the norm rather than the exception. The fireman saving a child’s
    life in a fire should have to skip his rest breaks if there is no one to
    replace him and I am sure he would want to. The fireman doing a bit of
    paperwork that can wait until tomorrow should be allowed to take all his breaks
    but both are arguably in an exempt industry.

    I guess the point I am making and asking you to confirm is
    that just because you may be in an exempt category it does not mean the working
    time regs and specifically the rest breaks no longer apply. In fact I would say
    if you were to take the exemptions at face value the WTR would apply to almost
    nobody.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Gaz, I’m going to reply by e-mail. Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Gaz Smith

        Hi Lesley and everyone else.

        Thanks for your short e-mail Lesley, just so that everyone else who reads this message board knows I stand by what I said. I believe the people in the examples I quoted and probably others are protected by the WTR. If one were to take the exemptions at face value everyone would be exempt and the WTR would be pointless and useless. I realise even if someone is in the right it is very difficult to stand up to an employer so sometimes you have to live with an injustice.

        • suesquires

          I agree with all your points but I’ve found that what SHOULD happen often does not. for example,in the care industry time spent travelling between clients is not paid although all the info says it should be.!! In order to be paid for 30 hours work we have to work in the region of 40- 50 as travelling does not count as working! we also have to finance our own vehicle, mobile phone and computer/printer (to receive and print off rotas etc) I don’t know how the companies get away with it

          • lesleyfurber

            Hi Sue, I don’t know if you’ve seen the Care Worker page here http://www.freelanceadvisor.co.uk/go-freelance-guide/care-workers-what-are-your-rights-at-work
            I would advise more people to join a Union, as some Employers will sadly only stop treating their staff badly if people complain about it. Regards, Lesley, Workline

          • suesquires

            Yes I did join a union (unison) and have looked at advice on your website but it seems that the whole industry is using loopholes. Although the union is aware of the shoddy treatment we get it seems it cannot/will not use it’s muscle to get us a fair deal

          • Gaz Smith

            I would say joining a union is better than nothing but not much better. Unions don’t have much muscle these days. They are however good at selling you insurance, credit cards and making you a will all of these activities help pay the wages of their staff and keep them in jobs. Try asking Unison to do something for you?

          • Gaz Smith

            I would never claim to be an expert but I have looked into this issue a lot so here is my opinion. The WTR became law in Europe and so had to become law in the UK and is known as the WTR. British Governments of all colours do not like the WTR because of the problems they create so they tend to ignore the WTR. In fact I would say the government bodies that are supposed to promote the WTR actively do the opposite.

            You would think at least trade unions would actively promote the WTR and to be fair occasionally they do but most of the time they don’t because they can see the problems the WTR may create as well.

            If everyone in the country refused to work more than 48 hours a week, if they counted their call out time as worked time then it would cos the country a fortune and probably many thousands of jobs. This situation has allowed employers to just ignore the WTR.

            So what can you do. Well the truth is not much because there is so much stacked against you but some brave people take on their employers and eventually they end up at an employment tribunal and often win. You would think that once a number have cases have been proven the precedent would be set but the powers that be say that each case has to be taken on its merits as they are all different. They say this because they are all anti WTR.

            The courts however are not, they deal with just the law not politics which is why people win their cases. I would not advise anyone to go to a tribunal because of the work and hassle involved and the bad feeling it would create between employer and employee which would ultimately probably result in the loss of the employees job one way or another.

            I do however think its important that we try and make sure everyone understands the WTR rather than keep them in the dark the more people that understand it the more that will stand up to their employers and the more difficult it will be to ignore the WTR.

          • Gaz Smith

            Hi Sue, People SHOULD do and not do a lot of things but they do until someone makes a stand. None of us want to be the one to make a stand because we have too much to loose. We just want to complain and look for someone else to make that stand on our behalf. I have studied the WTR in depth over a long period of time and read all the court cases etc. I know I am right. I also know that I have too much to loose to take on that fight and loose. My working conditions would have to deteriorate considerably for me to take that risk. When that happens perhaps I would just leave instead which is probably what most people do and the employers keep winning until someone makes a stand probably on principles rather than for financial gain or better working conditions

  • hepste

    Hi Lesley
    My company has employed me on a half time basis, which is reflected in my contract. I am constantly asked to do more hours which I invariable agree to, and in the last year have worked closer to three quarter hours. However, my employer refuses to allocate my annual leave hours on the basis of hours actually worked, even though it is me who is doing them the favour. I am thus allocated 3.9 hours per A/L day.
    Reading through some of your replies leads me to believe that the care industry has a blanket exemption from certain sections of the wtr. However, surely the 11 hour rule should only qualify for exemption where the employer can show a need for continuity. I do a 24 hour shift broken by only 8 hours sleep, that could easily be broken into 3, 8hour shifts by different staff. I have previously worked in non care work where 24 hour cover was thus covered where it could be argued there was a greater need for continuity. Seems to me care work employers are taking the mick/advantage of slack legislation, or do I have a case?
    Lastly, I have recently been asked to work away from my normal place of work whereby the travelling time and distance exceeds my original placement by some margin. My employer refuses to pay “differential” travelling time/expenses, saying that home to work place is my own liability wherever that may be.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Hepste, thanks for your message. Yes the employer needs to show a continuity for the job to be exempt from the daily rest break (or be in another ‘exempt’ category, like a shift worker for example). Obviously, the employer can decide the shift patterns that are appropriate for the services they provide, so they may have good reasons for not wanting 8 hour shifts (I don’t know). How much farther have you been asked to work away from your original place of work?

      With regards to your first point, there has been a recent case about overtime hours counting for annual leave when they are not contractual – I yet haven’t had chance to look at this in any detail (or write anything about it). Basically a Tribunal decision said that all overtime payment sshould be included in holiday pay calculations. This decision will be appealed so it’s difficult to say what (or when) the outcome will be. As things stand for now, most Employers will probably continue calculating holiday pay based only on contractual hours and overtime.

      Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • hepste

        In respect of the work, it is caring for disabled persons in their own home. I come on shift at 1500, work ’til 2300, sleep in ’til 0700 when I start my new shift at the same address ’til 1500. It is domicillary care. Thereafter, during the week, I could be asked to work any hours but not part of a structured shift system. There is no reason (except reduced admin for the employer) to ask the same worker to eg stay on after the sleep in hours resulting in only an 8 hour break between shifts.
        Regarding the extra travelling – my home to normal work place is 8 mls and 25mins travelling time. I am being asked to travel an extra 7 mls and an extra15 mins travelling time at my own expense.

        • lesleyfurber

          Hi again Hepste, with regards to your extended travel time, this probably would not be seen as an unreasonable amount of extra time/miles. It would be up to your employer to decide if they offered any extra expenses in this situation I think. Regards, Lesley, Workline

          • hepste

            Many thanks Lesley. Seems to me that the wtr are in many ways toothless, and fail to protect the workers it is designed to protect, largely due to the unconditional exemptions that have been granted. For sure I will be going through my next contract of employment with a fine toothcomb before signing!

          • suesquires

            Thing is if you refuse to sign up to these conditions – will you still have a job!! these companies know we’re in a no win position and until the law is rigorously enforced we have no choice if we want to carry on in this sector!

  • Ian Swales

    Hi,I see that the working week is your ‘normal’ weekly hours of work, being shift workers the company has said that the standard working week is from Monday to the following Sunday,we work 6 shifts on 3 off,3xearly 3xlate and 3 off,based on 8.5 hr shifts,so our working week would be from when we return to work after the days off, that be our ‘Normal’ working week ?
    This allows the company, by roster,to roster that we work 51 hrs the next 34 etc etc,which they say is balanced out over 9 weeks average,We have been led to believe the average is calculated over 17 weeks.
    Within this we are actually at work 51 hrs in that 6 days on,everytime but are paid on a 40 hrs weekly contract,this would seem to mean the company gains 11 hrs everytime we work our ‘Normal’ weekly hrs.
    e.g
    Fri -Sat- Sun, Mon Teus Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun Mon Teus

    off off off 04.30 04.30 04.30 13.30 13.45 12.00 off off off 4.30 4.30 4.30 etc

    13.00 13.00 13.00 22.00 22.00 20.30

    This to the staff here is becoming a minefield being told various information from the management regarding this subject,is there any way to clarify the situation.We work in the Airline industry on the ground for handling agents
    Thankyou very much.
    Ian S

    • lesleyfurber

      HI Ian, thanks for your message. I’m not completely understanding what you are saying here – 51 hours one week, 34 hours the next? The 17 week is an ‘average’ reference period for the working time regulations (to work out weekly hours of work), but this reference period can be changed by the employer with a collective agreement. Regards, Lesley, Workline

    • Ian Swales

      Hi Lesley,
      I didn’t think I would of worded the question very well, We work 6 on 3 off,on a 40 hr permenant full time contract, our shift lengths are based on 8.5 hours. Every time we are on our 6 days on we work 51 hours but the company say the ‘normal’ working week is from Monday to Sunday but due to working this shift pattern we work e.g M T W Th F S then have Sun Mon Tues off, then another 6 shifts on, starting from the Wed through to the following Monday then 3 days off again etc. If we have the Sun Mon Tues off we are back to work on the Wed to the following Monday,which is 51 hrs but because the company say the ‘normal’ working week is Monday to Sunday we only work the Wed Th Fr Sat Sun in that week, 4 days, which adds to 34 hrs so they say we are averaging our contracted hours over a 9 week period.
      In the article here it says that the working week is calculated on ‘normal weekly working hours’ which is to us is from the time we begin a new batch of shifts over 6 days to our our 3 days off which adds up to 51 hours each 6 shifts worked and with the average calculated over 9 weeks instead of 17 or more as stated above . Hope you can follow ok.

      • lesleyfurber

        Hi Ian, sorry this is going straight over my head! I’ll print it out and try to understand it and get back to you. Regards, Lesley

      • lesleyfurber

        HI Ian, finally managed to understand this (sorry!)…… because of your shift pattern your working hours have to be ‘averaged’ out for various reasons and this average would be a ‘normal’ working week in your situation I think. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

        • Ian Swales

          Thank you very much for your help intrying to understand the wtd,we thought they would get by with this but felt every 6 days (no matter when they say the working week begins and ends) on and with working 51 hrs in that 6 days must be against some regulations.Thankyou onec again.

  • linda

    hi, i work part time in a pub and was wondering if it is legal for my boss to ask me to come in to work after working 10 till 5, and then doing 8 till 2 and back in on a saturday 2 till 8. i dont mind doing the saturday but i am not happy about the friday shift.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Linda, thanks for your message. If you are a shift worker then you can be exempt from the need for the 11 hour daily rest break between shifts. Do you have a contract which gives the employer the ability to offer you different shifts? Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • linda

        Hi, I have never signed a contract let alone see one and i have been working there for over 6 years. i do get paid holidays, when they can afford to pay my holiday pay. my shifts are 5 till 11 on a tuesday, 10 till 5 on a wednesday, 4 till 8 on a thurs and 10 till 5 on a friday. that is seemingly my contract hours. I am the only person where this is my only job, the other staff have other jobs. They come in at the weekends but i do 3 weekends out of a 6 week rota, so without asking me my boss put me down to work on a friday night for a 6 hour shift after doing a 7 hour shift and as i said before in on a saturday to. Do i have any rights? thanks Linda.

  • lenny

    i have 2 questions if anyone can help?
    1, can i “opt out” the 48 hour average? by that i mean can i insist on having my working hours not exceed 48 hours on a week by week basis and not over a 17 week average?
    2, if im on week 7 of a 17 week average period and my average is running at 51hours can i refuse to work more than 48hours in week 8 because my average is already to high?
    many thanks,

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Lenny, if you have opted out of the 48 hour weekly maximum then you have the right to opt back-in, i.e. say you will not work more than 48 hours per week. Your Employer will probably have a notice period that you need to give to opt back-in (to the 48 hour maximum limit). The answer to your second question is going to depend if you opt back in. The hours do have to be averaged over the 17 week period so at week 7 I would say this is too early. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • joanna

    Hi there, hoping someone will be able to help. My daughter started her first job a month ago, she’s 18, it’s a fixed term contract covering another employee who is away for a specific amount of time. Her contract for 6 weeks and was due to be extended as the employee she is covering will be away longer than expected. However, unexpectedly she has to undergo emergency surgery tomorrow, and know the recovery will be at least 2 weeks. I am not sure how fair this company will be with her, they are already saying she isn’t entitled to paid holiday which I don’t think is true, so think they won’t offer sick pay either. She is very disappointed and upset at having to let her colleagues down, as she loves the job but she really is quite ill. Thanking you in advance and just hoping there is a kind person out there to help with some advice. Joanna

    • lesleyfurber

      HI Joanna, thanks for your message. Your daughter is entitled to statutory holiday and statutory sick pay from her first day at work – so she would have a minimum of 6 weeks entitlement of holiday (although they can ask her not to take this during a short contract; but she would have to be paid for it at the end of her contract if she was not allowed to take it). She is entitled to SSP if she meets the qualifying conditions – more details are here http://www.freelanceadvisor.co.uk/go-freelance-guide/sickness-and-statutory-sick-pay-ssp/
      I guess you think they will end her contract because of this? Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • don

    Hi,

    On my contract it states that my normal working week is from 08:30 to 17:30 Monday to Friday however my company went to an annualised hours system a number of years ago. all our hours are worked over a 9 month period and we have a 3 month period off work during the company’s quiet time. Our shifts are arranged as four 12 hour shifts on followed by four days off but our company rosters us in for another 8.5 hour shift during our four days off. According to our employer this 8.5 hour day is to bank hours for the 3 months that we have off during the quiet period. my problem is that if someone is off sick for that 8.5 hour day, our employer just re-rosters us for that day at a later time. I was under the impression that with annualised hours then if you are sick for any of your time then it should be classed as sick time and should not have to be repaid at a later time.

    on the same theme I have also applied for paternity leave and where the leave includes one of my 8.5 hour days, these days have been re-rostered for later in the month.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Don, thanks for your message. I’m afraid I’m not that familiar with annualised hours, but it does seem odd that if you are sick then you get re-rostered as that wouldn’t happen with a ‘normal’ 12 hour day I presume? Same with paternity leave. Not sure I understand their logic here. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Matus

    Hi,
    Just have a question: Im working as delivery driver start 8.45 till 17:00.. but every so often I have to cover on call full week that means seven days. and still have to go to work next day.. it does happened that I get called out very late on midnight and come back home like 2:00 morning and my employer still expecting me to be at work next day morning for full day shift…My question is if this is legal because if u have 2-3 days like that in row belive me its more than hard and on top of it im driving van and sometimes im worry about my safety…please help

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Matus, thanks for your message. Yes, it sounds legal, you would need to look at the total hours you were working over the week/period to make sure you were not going over 48 hours per week on average. If you do not receive your 11 daily rest break then you should receive what you did not get of the 11 hours as ‘compensatory’ rest as soon as possible. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Tony

    Hi
    I am employed on a zero hour contract with no written contract at the present time. The company are now trying to introduce written contracts including holiday entitlement 28days inc bank holidays and notice periods for such holidays. However they state in the contract that the hourly rate paid is to include your paid holiday entitlement. Is this allowable within present employment law, how does it affect the minimum wage and what would you consider reasonable notice periods

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Tony, thanks for your message. On short-length contracts this is allowed, but the holiday element must be itemised separately to the hourly rate (so you can what each is)……. so you should get at least the minimum wage before the holiday element is added on. Notice periods are in law as twice as long as you are taking (or they are asking you to take) – i.e. 2 weeks notice for 1 weeks holiday. So that would be reasonable. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • John

    My ex-wife works on the reception at a country house hotel. The hotel is not a particularly busy one but it caters for the higher end of the market.

    She generally works an 8 hour shift, varying between earlies, middles and lates. Most shifts are early or late with few middles.

    The shifts are:
    0700-1500, 1000-1800, 1500-2300

    She is frequently rostered to work a late followed by an early which gives only 8 hours downtime between shift. This downtime includes her travel time to and from home (25 mins each way), breakfast and preparing herself for work which generally results in a 6 hour sleep period.

    Currently she was on lates last night, early today, lates tomorrow followed by an early.

    Despite the fact that she works in a hotel I can see no justification for an exemption from the WTD which requires 11 hours between shift. She is reluctamt to challenge management for fear of her job. The hotel has gone through a series of cost cutting measures recently which included laying off staff and reducing the number of receptionists.

    I would appreciate your advice.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi John, as your wife is a shift-worker this is covered by the exemption to the need for a 11 hour rest break. Travel time to and from home is not counted. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Frank

    Hi
    I am a night worker and I am covered by the below statement. There is however some confusion as to whether the 11 hours uninterrupted “Daily Rest” period applies. For instance, if were to work 11pm to 4am. Then sleep. Can I work those 3 remaining hours at say 1pm the following day before being entitled to the 11 hour “Daily Rest” period.

    Mental strain you cannot work more than 8 hours in each 24 hour period (i.e. no overtime can be worked) and your working hours cannot be averaged over any reference period.

    • lesleyfurber

      hi Frank, thanks for your message. I’m slightly confused about what you mean when you say work those remaining 3 hours? What 3 hours? If you are a shift worker then you are likely to be exempt from needing the 11 hour daily rest break – although you must get the portion of the 11 hours you didn’t receive as ‘compensatory’ rest as soon as possible afterwards. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Nathan

    Hi Lesley,

    I’m a broadcast journalist with a Glasgow radio station. For all intents and purposes, I am a full-time member of staff – I work 8 hours a day, five days a week – but to save the company hassle, I am technically employed as a “freelancer”. This means I have to do all my own tax etc. However, I’ve been told that if/when I take holidays, they will be unpaid, since I’m a freelancer. Is there anything legal that I can take to them, seeing as I am pretty much a full-time member of staff?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Nathan, thanks for your message. It’s all going to depend if in fact you are an employee, worker or freelance – the ‘tests’ are here http://www.freelanceadvisor.co.uk/resources/am-i-an-employee-self-employed-freelance-or-a-worker/

      To complicate matters though, a lot of the larger media organisations in the UK will recognise genuine freelancers as ‘workers’ for the purposes of the Working Time Regulations, and so they will be entitled to holiday.

      Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Lyndsey

    Hi, I work as a supervisor in a shop ive had 9 days holidays this year. All other holiday requests have been denied as we were short staffed that is now dealt with but Im now being denied holidays as its the Christmas run up. As the company restrict holidays taken in the first few months of the new year Im likely to lose my holidays. Is this legal or can I challenge it?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Lyndsey, your employer can ask you when to take (or when not to take holidays) as long as they give you adequate notice. But they must also allow you to take your statutory holiday entitlement if you wish to. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Martin

    Hi

    I’m an HGV driver. We work on the 26 week ref period. It appears to myself and others that our managers are deducting working time from our time sheets to reduce the amount of compensatory rest we require. I’ve been told my working average is 52 hrs and told I don’t need any rest. Surely this is wrong, should it to mean 13 days rest over 26 weeks?

  • Trish

    Does the employer have to give 5mins at the end of the shift to wash you’re hands and change ready for home
    as they require you at your work station on time.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Trish, what do you mean by ‘give’, do you mean pay for this? Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Ian

    Hi,

    My wife works as a house keeper in a private hotel.

    Presently she is working approximately 3-4 hours a day cleaning rooms, 7 days a week. Sometimes 3 weeks none stop.

    If I read the WTD correctly, she should be entitled to 3 days consecutive holiday, at the end of the 3 weeks and the holidays should not effect her 28 days statutory holidays?

    Can you please confirm that this is correct. Ian..The Husband

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Ian, thanks for your message. She needs 1 rest day (of 24 hours per week – or 2 rest days every 14 days) unless she falls into the exempt categories above. This rest is nothing to do with holiday, it is completely separate. She is entitled to 28 days statutory holiday (pro-rata’d to the hours she works) per year. Regards, Lesley

  • Paul Clark

    Hi
    We work a twelve hour shift 7.00am on until 7.00pm.We have been asked to carry out some work for another company which will mean working until 11.00pm, which is a seventeen hour day and then come in the next day for 7.00 am which will only be 8 hours rest.Are they allowed to do this because of the shift ruling
    Many thanks Paul

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Paul, thanks for your message. Basically, yes, if you are a shift worker then you are likely to be exempt from needing the 11 hour daily rest break, although you must get the portion of the 11 hours back, that you couldn’t take, as compensatory rest. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • cathy s

    Hi

    I have a 0 hr contract but always have hours throughout the week/month but ive never had holiday pay from the conpany is this legal?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Cathy, not that’s not legal (unless you are genuinely self-employed). They should be working out what holiday entitlement you have based on the hours you actually work. Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • cathy s

        Hi

        I’m not self employed and have been working with the company 3 years and never once had holiday pay is there legalisation within the UK that i could refer my employer to?

        • lesleyfurber

          Hi Cathy, sorry I tried to reply to you a couple of days ago but it just wouldn’t take the comment…. so fingers crossed this time! The legislation regarding holidays in the UK is the Working Time Regulations (this page) – for an ‘official’ version though you can look here https://www.gov.uk/holiday-entitlement-rights
          Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Dan

    Hi I regularly work 10 x 8-10 hour days in a row is this ok…?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Dan, you need either a 1 x 24 hour rest break in every 7 days of a 2 x 24 hour rest break in every 14 days – and it’s your employers decision – so yes this is ok. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • ajr101

    hi,

    i am part of a 5 man rotating on call schedule outside of working hours 17:00 – 08:45 Monday to Friday

    I am struggling to find inormation on the following.

    Regarding rest time. If I am called outside of working hours I usually have to fix something remotely (ie from home), however this sometimes sees me getting very little sleep due to being disturbed through the night and taking a long time to get back to sleep (especially on busy nights).

    I read about legally being allowed 11 hours uninterrupted rest between finishing one day and starting the next.

    if i get a call at midnight. interrupting my sleep does that mean that the rest period of 11 hours restarts? meaning that in order to get a full 11 hours of uninterrupted rest i wouldnt have to start until 11am?

    Does this apply to all industries?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi, thanks for your message. There are exemptions to getting this 11 hour rest break for several industries (see above) and for shift-workers – so if you fall into an exempt category then you would not need to get the 11 hour rest break but should get back the portion of the rest break that you did not have, as ‘compensatory’ rest. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • ajr101

        But if I do not fall into one of these categories then my understanding is correct?

  • Em85

    Hi
    I am looking for some advice for my boyfriends job and am a little confused by all the regulations out there. Basically he is working permanent nights as a supervisor for a delivery company in a warehouse. His job is physically and mentally draining. His hours of work tend to be between 8pm and up to 12noon the next day. He is contracted to 40 hours a week (over 6 nights) but usually works at least 60hrs, sometimes up to 75hrs in a week. He has opted out of the 48hr scheme.
    Should he be working this many hours? I am worried for his health as he has no energy and only wants to sleep when he is not working.
    Also there are have been occasions when he has booked holidays months in advance, had them approved and then a couple days before they start he has been told he cannot have them any more as they want him in work and he has had to cancel any plans he has made! Are they allowed to do this?
    Over the Christmas peak period they have now told him he has to work 12hrs a night over 6 nights (however this is turning out to be more like 15hrs a night). Again can they do this?
    Looking forward to your reply, many thanks…

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Em, thanks for your message. If his job involves special hazards or heavy physical or mental
      strain he should not work more than 8 hours in each 24 hour period (i.e. no
      overtime can be worked. However, if his Employer has made a ‘Workforce Agreement’ with the staff then this can modify or exclude the limits on night
      work. So he needs to check if there is such an agreement in place. Regarding holidays, if the Employer wishes to cancel an agreed holiday they need to give adequate notice to do this – which is twice the actual holiday… so if they want to cancel a weeks’ holiday they must give two weeks notice. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Em85

        Many thanks for your help, we will look into the possibility of a ‘Workforce Agreement’ and go from there. Kind regards.

  • dave l

    Hi
    I work 1 12 hour night shift per week from 8pm till 8am what i’m trying to find out is for holiday purposes is this classed as 1 or 2 days holiday, thanks dave

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Dave, thanks for your message. I would imagine this would be classed as 1 days holiday as it is a ‘normal’ days work. Regards, Lesley

  • phil f

    I work 4 12 hour shifts on and 4 days of. In every 12 hour shift how mutch break time am I legaly entitaled to

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Phil, you are entitled to a 20 minute rest break if you work more than 6 hours. However, as a shift worker you can be exempt from this need for a rest break. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • suesquires

    Can any one tell me WHY shift workers are exempt from needing the statutory rest breaks

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Sue, that’s the way the Regulations were agreed and written I’m afraid. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Debbs D

    Please can someone let me know if college hours are classed as working hours for a 17 year old, attending college full time and working 20 hours a week?

  • Donna Cook

    hi i work 2.half hour a day 5 days a wk cleaning wen i first startd there i only had to sign in book and same going out but now employers fetchd in where u have to ring a number up and give ur employers number and mine to log in work are they allowed to change it just like that and i clean at an other place for same cleaning ferm and now my boss as said that ive to ring her wen i get to work and same wen i finish wen the hours there are all set hours could someone give me some advise please ty

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Donna, your Employer can set the systems up they wish to regarding signing in and out of work I think. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Gary

    Hi I contract is on call 24hrs 7 days a week at present I get 25 days holiday, my employer now states this should include weekends too, so instead of 5 weeks holiday now only 3wk plus 4 days is this correct, I was told I should be entitled to 49 days?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Gary, thanks for your message. The maximum entitlement under the legislation is 28 days (including bank holidays)… your Employer can give you more, but it is not pro-rata’d to working 7 days a week, it is based on 5 days per week. Your week must include a 24 hour period rest day, and holidays cannot be taken on a rest day. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • midfieldhouse

    Hi, my wife works as an office manager for a charity. She works part time, 3 full days a week (24 hours per week). Working hours are 9-5. But her boss indirectly demands her to attend to office work from home on the days she is not working. He even demands her to be available on the phone whenever he wants, after normal working hours, non-working days and weekends. Other thing is, he has taken a break from work from 24th Dec until 5th (returning on the 6th) but he insists that my wife should come for work on the 2nd and 3rd of January. I want to find out if his demands are legitimate or not and can my wife refuse his demands? Please advice.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Midfiellhouse, thanks for your message. The answer to this is going to depend entirely on what it says in her contract about her need to be available outside of ‘normal’ working hours and what ‘seniority’ she has in the organisation and what is expected of her if she is a senior member of staff. Her employer can tell her what holidays she can or cannot have (so conversely when she should be available for work), as long as he has given her appropriate notice. Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • midfieldhouse

        Thanks Lesley. I checked the contract but it doesn’t say that she should be available ‘outside normal working hours’ if needed. She is a senior member but salary is much less compared to her responsibilities and what she is actually doing! The worrying thing is, she is getting verbally harassed by her boss (CEO) for not answering her private mobile phone and home phone ‘outside’ her normal working hours / days. She is going to start a second job (part-time) from next month amidst fears this ‘on call’ demand could affect her second job. I’m sorry for bothering you again. Your advice is greatly appreciated.

        • lesleyfurber

          Hi again, unless your wife is prepared to talk to her boss about the responsibilities that he is expecting her to carry, then there is not going to be much you can do about this I’m afraid. If she can talk to him about his expectations and her own expectations of her workload that may help, although I know that might be difficult. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • James Clarke

    My employer says that I must work all Bank Holidays, (except Christmas Day), and in return I will receive an annual leave day for these, they are included in my annual leave entitlement (I have 28 days per year annual leave). I do not receive days in lieu for working the Bank Holidays. Does my employer have a right to insist I work these Bank Holidays, (I work in retail, and my contract does not state that I must)?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Guest, thanks for your message. Yes, your Employer can tell you what holidays you can and can’t have, so can ask you to work bank holidays – there is no right in law to have bank holidays off work. If you work a bank holiday then you should get a day ‘back’ into your annual leave entitlement, but there is no requirement in law for anything else (like extra pay or an extra day off in lieu).

      Hope that helps. Lesley, Workline

  • sassy

    hi my daughter works about 80hrs+ a week
    but is only contracted to work 48hrs as an assistant manager while she has an annual contract she is paid a top up of min wage only. it seems to me that my daughter is being taken advantage of as the employer is getting her to work two peoples jobs and paying one person min wage for the responsibilities of an assistant manager and often manager when acting up. also she does not have an opportunity to take any breaks working 14 -15 hour shifts with sometimes only 6 hrs between shifts and in one case three hours what are her rights as I am concerned about her health many thanks

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Sassy (if I’ve replied twice I apologise – I thought I had, but it’s not showing!)…….. Has she signed an “opt out” to say that she agrees to work over 48 hours per week? As she would need to agree to do this. If your daughter is a shift-worker then she is probably exempt from needing the weekly and daily rest breaks, but she must get the time back (she did not get as rest) as ‘compensatory’ rest as soon as possible afterwards. Ultimately the Government guidance is that she must get at least 90 hours rest per week….. if you haven’t done already, it would be worth while adding up all her working and rest hours over several weeks and see what the total comes to and see whether she is getting any ‘compensatory’ rest that she is due. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Wingnut

    Hello I was wondering if you can clarify the following for me:
    1. The article states that the number of hours worked are worked out over a 17 week reference period and that the first 20 days holiday I am entitled to cannot be used to reduce this average. Does this mean that any leave entitlement going beyond 20 days (I currently get 31 with 2 carried over from 2013) can be used to lower the average across the reference period?
    2. If I was to work for 2 employers, one as an employee the second self employed (No leave entitlement) could I be on leave from my first employee job can I work for the second self employed employer. If my understanding is correct a day off (although possible only up to first 20 days) still counts towards my 17 week average – hours taken as those I’d normally have worked. As the hours have already been counted for WTD here if I decided to work self employed for someone else for the same number of hours I am on holiday are the hours then counted again? i.e. could a 9 hour working day actually be counted twice once as due to leave and again if I worked during that leave period elsewhere.

    Many thanks for your assistance.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Wingnut, sorry for the delay in responding to you – I need to check the ’20 days’ holiday in your first point, as it may now be the statutory ’28 days’ and I’ve just not updated the article. I’ll get back to you about that when I’ve had time to have a proper heck. If you are self-employed then you are unlikely to be covered by the Working Time Regulations (except in certain circumstances). There would be nothing to stop you working as self-employed when you are on leave from your first employer (as long as your Employer knew you would be doing this; most Employers will want to know if you have a second job of any type). I’ll get back to you soon. Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • lesleyfurber

        Hi again Wingnut, I’ve checked this and found the answer on the HSE site (with guidance that was updated in April 2013, so I’m pretty sure it’s accurate). It is still the ‘original’ 20 days that can be excluded, this didn’t increase to 28. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • yvonne

    Hi I wonder whether you could direct me to information on the web with guidelines on how to define a carer’s night shift as a sleep shift or a wake shift. I have had some information that one of the criteria is not to be disturbed in your sleep for more than 3 times for periods over 20 mins, but I struggle to find further information on this. Could you help

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Yvonne, I’ll have a look for you and get back to you. Regards, Lesley, Workline

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Yvonne, I’ve had a quick look and I can’t find anything official about this except just a few ‘descriptions’ that say that waking shifts would normally allow no sleep, you are effectively working through the whole shift. A sleep-in shift means you are there to work when required but can sleep when you are not needed to work. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • kazz

    Hi im a store manager, my contract is 45hours a week I have opt out. Recently my dept manager quit I informed my employer as im not allowed to recruit for management, thet had a month to replace my old dept manager an still 8 weeks on they havent. To which im expected to cover all the hours, currently im working 7 days aweek averge of 14 hours a day is this legal for my employer to expect me to work these hours?

    • lesleyfurber

      HI Kazz, thanks for your message. Your hours of work have to be averaged out over a ‘reference’ period which is normally 17 weeks. So if you are not getting your rest breaks (1 x 24 hour period in every 7 days or 2 x 24 hours in every 14 days), and are not getting at least 90 hours rest per week, continually, then this is wrong. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • rob

    This is a tricky 1 as i have no idea where i will fall within this but if anyone can shine some light where i stand, i would be eternally grateful. So i am a support worker and work within a 3 staff strong team with a service user which displays challenging behavior we obviously have to provide 24 hour 365 day support which i do not have a problem with but what i don’t understand and could do with some help with is these factions. 1. Do we have a legal right to any break what so ever in a 16hour working day, (i say 16 hour but technically they are 24hour shifts as we have a sleep in added onto a standard shift) as it has stood for the last 3 years of working within the company i have never had an actual break where i can for example leave the premises, is this a legal right?.
    2. Do we have a legal obligation to have to have our lunch when the service user does. (this is not a break we sit and work whilst trying to eat).
    3. I have had to do numerous 48* hour shifts which are as follows … Start at 8am (finish working day //tecnically// at 12am then sleep in until 8am when we have to repeat this once more) is this legal? cheers

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Rob, thanks for your message. As a support worker you are likely to be ‘exempt’ from the rest breaks (as described above); so if you do not get the rest breaks the working time regulations prescribe you should get the bit of the rest period that you did not get, back, as ‘compensatory’ rest as soon as possible. So, what you have described is not illegal as long as you getting at least 90 hours rest per week (minimum). Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • lonnie

    Hi i just wanted to know is my employer allowed to change my rota with out telling me and do i have to work it i wasnt asked if i would swap shifts if i hadnt looked in the rota i wouldnt have known where do i stand on this

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Lonnie, thanks for your message. Yes your Employer can change your rota, but obviously they need to be reasonable in the notice they give you. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Alison

    Hi, my employer insists I have a 30 minute lunch break, unpaid, even though I only work 6 hours a day. Is this correct?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Alison, yes your Employer can specify the length of the break they wish you to take (as long as it’s equal to or more than the legal minimum). Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Alison

    Hi, my employer insists I have a 30 minute lunch break, unpaid, even though I only work 6 hours a day. Is this correct?

  • nigeldoble

    hi, i work part time at the moment doing 20 hours 430 am to 830 am for parcel firm, i would like to do extra work to go full time but would mean doing split shift with the extra 20 hours being 1530 pm to 1930 pm, can i do this or do i fail due to the 11 hour break rule

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Nigel, as a shift worker you are probably exempt from needing the 11 hour rest break, but do need the rest as soon as you can receive it. Would your company let you do these shifts? They may not agree to it if you are not getting enough rest to ‘function’ properly on a long-term split-shift arrangement. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Maggie Pritchard

    Hi I would like some advise on employee holiday entitlement. I have worked for a charity 1 day a week for 3 and a half years under six monthly contracst. When I first started I was receiving £ 6.80 per hour this increased to £7.16 per hour after 1 year I had no holiday entitlement . The holiday pay changes were introduced and the charity reduced my hourly rate to £6.22 per hour and gave me 6 days holiday a year. I do not receive any paid bank holidays. I worked over 80 days overtime last year which they pay at the higher rate of £7.16. Is it right that they could reduce my hourly rate after a year to collect my holiday pay I have had different advice.
    Maggie

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Maggie, thanks for your message. As you know holiday pay now needs to be shown seperately to the normal working hourly rate (where it used to be ok to join the two together). I think it has been fairly common to reduce the hourly rate so the holiday part gets added back on (so it equals the same rate as before) and as far as I’m aware this is ok to do, if not the point of the regulations – although they were changing your contract of employment to do this so should have agreed this with you. Your entitlement should be based on 28 days pro rata. including bank holidays, so you should receive 5.6 days per annum, so the 6 days is correct. At the moment, the overtime you work, if it is not contractual, does not qualify for holiday entitlement – although this may change in the future.

      However, the ‘working’ part of your hourly rate has to be at least the National Minimum Wage, which is currently £6.31 so the ‘holiday’ part needs to be added on top of this. If they are only paying £6.22 per hour they are paying you less than the NMW.

      Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Milan

    Hi, i would like to get advise on employee holiday entitlement. I have
    been worked for a company for 3 months, and now my manager want to give
    me a one week notice. I asked her about the paid holidays what i am
    entitled for by the law, but she told me that i cannot get more then 2
    days, because the holiday period is from january to december, and
    holidays are starting to build up in every year. They didn’t gave me any
    notice or information about this. And now they are saying i have lost 4
    days from the last year. (My working period is: 11 november to 12 of
    february, 40 hours per week). I think i am entitled for the holidays
    i’ve built up from november to february, so it’s should be more than 2
    days as they’re saying. So i have no idea what to do in this case. Sorry
    for grammatical mistakes.

    An employee.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Milan, thanks for your message. Yes, you are technically due all the holiday entitlement for 3 months. Did they stop you taking holidays in the first part of your employment? You need to explain to them that you were not aware you needed to take your entitlement for 2013, by the end of the year, if that is the case. It might be difficult to argue that you are entitled to the holiday from 2013, if they say you would have been aware you needed to take them. I guess from what you have said that you are not allowed to carry any holidays over into this year? Good luck with this. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Darren

    Hi.
    I am trying to find the answer to my holiday entitlement question. I work Mon – Fri 9 – 530. We also have a rota where we are on call evenings and weekends. It works out that you get about 4 evenings per month where you are “on call” and usually one whole weekend “on call”.

    On call means you can be at home or doing whatever you want, but have to get to work within 45 minutes if called. It is quite likely that you will get called.

    Our holiday entitlement in the contact is 20 days plus bank holidays. However we have just been told we are expected to be “on call” for 4 bank holidays a year.

    Now I know the EU ruling that “on call” at work counts as working time, and “on call” at home / doing leisure activity does not count as working time, but how does it work with holidays? We do not get a day off in lieu. There are some bank holidays where you may not get called, but you do regularly have to go out at least once which will be a minimum of 2 hours and likely longer.

    Thanks for your help. I am struggling to find a definitive answer at the moment.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Darren, thanks for your message. If you are on-call on a bank holiday, and do have to work, then you should get this day back in lieu, to comply with the WTR. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Darren

        Hi Lesley.

        Thanks for your answer. Is there something, a Directive or Case I can point to as proof that if I work on a Bank Holiday I should get a day off in lieu ? Also what happens if I am available on a Bank Holiday but not called out ? Would that be different?

        Thanks again.

  • Matthew Leggett

    Hi I have a question regarding my holiday entitlement.
    I signed my contract in 2008, the wording of my contract is as follows
    “You are entitled to 5 weeks paid holiday per annum. Employees with five years service with the company are entitled to and additional days leave which can be taken in full in the year in which it is applied. You will be entitled to holiday under the Working Time Regulations 1998, which entitles workers to a maximum of 20 days leave per year”
    As there is not reference to Bank Holidays and I am currently paid extra with day in lieu for working Bank Holidays.
    I also realise that Working Time Regulations were changed to 28 days after I signed.
    Am I right in saying that I should be getting 29 days holiday + bank holidays or am I incorrect.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Matthew, thanks for your message. This is a question for your Employer, as holiday entitlement under the WTR is the minimum you should receive, which can include bank holidays. Your Employer can offer just this minimum or their own more generous leave arrangements. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Wendy Jakeman

    Hi I wonder if you could advise me? I’ve just started a new job in a shop/garage open from 6am -10pm and my shift pattern is either a 6-3 or 2:45 -10. As I work alone I do not get a break during my shift, is this legal? Also, sometimes I have to do a late shift followed by an early shift, again, is this legal? I have not signed or been offered a contract yet so all agreements are verbal and obviously I’m in my probationary period, just want to clarify a few things before i do sign a contract. Many Thanks Wendy

  • lianne

    Please can you help me clear a matter up.
    I am HOME CARER and travel from house to house. we are payed by a so called phone in , phone out system. My boss tell us if we are allocated a 30min job we are to stay in that job for a minimum of 23mins to get the full 30min pay and if we dont stay for 23mins she will doc our pay and only give us 15mins pay.. some of my log in/out were for a duration of 22minutes and therefor i was paid for just 15mins. is this allowed to be paid like this, if she is paying me 15minutes and i was in the job 22mins i have been underpaid, i expect to be paid for the 22mins i was working for.
    same for a 45min job if we are not there for 39mins she docs our wages to 30min pay even if we were in the house for 38minutes. Also if im given a schedule starting at 7am and i have gaps in my day with no scheduled work for maybe 15minutes her and there and my last call is 14.00 til 1430. should i be paid for the gaps they have given me, in an ideal world shouldnt we be paid for 7and a half hours??
    Hope you can help

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Lianne, thanks for your message. Your Employer doesn’t have to actually pay you for every minute you work, but they must make sure you receive the national minimum wage for all the time you work…. so if you are regularly ‘docked’ several minutes you need to work out how much money you are receiving for all the time you work and whether this is equivalent to the national minimum wage or not. As long as you are being paid for the work you do and any travelling that is needed between the jobs, you do not need to be paid for any breaks you have. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • jambojams

    hello
    This is a time in motion matter. If I am working safely and to the best of my ability without doin my back in, can i be disciplined if i am not working as fast as others. The work I do involves picking items usually 5kg each and stacking them on pallets. sometimes as many as 200 per order.

    • lesleyfurber

      HI Jambojams, thanks for your message. Obviously this will depend on how your employer works, do they demand a certain amount is done and what happens if you don’t do this. And can you demonstrate you safely cannot do the same? Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Ian Keeling

    Hi

    I am a shift worker working 2 days, 2 nights and 4 days off. I am also a Unite union Rep and my question relates to Time off for Union Reps. My employer is now insisting on making the union reps work a bank of 4 days if they have union meetings or a course to attend. To me this seems unreasonable for an employer to change my rota because I have arrangements planned around my shift pattern and so has my wife and family. For the last 20 years the employer has always been reasonable towards time off for union activities and after making redundancies they are trying to enforce this new way without any negotiations. I do not want my shift pattern changed just because my employer is not giving me reasonable time off to do union duties.

    Can they do this? Are they being unreasonable and can they make the changes? The original agreement was a Verbal Express agreement that has been working for the last 25 yrs. Or am I being unreasonable and have no say in this matter?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Ian, thanks for your message. I think your Union would have much more knowledge about this area and how it should work than I do, so it would be better to ask them. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • William Wallace

    The Government Tax Office is preventing me having any holidays until September (this means I have not had any time off since xmas). Surely there is a maximum continuous period of working that then invokes the right to have a holiday ? (duty of care ?).

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi William, thanks for your message. There is nothing like this that I am aware of. Your Employer can say when you can/can’t take your hoildays, to fit in with their business needs, but that does seem excessive. Is it just you they are saying this to? Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Jonathon O’Halloran

    Hi, I operate a 90 tonne container lift truck within a container terminal and am unable to find any specific regulations regarding max working days before rest must be taken, I believe the rules general rule is 24 hours rest between working weeks ie: 6 days on 1 off, another spanner in the works I work permanent nights 10 hour shift/5 nights with a Sunday 1 in 4. I’m an C+E LGV driver so am aware of tacho regs and WTD rules for that side of my training but as now employed off the road those regs don’t apply. I’ve hunted hi and lo but can’t find anything specific. Any advice would be great, thankyou

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Jonathon, if you are not driving on the road then the ‘normal’ working time regulations as above, would apply to you I think. Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • johnny

        Hi I Work Nights Warehouse Operative For A Delivery sevice I lift heavy boxes on to a conveyor belt, off 6 full double decker trailors average weight per trailer load (25 tonnes) constantly reading and lifting at a fast pace, and it’s getting busier by the day and I’m only entitled to one 30 minute break even if I do an hours overtime I get no adequate break I’m always exhausted every day and I traveling 120 miles to and from work each day but waiting for a transfer for over 14 month to a closer depot. Is this right?

        • lesleyfurber

          Hi Johnny, thanks for your message. Your Employer isn’t breaking the law as you are getting over a 20 minute rest break; but they should not take into account the physical requirements of your job so you have a safe working environment. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • http://batman-news.com Susan

    What is the break entitlement for somebody who works two different jobs for two different employers?
    e.g. employee works for X 8-12 and then works for Y 1-6?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Susan, you need to work 6 hours to be entitled to a rest break under the Working Time Regulations. As you have a break between the 2 different jobs then you would not have a legal entitlement for any more breaks (but of course your employer(s) may give you one). Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Roxi

    Hy, I work 8 hours a day and my employer says that I have to take a hour break, unpaid. So at the end of the day I usually work 9 hours. Is this illegal? Regards

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Roxi, thanks for your message. No, this is not illegal, your Employer can set their break requirements, as long as they meet the minimum rest breaks described above. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • steve

    hi I work in the utility trade and 1 in every 4 weeks have to do on call this starts at 6pm sunday and finishes 7 am following sunday I am oncall 24/7 between them times but I often end up being at work for between 16-18hrs at a time sometimes I have worked over 24hrs we get very little rest on the job maybe half an hour or we will get another job straight after the one we are doing I drive a van and tow a digger for work and once the job is finished I have to tow the digger back to the yard then travel home (1 hour drive to get home) I am then told I have to be back in work within 8 hours i still work during the day if i have no callouts 7.30-4pm they say we work to the needs of the business if we ask about rest and tell us i we don’t like it find another job but i was transferred there under tupe and don’t want to leave my service as the contract that we work on is up for tender again soon, is this legal to make us work these hours

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Steve, thanks for your message. If you work in an industry that needs to provide 24 hour cover/service then it is likely that you will be ‘exempt’ from the need for the rest breaks described above. You need to work out the average hours you work over the ‘reference’ period which is usually 17 weeks (although this can be changed, your Employer should tell you what it is) and see if you get a minimum of 90 hours rest per week. Your Employer must take your health and safety into account, but they may not be doing anything illegal. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Becca

    Hi, I was working 37hrs a week at the hospital as care assistant. I then started uni and told that I can only have a 10hour contract because of uni, which was considered to be 9-5 mon to fri which it’s not. DO my studies contribute to the working time directive? Or am I able to go back to the hospital and get a better contract? Thank you

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Becca, is the studying part of your job? If it’s not then it doesn’t count towards your weekly working hours. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Becca

        Hi, it’s technically not. I work for the nhs as care assistant, and studying to be a nurse but all done off my own back. But is funded by the nhs as a general. Does this make any difference?
        Thank you

        • lesleyfurber

          Hi Becca, what do you mean “is funded by the nhs as a general”. Thanks, Lesley

          • Becca

            Just that the nhs fund nursing degrees, so I’m not paying tuition fees. So I don’t know if they can say because of that it’s classed as work related. Thanks

          • lesleyfurber

            Hi Becca, it sounds like they have decided that your studies in your working time, and in these circumstances that is probably accurate. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Leigh (H16HP01N7)

    My girlfriend works as a Carer in the Home, and regularly doesn’t seem to get the Daily Rest Period, for instance, today she worked, 7am-10am, and then left at 4pm to go back to work till 10pm, and is back out again at 6.30 am (to arrive at her 1st call for around 7am). This is just an example, but, its regularly like this, and it doesn’t seem right that they can make her work these types of hours, especially as she is a Diabetic, and regularly misses meal times, or has them at varying times of the day.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Leigh, thanks for your message. As a Carer your girlfriend is probably exempt for the daily rest breaks – although she should get any part of the break she didn’t get as ‘compensatory’ rest as soon as possible afterwards. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • g cook

    I work as a carer in a retirement village I have to be in work for 7am till 3pm which is 32 hours but they only pay me for my schedule which is 24 hrs or less which I work longer hrs than the schedule I find I am having to work 6 days to get a paid 30 hrs. I have to sign in at 7am and sign out at 3pm even though my payslip says 24 would I be classed as actually working 30 hours on a normal week or is it what says on my payslip as I am on minimum wage I need tax credits any information would be appreciated

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi, thanks for your message. I don’t understand this completely, what is the reason you are working 32 hours rather than 24 hours? You should be paid at least the national minimum wage for all the hours you work. Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • g cook

        I work 4 days and sign in at 7am till 3 pm 4 days a week 30 mins unpaid break 7.5 hrs in work daily so that’s how I got 32 hrs but the schedule they give me may only add up to 6 hrs on paper but I am not aloud to leave the building till 3pm they don’t allow for walking around the building going from one client to the next client etc when I have questioned them about this they said you only get paid for the length of time you are with the client etc are they correct in what they say

        • lesleyfurber

          Hi, the time you spend ‘travelling’ between clients should be paid also. Regards, Lesley, Workline

          • Gary Ward

            7 til 3, 4 days a week with 30 mins unpaid is 7.5 hours x4 which is 30 hours a week. Seems harsh only paying 24!

  • Margot Hood

    Can you advise whether the hotel my 17 year old daughter works part time at can have her work Fri/Sat 6pm to 12.30 am and then working at 7am Sunday morning? This is happening every week and she is studying for highers. She explained at her interview that she would not be able to work when she had exams and they seemed ok with this but now disregarding it completely. She has heard that when other kids have said they cannot do certain shifts they have been told to look for another job then. She is exhausted and I am worried about her. Grateful for any advice you can offer.

    • lesleyfurber

      HI Margot, I’ve just replied to your other post. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Gary Ward

    hi
    My wife works for the NHS doing shift work in hospital reception. She has been told she must take an unpaid break of 20 mins each day which she doesn’t want. It will mean she doesn’t finish work while 20 minutes later but she has been told it must be taken even though the likelihood is there wont be staff around to cover and has been told she can’t close reception to take it. At the same time the pm shift finishes at 21:35 and the morning shift starts at 06:30 they often go pm straight to am. If as a shift worker they can be exempt from the 11 hours how can they be forced to accept the 20 mins, which in reality will be 20 time owing they will never be able to get back!

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Gary, thanks for your message. You are right, if they are exempt from the 11 hours daily rest break then they can also be exempt from the 20 mins rest break. The problem is that of course her employer wants to do this (and it is a good idea in theory) and they can change her terms and conditions (if that is what they are doing) – more details about that are here http://www.freelanceadvisor.co.uk/go-freelance-guide/written-statements-and-contracts/
      Good luck with this. Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Gary Ward

        Hi Thanks for the reply,
        It seems to me that they are saying on the one hand 9 hours between shifts is ok but staff must have a break because its WTD. I.E picking the bits that suit. The changes to their shift times won’t work without a break as there wont be enough overlap so the breaks are needed to make it work. There is hardly ever enough staff to actually take the breaks as this would leave unsafe staff levels so people work their break, inevitably staff will become less diligent at recording these i’m sure. They did have a token consultation period before making changes so i guess that covers the change to conditions etc. I have just advised my wife to remain diligent in recording when breaks are refused and claim the time back, and also if it happens at weekends to claim the unsocial allowance, not sure ther’s anything else that they can do.

  • Colin

    I work in the transport industry driving local hgv and 3.5 vans and noticed that the supervisor is insisting time sheets state 45 minutes break even if vehicle driven is covered under domestic regulation.
    Surely that is wrong ?
    Most days my drive time in hgv is sub 4 hours 30 minutes and I feel that is also wrong to be included as 45 minutes?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Colin, if this is the rest break your employer requires then there must be a reason for it, I would ask them. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • steve

    Hi,
    My Dad for the past 3 weeks has been working 12.5 hour days,.is this legal

    • lesleyfurber

      hi Steve, yes this is legal if he is getting a weekly rest break of at least 24 hours, is he? Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • c j wood

    Hi, how many hours should I get paid for a weeks holiday if I work full time 10h/day, every day?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi CJ, thanks for your message. You should receive a ‘normal’ weeks pay in most circumstances. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Karl price

    THE ELEVEN HOUR RULE ,,,,,I work for a funeral director and finish work at 5pm . I am obliged to be part of the out of hours rota for collection of the deceased and alarm calls at the branches , if I get a call out at 11 pm by which time I’m not usually in bed and this lasts till 12 , approx 1 hr I am expected to start work the next day at 8 am as usual .. My employer says I have had the other 3 hours between 5 pm and the call coming at 11pm … would I be right in saying my start time is 11 am the following day regardless of what I was doing between 5 pm when I finished and 11 pm when I received the call … ……..The current system they employ runs from 5 pm to 4 am 11 hrs if I get a call after 4 am I have to start at 8 am because they say I’ve had 11 hours but if I get one at 11 pm I still have to start at 8

    • lesleyfurber

      hi Karl, thanks for your message. If you work shifts or in an industry that requires 24 hour service then the 11 hour rule does not have to applied. If you don’t receive the full 11 hours rest then you need to get the part of the rest period that you did not get as ‘compensatory’ rest as soon as posssible, but this will be seen as being taken from when you stop work at 5pm (normally). So your Employer is approximately correct in what they’re saying. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Karl price

        Many thanks for you advice

      • Karl price

        Hi Lesley more questions is it correct that the 8 hour rule can only be imposed once every 7 days ?Any other days on stand by (call) in that following 7 day period must be accompanied with a clear 11 hour rest

        • lesleyfurber

          Hi Karl, sorry I’m not sure what you mean by the 8 hour rule. The answer to the second question is as I said earlier. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Anita Hammant-Shutt

    If I could as a question please. How long after a shift can you be kept as my store will not let anyone leave until its tidy and that could even be an hour later ?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Anita, thanks for your message. There are no ‘rules’ about how long you stay at work after a shift is over. So, you can essentially work unpaid. The only rules are that you get paid at least the national minimum wage averaged over all the hours you work. Re the shift length -it depends what it says on your contract; how your shift patterns are described, how many hours you work etc. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • chris lunn

    I work 22 hours a week which include Monday’s(bank holidays) another member of staff works the same hours but not Monday’s I have to work all bank holidays are we entitled to the same pay/holidays

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Chris, thanks for your message. Yes you are entitled to the same pay and holidays – bank holiday entitlement need to be pro-rata’d for part-time staff against the whole 8 in a year. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • phil

    hi i work 8 hours a day shift work 6 till 2 one week and 2 till 10 the next in a warehouse monday to friday,i also work saturdays and sundays as overtime.I ve signed out of the work directive but my boss says im not allowed to work more than 13 days consegative and make me have a rest day.Is this right as im not to bothered about it and enjoy the extra money.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Phil, thanks for your message. Your boss is sort of right, you need to have 1 x 24 hour rest period in every 7 days or 2 x 24 hour rest period in every 14 days. However, if you are a shift worker you can be exempt from this, but need the rest period you did not get as ‘compensatory’ rest as soon as possible. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • ashlee

    i start at 11am on a friday and finish 11.30/12pm on a satarday i start at 11am and finish at 1/2am and then start on sunday 11am and finish at 9pm is this legal?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Ashlee, you haven’t said what you do/what industry you work in (or what ages you are )as that is important to know to answer your question. But, yes, generally if you work these hours then have time off after this it is probably legal. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • alan hart

    hi
    recently at work me and a co worker have been working some night shifts but my employer is telling us that we have to work the day before the night shift but as we are working away from home we are usually leave home at 8:30 in the morning to travel to a job (paid travel) then once we start work can do several jobs with travel inbetween during the day then travel to the night shift job to start about 7pm then work till 6 the next morning then having to travel home sometimes up to 3 hours
    where do i stand with this as it is taking it tole on me the times that i have been told that i have to work this?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Alan, thanks for your message. The answer is really going to depend on how frequently this happens and what breaks you have on average. If you are a shift worker then you may be exempt from the need for a daily rest break; but the Government advice is that you must get 90 hours rest per week. Your employer does have a duty to take care of your health and safety and this sounds dangerous. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Rebecca McCulloch

    Good morning…
    My husband is a chef on a salary…
    He works a minimum of 12 hours per day (that would be an early finish!) but usually works 16/17 hours! His employer is of the mind that unless his hourly wage can be calculated at under the minimum wage then he has to work this amount of hours! Dividing his salary down means means that, according to his employer, he can legally work up to 91 hours per week. Surely this is an illegeal working situation? Thank you for any advice.
    Rebecca McCulloch.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Rebecca, thanks for your message. If your husband works over 48 hours per week then he must have agreed to sign an ‘Opt Out’. With regards his wage, if he is receiving the minimum wage for all the hours he works then this is not illegal. His actual working hours may also not be illegal, although excessive, as they need to be averaged over a ‘reference’ period which is usually 17 weeks. He should work a maximum of 78 hours per week and get 90 hours rest per week averaged over this period. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Nicola Edden

    Hi, was just wondering if you could give me some advice? I am just about to start a second job at a nursing home doing bank shifts, am I entitled to paid annual leave from this second job and if so how is it worked out? many thanks

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Nicola, yes you should be. It will be worked out on a pro-rata basis, based on the hours you actually work. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Duncan

    Hi, my wife works in a children’s nursery and her employer has told her she can’t go out on her unpaid lunch hour incase there is a fire alarm or another emergency. If she’s not getting paid surely she can leave for lunch? Many thanks

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Duncan, thanks for your message. As far as I understand the Employer can ask staff not to leave the premises as long as they have a rest away from where the immediate place they would normally work. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Keith Noone

    Hi Was Just wandering if you could help me. My partner works as a ward clerk in an hospital and she gave 5 weeks notice to have 3 days of but they said that she could have 2 days at another time and this was the only time she could have off in the next 3 months. is this allowed?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Keith, thanks for your message. Yes, I’m afraid the employer has a right to agree or not agree to holiday requests; as long as your partner gets her full annual leave entitlement in the year. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Pete Stevenson

    Hi. On top of my contracted working hours, I am obliged to work overtime when it is ‘deemed necessary by the company’. At the moment this consists of several hours at the same time every week. Am I obliged to do this without consideration of whether or not it is convenient to me? And as this is likely to be a long-standing arrangement, should it not be listed as part of my contracted hours, rather than overtime?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Pete, it depends how your contract is worded, but you are probably obliged to do this. An Employer is unlikely to include your overtime hours in with your contracted hours in case this changes due to their business needs; in which case they would need to change your contracted hours. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Vilolet

    I am concerned that my employer in a bid not to,use outside agency staff has asked me to to ask staff to go home in the afternoon and come back for a 12 hour nightshift. I am a registered nurse in a nursing home. He has asked me to ask staff to go home at 2pm after starting their shift at 8 am and then to come back and work for a 12 hour shift from 8pm to 8 am. Is this legal?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi, thanks for your message. There is nothing wrong with the principle of ‘split shifts’, what would be wrong is if they were working too many hours in total each week and not getting enough rest – which is going to depend how many days a week they are required to do that type of shift. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • John Mackenzie

    Hi I work a 48 hour week Monday night until Friday morning every week. my employer gives me 24 day holiday at my 12 hours each day and we get Christmas day and new years day off. this only totals 26 day am I being sold short on my holidays by 2 days a year

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi John, yes you should get 28 days minimum entitlement (including bank holidays usually). Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Ulle

    Hi,
    I am working as live-in carer and I’d like to work 12 weeks in and 1 week off.
    Is this legal? What is the longest period I can do without break (according to the law)?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Ulle, you generally need to take 1 x 24 period off in every 7 days (or 2 x 24 in every 14 days). However, because of what you do you are probably exempt from this, but you should have 90 hours rest per week. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • JB

    I am contracted to work 38 hours per week. I am regularly required to travel to another location for meetings, courses etc, which is 3 hours’ drive (my regular commute to the office is 1 hour in the other direction). If it’s an early start I will travel up the night before. Each time I do a full day up there and then have to spend three hours of my own time driving home. There is nothing within the contract/handbook that covers travelling time. My normal daily hours are 7:30, worked flexibly between 8am and 8pm. Should I be able to include the time spent travelling to/from courses as part of my working hours?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi JB, yes your travel time that is related to work (less the normal commute time from home to work) should be included as working hours. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Kneale Faragher

    Hi, if I do paid overtime, am I entitled to paid breaks during this time?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Kneale, the only legal entitlement to breaks is for 20 minutes (usually unpaid) if you work 6 hours or over in any day. Anything over that is at your Employer’s discretion. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Tom

    Hi. I worked 55-60 hour weeks for five weeks, then went back to the contracted 37 hour weeks after that. Was this a breach of WTRs? Thank you.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Tom, thanks for your message. You need to find out what your ‘reference’ period is – it is usually 17 weeks – as your working hours are averaged over that period. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Tom

    Thanks Lesley. It works out at 44 hour weeks averaged over 17 weeks. So that’s within the regs. But those 5 weeks were a nightmare :0) Thanks again.