40 hr contract (exclusive of breaks)

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Lucan Unlordly

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Feb 24, 2009
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I would disagree, Cyndy.

2. It’s not for anyone else to explain to him what his legal rights are – if someone doesn’t exercise their rights, it’s not for the employer to tell them what their rights are*.

Karl Limpert

Do you mean the employer is not legally obligated or not morally obligated to tell the employees what their rights are?
 
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Newchodge

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Do you mean the employer is not legally obligated or not morally obligated to tell the employees what their rights are?
The employer has no legal obligation to tell their employee anything other than what their main terms and conditions are. For example, an employer is required to pay at least minimum wage. If the contract states their pay, and that pay is less than minimum wage, the employer is not legally required to tell the employee that they are defrauding them.

Employee rights vary a little -

The employer is required by law to pay minimum wage and, indeed commits a criminal offence by not doing so. I don't believe any of the hundreds of employers who have been found not to be paying it has ever been prosecuted.
The employee has a right to paid holiday, but until recently the employee had to request their leave and if they did not do so they lost it, including if they left it a bit late to ask and the employeer refused. That has now changed with a recent case - an employee who has not used their statutory leave within the leave year may carry it forward unless the employer can show that they had 'diligently' encouraged the employee to take it.
There is no similar ruling (yet) for breaks, as Karl pointed out further up the thread. A good (as opposed to a crap) employer will act to ensure that their employees take the breaks that they are entitled to and that they need (not necessarily the same thing).

Morally, of course an employer should tell their employees their rights.
 
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Clinton

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Do you mean the employer is not legally obligated or not morally obligated to tell the employees what their rights are?
What's wrong with you people? In this case the employer didn't know about the break and when he came to know about it he not only told the employee but is seeking to implement it.

Why the desperate urge to make the employer out to be the bad guy?

To answer your question, no there is no legal or moral obligation on the employer (especially when dealing with someone who's trying to take the p*ss).

As Kulture said on page 2
Kulture said several things which are incorrect and also provided us with some total and utter nonsense (like about the poor you working "non stop"). But given you're clutching at straws I can see why you grab on to anything that you thing is in your favour (whether it's factually correct or not).
 
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kulture

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Kulture said several things which are incorrect and also provided us with some total and utter nonsense (like about the poor you working "non stop"). But given you're clutching at straws I can see why you grab on to anything that you thing is in your favour (whether it's factually correct or not).

Again I disagree with you. Again you are misquoting me and ascribing opinions to me that I don't hold. I own a business. I have employed many people. I would not hesitate to fire or discipline an employee who was trying it on.

I also object to your unsubstantiated attack on me by saying that I have said things that are incorrect and total nonsense. I stand by everything I have said on this thread, and I believe that I have demonstrated on at least one of your posts that you were incorrect.

I see that you have an agenda here, and I don't care.

All I am trying to determine is what should an employer do IN GENERAL, if they find themselves in this position. What risks they may have, what they should do to mitigate the risks, and how should they manage the employees' expectations. It is not a matter of taking sides, or saying poor employee or any such thing. The employment law is a minefield and unwary employers can trip up with no bad intent and end up in trouble. So it is important to explore the issues, not just this half informed example, so that Employers are aware of what they can do and what they should avoid doing.

As for not taking the break at the beginning or end of the shift, please see the HSE web site
http://www.hse.gov.uk/contact/faqs/workingtime.htm
which clearly states:
"A worker is entitled to an uninterrupted break of 20 minutes when daily working time is more than six hours. It should be a break in working time and should not be taken either at the start, or at the end, of a working day."
 
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Lucan Unlordly

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What's wrong with you people? In this case the employer didn't know about the break and when he came to know about it he not only told the employee but is seeking to implement it.

Why the desperate urge to make the employer out to be the bad guy?

To answer your question, no there is no legal or moral obligation on the employer (especially when dealing with someone who's trying to take the p*ss).

Who said the employer didn't know about the break?

Inva - see above - thinks the employee should have read his contract and doubtless thinks it ok for the employer to be blissfully unaware of his responsibilities. That's probably why the employer is open for criticism.

In my world employment is a mutually beneficial arrangement where the employer wants the best from their staff and the employee wants to give of their best for the company. The Ying Yang of which requires honesty and fair play on both sides. A moral compass may not be a legal necessity but running a business without one will always create difficulties.
 
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Mr D

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I think a lot of people here missed that line where OP said it's a new management now.

So new management trying to correct a problem - which kicks off this thread as a result.
As business owners would we not expect new management to take such actions?
 
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Clinton

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I also object to your unsubstantiated attack on me by saying that I have said things that are incorrect and total nonsense.

To me it's nonsense, yes. Like your comments about Cyndy wanting sight of the contract. That's still incorrect, she made her mind up right at the start and without sight of the contract and, true to style, she was anti-employer.

One of her first comments involving the contract was sarcastic: "I am SO glad you have so much insight into what is in the OP's contract. Please let us have a copy or tell us exactly what it says..."

I think it's a bit pathetic that you use comments like that to argue that Cyndy wanted to see the contract before deciding. The only reason I can see for you trying so hard to defend her is that you share her opinion that this is a "crap" employer.

Your comments outside of enquiring about what an employer should do in general, seem clearly biased in this particular case (where the poor employee has been working "non stop"). You took an early opinion that the employer was in the wrong ...and you stuck to it. You're entitled to your opinion, of course, and to support those who are aligned with it. But save me the pretence about only wanting to know what an employer should do "IN GENERAL".

All I am trying to determine is what should an employer do IN GENERAL
Focus on that and I'd be as interested in the answers as you are. And then the rest of the posters who've been whipping up an anti-employer frenzy can finish their extended fag breaks and go back to work. ;)
 
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Newchodge

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In my world employment is a mutually beneficial arrangement where the employer wants the best from their staff and the employee wants to give of their best for the company. The Ying Yang of which requires honesty and fair play on both sides. A moral compass may not be a legal necessity but running a business without one will always create difficulties.
My view exactly.
 
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kulture

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Let me be quite clear here, just so that no-one can just assume they know my opinion, I believe that the employer here is at fault. On the information we have there is the strong possibility that this is a new employer and the employees have been taken on using TUPE, alternatively the new owner of the building bit may be irrelevant. So for 4.5 years One employer has allowed a poor situation and working practice to happen, and now a new employer has taken over and wants to sort this out.
Clearly due diligence has not been done properly as this kind of problem should have been detected and resolved as part of the process. This highlights the need to use professionals.

The employee has in some posts mentioned that other employees have different contracts. Perhaps this may be historical, perhaps this may be due to TUPE and the other employees came from a different business. We can only speculate. The simple facts is that it tends to be easier for a business to have a single employment contract, and it also smooths out any perceived jealousy between employees. When you TUPE across an employee you can consult with them and with their agreement change their contract, within reason. Much of this problem in this thread could probably have been resolved if both sides actually talked to each other.

In these circumstances the Employer should take the lead. Now if the employees do not want to come to reasonable compromises, and if they become difficult, then the Employer should ask the professional what they can do to stay within the law. If I was in this position and ended up with a problematic employee, then I would probably let them know over time that any new benefit, and promotion, any revised job description, etc. would only apply to those on the standard employment contract. Further if in the future I ever had to consider redundancies one of the considerations would be the administrative burden of having a non standard contract.
 
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Mr D

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In these circumstances the Employer should take the lead. Now if the employees do not want to come to reasonable compromises, and if they become difficult, then the Employer should ask the professional what they can do to stay within the law. If I was in this position and ended up with a problematic employee, then I would probably let them know over time that any new benefit, and promotion, any revised job description, etc. would only apply to those on the standard employment contract. Further if in the future I ever had to consider redundancies one of the considerations would be the administrative burden of having a non standard contract.

so carrying on with the employee not taking required breaks is an option for the employer if the employee will not agree - as we have seen - to changes.
 
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Newchodge

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so carrying on with the employee not taking required breaks is an option for the employer if the employee will not agree - as we have seen - to changes.
No, it would leave the employer open to a claim under Working Time Regulations.
 
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Newchodge

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so the employer must in some way change the contract then in order to become legal/

Please try to understand, the only thing the employer has to do to be legal is to ensure the staff have the ability to take a 20 minute break in the course of, and not at the start or finish of, their shift.

If the employer finds that leads to problems between different contract holders, in that some are paid for a 20 mine break and some are not, or the employer cannot accept the reduced profit margin that results, the employer needs to discuss the situation with the affected staff and find a way to deal with those problems. Imposing a change to custom and practice without consultation is not the way to go about it.
 
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