Work hours

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Tomedwards

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Feb 10, 2014
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Hi, just signed up as I was hoping there was someone more knowledgeable than myself on this subject.
I work for a small company with around 10 employees, we are a telecoms company working at many different sites so there is no fixed place of work. We regularly meet at the office in the mornings to collect vans to go to work in, then are expected to meet back at the office to de-brief and drop vans off.
We are contracted to do 8 hours on site, but are the extra hours meeting at the office, collecting materials and collecting vans not work? My boss does not think so and believes as well as our travelling and time at the office, we should work 8 hours on site and only be paid for this.
Any help would be great thanks.
 

ej specialists

Free Member
Oct 23, 2013
19
3
Hi,

In most jobs you are expected to start a bit early to prepare for the day ahead and occasionally leave a bit later to tidy up. But this is normally 15-20 minutes here and there.

How many hours extra do you feel you put in?
Is it on the contract of employment that you signed? Did you agree to it at the beginning?
 
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Tomedwards

Free Member
Feb 10, 2014
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Well our contract states we are to do 8 hours, so an average day would be meet at the office at 6:30, drive to London to arrive around 8, work till at least 4 o'clock, then drive back to the office (usually arrive around 5:30 depending on traffic) then load the vans for the following day and leave around 6. Yet we get paid for only 8 hours work.
 
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The First Class comment in this thread is from FirstClassVirtualOffice.

I'm baffled why an employee would be expected to start work early, or stay late (15-20 mins a day is more than an hour a week), and not be paid for it. If someone wants to turn up for work early, have a coffee, chat about their favourite soap opera, do that in their own 15-20 mins, but (apparently oddly) if they're working, I still advise my clients that the staff have to be paid for that work!

Of course, the contract could say you will work 10 hours a day, but only be paid for the 8 hours you're on a client's site. I wouldn't be confident trying to argue that was a reasonable contract, let alone legally compliant, but if the terms of the contract on working hours, rather than the actual required working hours, are what dictates, I think many employers are missing a trick! I really must brush up on employment law...



Karl Limpert
 
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Tomedwards

Free Member
Feb 10, 2014
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The office we meet at is 15 minutes from my home so the job is close.
I'm not sure of the legalities of the contract but we clearly do at least an hour extra a day, which in my opinion is work if we are collecting materials, going out of our way to meet other employees as instruction from the office etc.
Thanks for all the replies they have been helpful in reassuring me and my work mates that something has to be said about this.
 
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Newchodge

Business Member
Nov 8, 2012
16,234
4,585
Newcastle
It rather depends on your contract. If your contract gives you an hourly rate, then you have a case to be paid for every hour. If your contract specifies an annual salary then it may be more tricky.

2 areas that the law may help: National Minimum wage - taking all the hours between arriving at your workbase and leaving your work base are you paid on average at least £6.31 per hour? If not your employer is in breach of Minimum Wage. Also, how many hours do you work in a week? The maximum under working time directive is 48 per week, averaged over 17 weeks. The figures you give show a working day of 11.5 hours. If that is repeated over 5 days then your working week is 57.5 hours. Even if you get an early finish on Fridays, you are well in excess of that maximum.

You can voluntarily opt out of the 48 hour maximum, but you obviously would not do that if you were not being paid for the extra hours.
 
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Tomedwards

Free Member
Feb 10, 2014
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I don't have a record of the last 17 weeks unfortunately. If I asked my boss for the vehicle tracking records for the last 17 weeks, do you know if he is aloud to refuse me this?
I believe I'm being paid enough per hour on average to be over the minimum wage, but the hours would definitely be over the 48 per week.
Thanks.
 
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Newchodge

Business Member
Nov 8, 2012
16,234
4,585
Newcastle
He is allowed to refuse you access to the vehicle tracking records.

I suggest that you and your colleagues need to sit down with the boss and discuss your grievance with him. Do this as a group, not as individuals, otherwise he can isolate and pick off people one at a time. You use the working time directive as a possible negotiating tool to try to increase your pay.

What does your contract say about what you get paid for?
 
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