Areas of Law / Employment

The firm I’m working for gave us an employment contract a year ago stating that we do a 45-hour week, divided into day and night shifts. There’s no shift allowance, and they are continually putting pressure on us to work overtime. Can they force us to work overtime?

If there’s nothing in your contracts about working overtime you don’t have to do it, or at least you would have a claim for compensation for unfair dismissal if you were sacked for refusing. If you could do with the extra money you are at liberty to negotiate enhanced rates for working longer. This would at least put the ball back in your employer’s court and perhaps take some of the pressure off.

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