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Should I be Paid for Staying Late?

By: Chris Hogan MSc - Updated: 12 Dec 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Contract Pay Rights Paid Employment

Q.

My work shift ends at 10, however I have now been told that I have to wait for the managers to leave the store. This takes 15 minutes usually. I work 6 days a week so this is a total of 1 hour 45 mins a week. Should I be paid for this extra time?

(Mr Thomas Tibbetts, 9 October 2008)

A.

The short answer is that you almost certainly should be paid extra money for extra hours, but it depends on a lot of factors and actually getting it might not be so easy.

Your rights as a worker are different depending on the type of relationship you have with your employer. If you are a contract or agency worker, you do not have so many rights and you would have to deal with the agency you are working through, rather than the store.

Your Employment Contract is the Key

But assuming that's not the case, and you are working directly for the store (they pay your wages direct to you PAYE) then you have more rights. The first step is to look at your Employment Contract to see if there is anything in there regarding extra periods of work without pay. If the contract is too confusingly worded, as many are, take it to someone else you trust to look through it for you.

There may be a clause in the contract that states that you may be required to stay on after the shift for short periods as and when requested by managers, that's not unusual. But what you are talking about appears to be a permanent change in your hours, not just the odd occasion. This should be accompanied with a change in your contract, which means you need to be consulted and should agree with the change.

Tackle Management About a New Contract

If you haven't already spoken to the management, ask them about this. Ask if a new contract will be issued and whether or not it will involve increased pay to cater for the new hours. If they don’t respond well to that, try asking if you can start turning up 15 minutes later than your current start time to make up for the extra 15 minutes at the end.

If they aren't receptive to any of your questions or suggestions, ask them to put this new demand for extra time in writing, and explain in the letter that you won’t be paid extra for it, and why. It's important to keep a diary of any conversations with the management, write the details down as quickly as possible before you forget them.

Look to the Citizens Advice Bureau for Help

Then take the letter to the Citizens Advice Bureau, with your contract and diary notes. They will help you decide if there are further steps you can take. If you are sacked after all of this, it is likely that you will have a good claim for unfair dismissal, but it is vital that you take legal advice before going down that road. If you haven't worked there for long, for example, you have fewer rights.

But in the end, you may decide that it's more important to keep your job than fight for your rights – that choice is yours.

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Rebecca 1984 - Your Question:
I have an annual salary, my hours are 9-5:30. I regularly have to work overtime but get paid the same amount. There was a period of a few months where I was working 9-13 hour days every day. I bought it up with my line manager who brushed it off and said we all have to knuckle down every so often. I have looked in my contract and the employee handbook and there is the usual clause saying I may have to work flexibly to get my work done. Should I be getting paid for excessive overtime?

Our Response:
By law, an employee can’t usually be forced to work more than an average of 48 hours per week. You can agree to work longer - but this agreement must be in writing and signed by you, please see link here. If you have opted out of the 48 hour working week, then you can opt back in again, please see link here . If you haven't opted out, then you can refuse to work beyond a 48 hour week, if your employer is requesting that you do.However, if your contract says your overtime is unpaid and you have agreed to this by signing the contract, this means your employer does not have to pay you for any overtime worked and you have no recourse to complain.If you feel you have no options, feel you are being treated unfairly and you cannot resolve the situation with your employer directly, then you can raise a grievance, please see link here.
WorkingRights - 14-Dec-17 @ 2:37 PM
I have an annual salary, my hours are 9-5:30. I regularly have to work overtime but get paid the same amount. There was a period of a few months where I was working 9-13 hour days every day. I bought it up with my line manager who brushed it off and said we all have to knuckle down every so often. I have looked in my contract and the employee handbook and there is the usual clause saying I may have to work flexibly to get my work done. Should I be getting paid for excessive overtime?
Rebecca 1984 - 12-Dec-17 @ 3:44 PM
I have a sessional contract. However my employer asks us in 15mins before & to say 15mins after without pay, by end of month, i will have worked 4.5hrs without pay! What are my rights? Thanks
C - 28-Oct-16 @ 2:23 PM
Gg - Your Question:
I currently work within a parcel/freight companyI have worked there for almost a year but for years they have expected all night shift staff to work for over 2 sometimes 3 hours overtime with no extra pay at all I have read through my contract it mentions one part wich says we could be automatically opted in to a 48 hour week but in a week we do over 50 hours and since starting night shift I have not received any new contract explaining my new role as part of night shift or given me any information about hours other than my start time (11pm) and I've heard rumors we are ment to finish at (8am) but my manager says it's a till the jobs done? and we are always really short staffed and do over 6 hours on the second part of our shift wich is exahsting every day just feels like we are being used and worthless to them is this right what my manager says or?PS sorry for the long comment but need to know this!

Our Response:
I think in this case you would have to give ACAS a call in order to see if your employer is working within the ACAS code, and make sure you have a copy of your contract to hand so you can refer to the wording. In addition, please note that while unfortunately there is nothing to say that overtime hours have to be paid or if they are, at what rate. However, when you take into account your pay and the hours that you work, your hourly rate must not fall below national minimum wage. Plus, your contract of employment should lay out what you working hours and conditions are. If overtime is required as part of your role then it must state this in your contract and these terms must be complied with. However, your employer generally can’t make you work more than 48 hours a week and sometimes this still applies even if you agreed to overtime in your contract. I hope this helps.
WorkingRights - 19-May-16 @ 10:31 AM
I currently work within a parcel/freight companyI have worked there for almost a year but for years they have expected all night shift staff to work for over 2 sometimes 3 hours overtime with no extra pay at all I have read through my contract it mentions one part wich says we could be automatically opted in to a 48 hour weekbut in a week we do over 50 hours and since starting night shift I have not received any new contract explaining my new role as part of night shift or given me any information about hours other than my start time (11pm) and I've heard rumors we are ment to finish at (8am) but my manager says it's a till the jobs done? and we are always really short staffed and do over 6 hours on the second part of our shift wich is exahsting every day just feels like we are being used and worthless to them is this right what my manager says or?... PS sorry for the long comment but need to know this!
Gg - 18-May-16 @ 1:25 PM
jojo - Your Question:
Our hours of work have been changed we only get paid till 10 pm but expected to stay after to sort tills etc but won't be paid after 10pm and is it against the law to be left by yourself in a shop till 8pm as it's not safe.

Our Response:
As specified in the article, your employer would need to change the terms of your contract and you would have to agree with the changes. If your employer hasn't yet changed your contract to factor this in, and you haven't signed to accept the new conditions then you do not have to agree to stay. If you disagree with the changes, then you should make sure your employer knows and you may be able to renegotiate the terms. You may also wish to give ACAS a call in order to see whether your employer is within its rights.
WorkingRights - 4-Apr-16 @ 12:41 PM
Our hours of work have been changed we only get paid till 10 pm but expected to stay after to sort tills etc but won't be paid after 10pm and is it against the law to be left by yourself in a shop till 8pm as it's not safe ..
jojo - 3-Apr-16 @ 11:37 AM
@123 - as an apprentice you still have the same rights as other employees. As specified in the article, the first step is to look at your Employment Contract to see if there is anything in there regarding extra periods of work without pay. There may be a clause in the contract that states that you may be required to stay on after the shift for short periods as and when requested by managers, that's not unusual. But what you are talking about is not just the odd occasion and you may want to bring it up to your employer and request extra pay. I think you also might want to give Acas a call for some extra advice here, which you can do via the link here . I hope this helps.
WorkingRights - 27-Mar-15 @ 12:05 PM
I am currently training as an apprentice towards my level 2 in childcare,i work 5 days a week Monday to Friday 9:45- 6;00 (closing hours). My Employer says if there are still children at 6:00 then all the staff have to stay if a parents running late. They say parents are charged £1.00 a minute but we never get paid or the employer makes us stay behind with them for about 10-20 minutes and then says we can go and then waits with the child and receives the late fees. is it my responsibility to stay behind after 6 when i am only there to learn? its nearly every day this happens and there is nothing said about this in my apprenticeship agreement.
123 - 26-Mar-15 @ 8:41 PM
Having got up at 4o'clock and left home at 4 30am to drive to work which took me 2 and half hours started work at 7 o'clock did not finished till 9pm then drive home 2 and half-hour and got home at11.20 pm so I took the next day of should I get paid for it
bobby - 24-Feb-13 @ 4:00 PM
i have worked over 400 over time hours and continuously told was unable to take as not enough staff to cover me has gone on for 6 months also i was refused holidays so as unable take holidays had no chance getting toil how can i go about getting the 400 hours toil off them.
jmc1971 - 27-Jan-13 @ 7:55 PM
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