Working hours and the national minimum wage are covered by legislation so it is tempting to think that all an employer needs to do is to look online to find out what he has to do.
However, there are difficult issues that sometimes need to be resolved.
For example, if an employee’s contract states that he is to work a certain number of hours each week but he is on call regularly and thus has to be available to work additional hours these hours might have to be included and paid.
Issues such as this need to be dealt with when the employment contract is prepared so as to avoid a claim being made to an Employment Tribunal.
Other issues include calculation of holiday entitlement. This is relatively straightforward where employees are full time but the situation is more complex where an employee works part time.
Holiday calculations become tricky where bank holidays are concerned. If a member of staff works from Monday to Wednesday each week then he will be entitled to several Bank Holiday Mondays as additional leave whereas an employee who works Wednesday to Friday will miss out.
Clearly, this is unfair and employers are required to ensure that such employees are dealt with fairly and equally.
Contractual and statutory issues arise in such circumstances so part time workers need to be given pro rata entitlement to all public holidays. If, for example, an employee works 3 full days each week he is entitled to 3/5 of the normal Bank Holiday entitlement for a full time employee or 4.8 days.
The potential difficulties do not end there. If an employer wants to implement a new system of calculating holiday entitlement then care must be taken if this would involve a change to an existing employee’s terms and conditions of employment in relation to holiday. This is not going to be a problem if it results in an employee receiving more holiday but an employee is unlikely to be happy if he is asked to accept less.
Employers should take legal advice before dealing with issues such as this. It is considerably cheaper than defending an application before an Employment Tribunal at a later stage.
For an initial discussion about how we can assist you organisation it address any of the above an other employment law issues, please contact any of our offices or send us a message using the contact form on the right of this page and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
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