employment contracts.

  SG Atlantis® 20:30 29 Jan 2006

How can a company keep staff on 4hr contracts but expect them to do a forty hour week on a permanent basis?

I have been with the company for 8 months now, when I started I was told the 4hr contract was for probation period only but it has stayed the same. Just recently, head office decided to cut hours so we dropped to 20 hours a week but it has gone back to full time hours.

What this means aswell is that they don't have to pay us full holidays or sick pay. I take a week off all I'll get is four hours pay.

How can they get away with this?

Is this a common thing in companies now?

and before anyone says... yes I'm in the job market again.

  spuds 20:51 29 Jan 2006

There are various rules and regulations regarding employment. I would suggest that you contact the local jobcentre advisory unit or your local council's low pay section (if they have one).

Recently in my hometown, there was a combined exercise of raids on various companies, and the finding from that was shocking. Some of the companies that were raided, have had prosecution papers served on them, for various offenses, ranging from health and safety issues, paying wages below the minimum rates, and using illegal labour.

  oresome 21:01 29 Jan 2006

Contracts you describe were common when my daughter worked for Comet.

The company saves on holiday and sick pay and has the flexibility to reduce worked hours at no cost if there is a downturn in business.

Consumer pressure for low prices impacts on terms and conditions for staff working in these sectors.

Interestingley, the manager didn't like it if my daughter insisted on working her 4 hours when university work took priority.

  SG Atlantis® 21:17 29 Jan 2006

Indeed oresome, although it isn't Comet, my manager is the same.

Sometimes in a week I work over 50 hrs and have worked upto 70 hrs for them on a few occasions. For example I started at 7am worked til 3pm and came back at 7pm and did a 14hr shift til 9am the next day.

  tasslehoff burrfoot 21:51 29 Jan 2006

My father was in this situation a while ago. He was contracted to work one day a week but worked overtime for for days a week, every week.

when he took a weeks holiday, his employer only paid him for the one day he was contracted to work. My father contacted ACAS who said this ws illegal. regardless of what it says on the contract, the law of custom and practice applies and he should be paid for 5 days.

Also, the workin time directive makes it illegal for you to be forced to work over 48 hours a week

  Mr Mistoffelees 21:52 29 Jan 2006

I can't comment on the legality of the 4 hour contract, but at click here you can see that your example of your working hours certainly does break the law.

  Mr Mistoffelees 21:54 29 Jan 2006

"Also, the workin time directive makes it illegal for you to be forced to work over 48 hours a week"

Yes, you can be asked to work overtime, you CANNOT be forced to work overtime if you do not want to.

  SG Atlantis® 22:05 29 Jan 2006

In my example where I did a 8hr shift had 4 hrs off and came back for a 14 hour shift. who broke the law me or them?

Mr M. If I refuse any requests to do overtime he threatens to cut me back to the 4hrs, I can't afford that so therefore I can't refuse.

  lindyloo4 22:29 29 Jan 2006

Try click here it may have some answers for you. I hope so.

  silverous 09:50 30 Jan 2006

..as it will presumably impact holiday, pension contributions etc. (unless these are taken from overtime).

My father in law was contracted to do a 4 day week but ALWAYS did 5 without fail however it meant his employer didn't have to give him as much holiday/pension etc. etc. which I think was a real con.

  spuds 10:19 30 Jan 2006

SG Atlantis-- I would definitely contact someone on this matter. As I suggested, the Jobcentre Advisory section or your local council low section should have the answers. Even ACAS will give you guidance.But I found with Acas, that you can get different answers if you consult different area offices.

Whether this is applicable to your situation, I wouldn't know, but it is worth consideration. A person that I knew, was sent home on extended leave, due to their section being short of work. Other sections were doing overtime to catch up on a backlog of work. The person in question was receiving no money at all from their employer, so they tried to obtain benefits.The result of trying to get money to live on, was that their employer had to pay a backlog of money, that was found not to have been paid, and should have been.The person was also transfered to the other section, so as to give better hours employment.I suppose, the employer didn't like paying out money for 'holiday periods', so moving the person to another section, covered this.

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