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A couple of questions re: Employment

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Another couple of (hopefully quick) questions.

 

We don't get paid for staff meetings - they are out of hours but only about one hour every couple of months, although it's annoying due to getting there of an evening. Most of our staff are on minimum wage.

 

Due to not being paid, as these meetings are not optional, does this mean this would drop workers under the NMW even if they have signed a contract waiving the right to pay for staff meetings?

 

And...

 

If you ask for a copy of your contract, how long does your employer have to provide you with a copy?

 

Many thanks again for any help and guidance.

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Such things would normally be covered by the old contractual clause which might say something along the lines of:-

 

'From time to time and in accordance with the needs of the business additional hours or your attendance outside of normal working hours may be required. Such time will be unpaid, however we will endeavour to provide adequate notice in order to facilitate your attendance'

 

Where such a clause exists, this would almost certainly be deemed 'reasonable'. Personally I don't like it as I think that any time outside of working hours other than a few minutes here and there should be paid or there should be time given in lieu. The employer would also be on shaky ground with those who have childcare commitments outside of regular work hours. What about those who live many miles away?

 

If though there is no contractual provision then the employer can't force you to attend.

 

The issue of whether meetings should be included for NMW calculations are pretty much dictated by the same issues - is the requirement contractual or voluntary? If attendance is genuinely mandatory and supported by a contractual provision then the time spent at meetings should form part of NMW calculations - your employer has exclusive use of your time so this must be included. If there is no contractual obligation, then don't attend unless there is some 'negotiation' over pay.

 

The time taken to organise a copy of your contract I suppose should be no longer than the legal obligation of 40 days if you were to make the request officially as a SAR


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That's a toughie. As SW said on the other thread - generally speaking, a contract cannot override statutory rights and so if you are entitled to the NMW then you can't legally opt out of that. Training or meetings during your usual working hours are certainly counted as working time - but this is outside your usual working hours.

 

Therefore, you need to work out whether this is legally counted as "working time" for the purposes of the NMW legislation (which is a different test to the Working Time Regulations). Frustratingly, the legislation seems to be silent on "training" (or similar) time spent outside of usual working hours (but if you are hourly paid or doing shift work, I suspect it would automatically be counted). As any discrepancies are generally resolved in the employees favour, and as you are at your employers disposal and mandatorily required to attend, I suspect you should be paid for that time, although I am not 100% on that!

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Sorry - X post with SW :)

 

In terms of a contract - the law says you should be provided with one within two months of starting employment. You can bring a claim for a failure to provide a statement of particulars if the contract is outstanding at the point of issue - although this is a rarely exercised right, as there is no compensation for this if its brought as a standalone claim and all the ET can do is recommend you be provided with one (and you may have to pay ET fees for the privilege)!

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Thanks sidewinder and Becky.

 

Food for thought.

 

I did have a contract when I first started nearly 3 years ago but I have no idea where it is now. It got mislaid after works on the house. I have asked a few times and have been told they'll search it out for me but always gets forgotten.

 

I shall ask again as I can then try and work out if the staff meetings are contractual. I only debate it as the person who says it is, is well known for making things up to suit them but then never provides evidence and I don't remember that far back as to whether it was there or not.

 

For NMW purposes, is it based weekly, monthly or yearly? I'm guessing monthly as that is my pay frequency.

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Provided it's no more than 31 days, a month is the correct reference period if you're monthly paid :)

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Thanks.

 

Yes we are paid on the 25th, or the Friday before if the 25th falls on a weekend.

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