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  • FIRST POST
    • newish2this
    • By newish2this 8th Jun 17, 10:24 PM
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    newish2this
    Employer says I owe hours
    • #1
    • 8th Jun 17, 10:24 PM
    Employer says I owe hours 8th Jun 17 at 10:24 PM
    Hi,
    I am asking for a friend. Basically, she is employed on 37.5 HRs a week and due to the way her shifts worked, she hasn't worked enough hours. Her manager is saying that she owes the company 70ish hours for under working over the last 3 years. My friend agrees that this is probably correct but (1) is there a time limit that the company have to claim that she works these hours back and (2) how soon can they reasonably make her work these hours back.... over weeks or can she spread it over a few months?

    Many thanks in advance
    If you think nobody cares whether you're alive or dead, try missing a couple of mortgage payments.

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Page 1
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 8th Jun 17, 10:31 PM
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    • #2
    • 8th Jun 17, 10:31 PM
    • #2
    • 8th Jun 17, 10:31 PM
    There's no law on this. If it were to be considered a ""debt" (which is the closest comparison I can think of since she has been overpaid if she owes hours) then the answer would be six years that they can claim back the debt. The rest is up to negotiation. If she is in a union, she needs to speak to them about help.
    • Geoff1963
    • By Geoff1963 8th Jun 17, 10:48 PM
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    • #3
    • 8th Jun 17, 10:48 PM
    • #3
    • 8th Jun 17, 10:48 PM
    The EU Working Time Directive says something about 48 hours / week, and mandatory breaks, so they couldn't demand it all be done over a long weekend. Anyone who tried to do that, would surely fall ill.
    Many industries have even shorter maximum working weeks e.g. HGV driving.

    I'd get her to ask the Manager what the company's intention is ; if things are reasonably amicable, they won't even ask for anything ridiculous, and there's no serious conflict.
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 9th Jun 17, 2:17 AM
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    • #4
    • 9th Jun 17, 2:17 AM
    • #4
    • 9th Jun 17, 2:17 AM
    I'd get her to ask the Manager what the company's intention is ; if things are reasonably amicable, they won't even ask for anything ridiculous, and there's no serious conflict.
    Originally posted by Geoff1963
    It would also be worth asking how this problem is going to be solved in future, ie who will ensure she works the right number of shifts, and what should she do if it appears she is not? Seems to be both sides need to be proactive in this!
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    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 9th Jun 17, 5:53 AM
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    • #5
    • 9th Jun 17, 5:53 AM
    • #5
    • 9th Jun 17, 5:53 AM
    ^^^^^^^^^
    they need to fix the problem then come to some arrangement to make up.

    I would make sure they got the calculation right first this could be easy to get wrong.

    we could work on that if it would help if we have the shift patterns

    Starting with a couple of assumptions.

    There has been NO unpaid overtime that has been used to reduce the hours owed(either extra hours or working unpaid breaks)
    Statutory holidays 5.6 weeks

    That leaves 46.4 weeks worth of worked hours if it is 70 hours over 3 years we are looking at around 1/2 hour per week to make up.

    A reasonable compromise is to make it up over the same period that means an extra 1hr a week for 3 years(1/2 to bring up to 37.5hr and 1/2 to pay back the 70hrs)

    As for time limits the courts have ruled on other over/under payments so there may be some employment case law out there that can be used.
    The obvious recent rulings relate to holiday pay for overtime where the courts have ruled, the employer only has to go back 2 years and if there is ANY break of 3 months where there was no underpayment the employees claim can only go back that far.
    • henry24
    • By henry24 9th Jun 17, 6:49 AM
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    • #6
    • 9th Jun 17, 6:49 AM
    • #6
    • 9th Jun 17, 6:49 AM
    The EU Working Time Directive says something about 48 hours / week, and mandatory breaks, so they couldn't demand it all be done over a long weekend. Anyone who tried to do that, would surely fall ill.
    Many industries have even shorter maximum working weeks e.g. HGV driving.

    I'd get her to ask the Manager what the company's intention is ; if things are reasonably amicable, they won't even ask for anything ridiculous, and there's no serious conflict.
    Originally posted by Geoff1963

    You maybe a little out with your HGV driving, yes they can only average 45 hours behind the wheel but with loading, unloading and how the tacho is set they can legally work 82 hours every week.
    • tacpot12
    • By tacpot12 9th Jun 17, 8:22 AM
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    • #7
    • 9th Jun 17, 8:22 AM
    • #7
    • 9th Jun 17, 8:22 AM
    There is an established principle that an employer does not have to provide you with work (except in certain situations) so they employer can contract you to work 37.5 hours but if they only give you 36 hrs of work that is their problem. I would advise your friend to put this to her employer.

    Unless her contract of employment explicitly states that she is responsible for making sure she works the hours she is contracted to work, it is her employer's responsibility to do so.
    Last edited by tacpot12; 09-06-2017 at 8:24 AM.
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 9th Jun 17, 8:22 AM
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    • #8
    • 9th Jun 17, 8:22 AM
    • #8
    • 9th Jun 17, 8:22 AM
    There is clearly something seriously wrong with the way the company logs working hours if this hasn't been picked up for 3 years. 70 hours over 3 years equates to 1/2 an hour per week, so if I was the company I would have been inclined to tell the employee that it had happened but to write it off, and ensure correct processes were in place going forward.
    In the employees position, I would start from a point of it being built up over 3 years so I'll repay it over 3 years. That done either by being paid for 37 hours per week, or working 1/2 extra each week.
    If there had been gross overpayment it's not unreasonable for the employer to suggest that the employee should have realised, but with such a small amount I suspect many people wouldn't have realised.
    • newish2this
    • By newish2this 9th Jun 17, 10:32 PM
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    • #9
    • 9th Jun 17, 10:32 PM
    • #9
    • 9th Jun 17, 10:32 PM
    Thank you for all the replies. All are very helpful.
    It's taken 3 years to realise because my friend has worked on various wards with different managers on each. She has definitely under worked and they can't just draw a line under it as there are quite a few people this has happened too. It occurred within the NHS so a compromise has to be met to keep all parties happy.

    Thanks again ❤️��
    If you think nobody cares whether you're alive or dead, try missing a couple of mortgage payments.

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    • breakinthesun
    • By breakinthesun 11th Jun 17, 7:12 AM
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    breakinthesun
    There is an established principle that an employer does not have to provide you with work (except in certain situations) so they employer can contract you to work 37.5 hours but if they only give you 36 hrs of work that is their problem. I would advise your friend to put this to her employer.

    Unless her contract of employment explicitly states that she is responsible for making sure she works the hours she is contracted to work, it is her employer's responsibility to do so.
    Originally posted by tacpot12
    This is the correct answer.
    • unforeseen
    • By unforeseen 11th Jun 17, 7:25 AM
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    unforeseen
    In which case if she has been paid for those missing 70 hours then the employer can claim the overpayment back.
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 11th Jun 17, 7:47 AM
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    getmore4less
    In which case if she has been paid for those missing 70 hours then the employer can claim the overpayment back.
    Originally posted by unforeseen
    Only if the contract has clauses to allow that.

    The contractual hours are those that need paying even if there has been no work.
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