Areas of Law / Employment

I have been asked to work extra hours over Christmas. They have offered to pay me overtime, but I have refused. My employer says I am contractually obliged to work extra hours if requested, and will be sacked if I don’t. However my contract consists of two sides of an A4 letter offering me the job and an employee handbook no-one has seen. What do I do?

It’s possible your letter refers to the employee handbook, in which case I would advise you to get hold of a copy. Your employer is likely to be correct, but even if there’s no reference to this in your contract you will be expected to be reasonably flexible, especially if you work for a small firm. If you have worked there for less than two years you can be sacked with the minimum of formality.

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