Can Your Employer Make You Work Mandatory Overtime in the UK?
Mandatory overtime is a situation that comes up at many jobs. Some employers like to have their workers on call for compulsory overtime if they need a surplus of workers during a busy time. If you live in the UK, you may want to know where the law stands on that matter.
What Is Overtime?
Overtime is defined as any number of work hours over the usual 40-hour workweek. The same applies to part-time workers, and the employer must not treat you differently. It must be sure that no discriminatory actions take place; such as allowing certain workers to do overtime and not others.
Is Mandatory Overtime Legal?
It is not illegal for your employment contract to require mandatory overtime in the UK. Thus, they can add a stipulation to the hiring paperwork for new employees or request that their workers do mandatory overtime with the proper number of notification hours. They do not violate any laws by stating that they need more hands during certain business hours or seasons.
Can an Employer Force You To Work a Mandatory Overtime Schedule?
The law forbids any organisation from forcing their employees to work more than 48 hours a week. Thus, your employer will have to abide by that rule, even if it has mandatory overtime policies. You can volunteer to work more than 48 hours if you like, but your employer cannot force it upon you as a condition of your continued employment.
What To Do if You Can't Work Mandatory Overtime?
The best action is to talk to your employer to see if they can find someone else to do the mandatory overtime they need. They might work with you and look for other workers who want to volunteer for it. If not, you might have to use your personal time or risk dealing with the repercussions the employer enforces.
Try to work out the issue first. Remember that UK law caps forced overtime at eight additional hours a week but does not prevent you from volunteering to work more.