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Employer saying that overtime I was told I'd be paid for will not be paid - is there such a thing as a verbal contract?

(4 Posts)
ComtesseDeSpair Tue 04-Mar-14 11:37:04

In October 2013, my employer won a new contract for a short-term project. Due to a couple of recent resignations we didn't have enough staff at the time to cover the extra work. My line manager (who is the Deputy Chief Exec) came begging for my help offered it to me on a paid overtime basis and I've put in the equivalent of 19 days since October.

However, our Chief Executive is now saying that it's more usual for employees who take on extra hours to be given TOIL rather than be paid overtime. She's saying that as there was no contract for paid overtime in this case, she feels there's no paperwork to back up my expectation of being paid.

I'm being made redundant at the end of March and am already owed 6 days accrued annual leave. I don't want any more time off on top, I do want the money!

The paid aspect was the only reason I agreed to take it on - I put some freelance work I do on the backburner to accommodate this overtime so if I don't get paid I've actually lost out financially by quite a bit.

Is there such a thing as a verbal contract in this instance? Deputy Chief Exec said that it would be paid overtime when it was offered and has reiterated this since. I think I have a couple of emails between me and Deputy Chief Exec that hint at payment being the expected remuneration by us both but nothing outright as it was mostly discussed verbally. If they refuse to pay and insist I take TOIL, what can I do? Does it matter that the agreement of payment came from the Deputy rather than the Chief or would it be legally seen as reasonable for me to assume he had the authority to authorise payment?

HermioneWeasley Tue 04-Mar-14 11:43:31

Does your contract say anything about OT or is there a policy about it?

Yes, there is such a thing as a verbal contract, but the difficulty is in proving it.

It seems to me that it was entirely reasonable to assume that your boss had the authority to approve paid overtime.

I would send an email to your boss relaying the conversation with the CEO and also your conversations when you were offered paid overtime and that you agreed on that basis, and expect to be paid accordingly.

Viviennemary Tue 04-Mar-14 11:47:05

Something similar has happened to a couple of people I know. One person got the money eventually and the other didn't. It depends on the company. But I agree that the problem is proving it. But it does sound like you are absolutely in the right and helped them out. Are you in a Union?

idinnehaveaclue Tue 04-Mar-14 19:40:00

They're making you redundant as well? I am fuming for you...

I would try and fight this one. Hopefully someone with some sound advice will come along shortly.

Best of luck.

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