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employment and annual leave - is this legal?

4 replies

mogwai · 30/06/2006 22:03

My husband is contracted to work 56 hours per week. His main hours are 9-5pm but he works some shifts every week which push the hours up to 56.

When he takes a week of annual leave, his employer gives him 40 hours annual leave. If he takes a week off, he has to work extra shifts in the weeks beforehand or afterwards to cover the extra "on call" shifts he would normally have worked during the week he was off.

I'm not convinced this is legal. Surely if you are contracted for 56 hours, a week off is 56 hours off??

OP posts:
edam · 30/06/2006 22:10

I would have thought so, if his contract does say 56 hours rather than the extra hours just being overtime. Check out the DTI website - they have all the info on employment law. Called something like but if you google department of trade and industry you'll find a link to it.

daysoftheweek · 06/07/2006 00:07

Sorry for the late reply, if he does the job I'm guessing he does (NHS), it will be in his contract whether he does internal cover or not. If he has yet to see or sign a contract I gather if he has worked a certain arrangement without question for a period of time (don't know how long for) then he is deemed to have accepted it (or it used to be like this). If he doesn't do this job then I havn't a clue sorry.
Hope that helps.

mogwai · 06/07/2006 22:46

thanks daysoftheweek

yup, you guessed his profession

hmm, he's never seen or signed a contract so yes, looks like internal cover is the issue. That's made it a bit clearer.

OP posts:
horseshoe · 07/07/2006 08:12


My husband has the same problem. he is paid an annual salary and overtime is not paid BUT he is only entitled to 20days per year and so if he wants a week off he also has to negotiate his hours around it. I keep on at him about it but he doesn't help himself.

Likewise my employer reduced my annual leave when I reduced my hours by 3 a week. Even though I work five days a week I still get my 25 day holiday pro-rated. I think it is stupid as If I take a week off, I am still only taking my hours off.

Let me know if you find the answer to this as I would be interested to know.

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