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legal working hours

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jenny wren 4 | 21:55 Mon 09th Oct 2006 | Law
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In my current job i am doing 6hours a week overtime to boost my pay as during the week i have to take 2 half hour unpaid breaks each day.My actual contracted hours of work are at least 40 hours.I have been told by my employer that i can only do these extra hours for a few months because of the new regulations,As i did not sign the opt out form does that mean i can carry on regardless even though my employer says i cant.
If the tight fisted people paid me for my breaks i would not feel the need to boost my pay.Any replies gratefully recieved

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Hi jenny, as a manager myself I have to monitor staff hours to ensure that the European Working Time Directive is followed. This limits the total number of hours employees can work to an average of 48 hours a week (over a reference period). I don't quite understand your problem of working 6 additional hours as this is below the threshold so maybe there is another reason. At the end of the day I assume your manager has to agree and approve the extra hours you work so they can impose a restriction on overtime unless it breaks any contract you may have with them. Perhaps the best thing to do is to ask the reasons why the limit has been placed on you. In this day and age managers (believe it of not) do have a duty of care towards their staff and I would have a concern for people spending too much time at work as it is good to a balance in life.
I dont think I know of a job where you are paid for your breaks. I have worked in local govt and the civil service for 18 years and lunch breaks are always unpaid and didnt contribute to your daily hours. I dont think anyone is being tight fisted.
Quite so. Being paid to drink tea went away in the 1970s.
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Thankyou for your replys.I know i am allowed to do 48hours per week if it's agreed but the manager in question likes to be controlling.I have spoken to someone else today and she will sort it out for me
Regarding breaks i have always been paid for my breaks by my last employer so perhaps they were not so bad.
Reference the 3rd answer.I work very hard and i hardly ever manage to get my break uninterupted also tthrough the summer because we were so busy i didnt even manage a break yet i still lost an hours pay each day and i start work and 6am each day and i have to work over 6 days so i dont sit drinking T all dayi
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