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Employment Law/Hours of work



My question relates to working hours in the UK.

The company I work for is constantly changing and increasing the hours we are expected to work without an increase in salary. On my contract it states I will do 36 hours per week and more if I am required, however in a standard working week I work 61 hours. I am required to attend meetings at weekends which will sometimes mean I am away from home from Friday to Monday with no extra pay and no time off during the week to make up for working the weekend. When starting work here all employees are required to opt out of the working time directive and it has been heavily implied that anyone opting back into the directive will no longer be of use to the company so will be replaced.

Now it is starting to get dark earlier, due to my shifts I am having to come to work in the dark, which makes me feel very frightened - I am a young woman of 24 and fear my car will break down or I will be attacked on my way through the car park at 5:30 in the morning. I have asked to reduce my hours and change the shift pattern to something more flexible so that I am not having to put myself at risk, but I have been told that the company has no use for flexible workers so that is not an option.

I'm not sure where I stand from a law point of view to be upset by this - is this company allowed to treat it's employees in such a way? Are there any laws to protect employees from this treatment or have we unfortunately put ourselves in this position by signing out of the working time directive? On that same point, is a company allowed to force employees to sign out of this directive with the threat of losing their job otherwise?

Sorry for so many questions.

Thanks very much.

I think this is an unfair work environment. I would suggest that you contact the helpline below and see what help they can give to you.

Find out more about the Acas Helpline or call 0300 123 1100 today.

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Shirley McAllister, CPP, PHR


I can answer questions about payroll laws and payroll tax laws and Human Resource laws and agencies. I can answer federal payroll and human resource law questions and most states; I do not have a knowledge of the local taxes for cities and counties within the state. If and when I can I will try and send you the website where you can reference the answer and where you can obtain more information as well as a contact number if needed for that particular agency. Some agencies I have worked with are IRS, Department of Labor (federal and state), Revenue Canada (and provincial governments), Inland Revenue, OSHA (0ccupational Safety and Health Administration); Social Security Administration and National Child Support as well as other agencies in Payroll and Human Resources. Some Laws I am particularly familiar with are FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act), ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act), FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act ) , QDRO's, QMCSO's, and other support orders and garnishments, USERRA (Uniformed Services Employment and Remployment Rights Act,PPA Act (Pension Protection Act of 2006, As well as most other employment type acts. I am also well versed in the Title V Civil Rights Act and the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).


30 years in Payroll and Human Resources

SHRM (Society of Human Resources) APA (American Payroll Association) DOLEA (Department of Labor Employers Association) CPA (Canadian Payroll Association) NAPW (National Association of Professional Women) The Mentoring Network

PHR Certification in Human Resources CPP Certification in Payroll in U.S. Payroll Administrator and Payroll Supervisor certification in Canada

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