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Can my employer force me to work overtime?

sceneparade Community member Posts: 95 Courageous
Hello all, 

I would like to know whether my employer can make me work late all the time - like every day. 

I work for a bus company driving buses, but every day I am ordered to finish late - usually around 10 minutes or more. 

I even have my lunch breaks cut short. 

Are they allowed to order me to finish work late? Are there any circumstances where an employer must allow me to finish on time, every day. 


  • woodbine
    woodbine Community member Posts: 11,939 Disability Gamechanger
    Are you a member of a union ? If so I would urge you to seek their advice, but to me it doesn't sound like something they should be allowed to do.
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  • sceneparade
    sceneparade Community member Posts: 95 Courageous
    Apparently, the employer says it is about "regulating a service". Therefore, theoretically, they could take advantage of employees and make them finish late whenever they want, for the "good of the service". They consider 20 minutes or more as unreasonable, but anything less as reasonable. So, they could make me come off 20 minutes late everyday I work. 

    It seems unfair, particularly when they were irritated with the fact I made arrangements outside of working hours, in my time, so I wanted to finish on time. 
  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Scope Posts: 12,506 Disability Gamechanger
    I'd find that annoying too @sceneparade! Does your contract say anything about overtime?
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  • sceneparade
    sceneparade Community member Posts: 95 Courageous
    My Current contract is with my agency, who send my services to a particular bus company to cover staff shortages. My contract with them is that I get paid from start of duty to end of duty minus 40 minutes for my meal break. 

    The company's argument is that, if I come off 20 minutes lates for my meal break or at the end of my shift, I can submit an overtime docket, which is reflected in my wages. However, my contract does not state this. Therefore, overtime would be voluntary and not enforceable. So if I take finish on time, I finish without any extra in my wages. 

    I have seen in contracts where a driver is directly employed with the bus company that you can be asked to finish late, if it is "reasonable". Having said that, "reasonable" to them is subjective and is usually exploited. For example, they could expect you to finish EVERY day late. 
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