As an employee, it`s important to know your rights in the workplace, particularly when it comes to your working hours. Many of us have heard stories of individuals being forced to work overtime or longer hours than their contract specifies. But can a company actually make you work more than your contracted hours? Let`s take a closer look.

Firstly, it`s important to understand what your contract of employment states. This document outlines the terms and conditions of your employment, including your hours of work. If your contract specifies that you are only required to work a certain number of hours per week, your employer cannot legally force you to work additional hours without your consent. If you are asked to work longer hours, you have the right to refuse if the request is unreasonable or places you in breach of your contract.

However, there are some exceptions to this rule. Your contract may include a clause that allows your employer to require you to work additional hours in certain circumstances, such as during busy periods or if there is an emergency. Additionally, if you are employed on a zero-hours contract, you may not have specified hours, and therefore your employer may legally require you to work as many hours as they need.

It`s also important to consider the wider implications of saying no to additional hours. If you refuse to work longer hours, your employer may see this as a lack of commitment to your job, and this could impact your future career prospects within the company. It`s important to strike a balance between standing up for your rights as an employee and being a team player.

If, however, you are consistently being asked to work longer hours than your contract specifies, it`s important to address this with your employer. You have the right to raise a grievance if you feel that your employer is not adhering to your contract of employment. It`s always best to approach the situation professionally and calmly and try to reach a resolution that works for both parties.

In summary, your employer cannot legally force you to work more than your contracted hours unless your contract specifies otherwise or you are employed on a zero-hours contract. If you do agree to work additional hours, make sure this is documented and that you are appropriately compensated. If you feel that your employer is consistently asking you to work more than your contract specifies, you have the right to raise a grievance and seek a resolution. Remember to balance your rights as an employee with the wider implications this may have on your working relationships.