Dismissal for Refusing to Work Overtime is Lawful

Dismissal for Refusing to Work Overtime is Lawful

  • Date: Friday 25th November 2016

In a recent tribunal case, a small food manufacturer won the argument that it is reasonable to ask employees to work overtime in the run up to a busy period (in this case Christmas).


The employee had not only refused to support the organisation but also caused discontent amongst the workforce by frequently complaining about being asked to work extra hours.


You can read full details of the case in this article:



It is worth bearing in mind that enforcing overtime may become unlawful if employers are being unreasonable and if the additional hours have a negative impact on the employee financially (ie through having to arrange additional childcare or transport). Even if you stipulate in your contracts of employment that overtime may be necessary, you will have to review each occasion on a case-by-case basis.


However, in broader terms it is encouraging to see that the courts found that, as long as due process is followed, going the extra mile for a business that depends on every single employee is a reasonable ask.


Source: SSG - Manuela Grossmann

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