Ok, maybe someone can advise me on this. It has been bugging me for a while and i do not know where to find out info on this.
I have been working with a private Engineering Consultancy Firm for 5 years.
When I started employment I was given a 1 page contract stating that I was employed as a Graduate Engineer, my salary and my start date.
Other terms and conditions etc. were contained within the employee handbook.
In terms of the employee handbook, this stated that staff below Project Manager Level were to work 38 hour week, Project Managers were expected to work 50-60 hour week.
Additional work outside of theses hours were to be agreed with Project Manager and that staff would be compensated either by Overtime or by Time in Lieu.
In terms of pay increases, the employee handbook stated that this would be discussed during annual review and that payment of same was dependent on the profitability of the company.
Since the recession, the employer has reduced wages by 10% (some persons have experienced larger pay cuts). However, this was done through a group meeting (Section by Section) and staff were told that it would be necessary to cut wages by 10%. This was done in 2008/2009. No individual meetings with staff to discuss pay cuts was undertaken. However, on entering the meeting, all staff were asked to sign an attendance sheet so they had a record of who they discussed the situation with.
Following this, the company have stopped payment of overtime and also receipt of Time in Lieu of additional time worked over the minimum requirement.
My first question is simply this, as an Engineer, am I entitled to be compensated for time worked outside of core hours? (At present we are working more than the minimum and receiving nothing in return).
Second question - Was the employer entitled to cut my wages without discussing on an individual basis?
Someone has told me that Engineers are not usually employed under the standard terms of employment and that as an engineer we are expected to put in whatever hours are necessary. This does not seem right to me but if it is true, i think it is time for a change of occupation.
If anyone can advise me or direct me to someone who can, it would be greatly appreciated.