You and the Law – 18th August 2009

Name dropping

A few months ago, I got a firm to draw up Wills for my wife and I by post.
Although the firm made a point of telling us the importance of spelling names and addresses correctly, I find my wife’s first name is spelt wrong on about 10 occasions.  I wrote to them about this but received no reply.  Will this cause any problems when the Wills take effect? PH

As long as it’s clear who the name refers to, it won’t matter, but the service you have received from this company has been poor.

You should ask for your money back unless they are prepared to put matters right, although it probably won’t be worth taking them to court over the amount involved.

I don’t recommend that people draw up their wills this way, most people benefit from advice suited to their circumstances.

Extra hour

We work regular nine-hour days, not including breaks.  But when we take annual leave we are only paid for eight hours.  Is this right? MF

Workers should be paid at their normal rate while on holiday.  In the case of a worker with regular working hours, a normal week’s pay, as defined by the Employment Rights Act, is what they would earn for a normal working week.

However, a worker’s normal working hours are said to be the hours fixed by their contract of employment, and overtime hours are not normal working hours unless a worker’s contract includes a fixed minimum number of hours’ overtime.

So you should look at your employment contract.  If the ninth hour is regarded as overtime, you can either refuse to do it or argue that, through custom and practice, it is now contractual and you should, therefore, be paid for it while on holiday, too.

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