Should employees be paid for the time spent logging on to systems before their contracted start time? | Lawhive - Solicitors & Lawyers Online
Should employees be paid for the time spent logging on to systems before their contracted start time?
I work at home for a call centre and my contract times are 9am-5.30pm However because I have multiple systems to load up for me to take calls, the company said that we should really be logging in at 8.45am. The trainer said that we won't be paid for logging on early , only from 9am. This is causing a bit of a divide. Half saying we should be paid half saying we shouldn't be paid.

Sean Taylor

13th October 2021



Top Answer
If, with the extra 15 minutes, your hourly pay in the period (how often you are paid, weekly or monthly) falls below NMW that would be illegal. If it does not bring you below NMW there’s nothing you can do about it except walk.

Debbie Carrillo

7th February 2022



The general consensus is that if your shift starts at 9am you should be ready to work at 9am, not walking in, not signing on or walking to the desk. It's annoying but that's normally how it's viewed to the best of my knowledge

Richard Morris

7th February 2022



Yes. If your contract is 9-530, anything outside those hours has to be paid at their overtime rate.

Roxanne Vandenbosch

7th February 2022

You should be being paid for it imo. IANAL - agree with others saying you should be ready to start work at 9 and not turning up at 9, but there’s reasonable adjustments to be made. If your company have awful systems they don’t want to invest in, so it takes ~15mins to load, that shouldn’t be your burden. Similarly, if your workplace put your clock in machine a 7.5 minute walk away from your desk, then you shouldn’t have to spend 15 minutes walking to clock in and back because they’ve chosen a poor place to put it.

Ian Lemmon

7th February 2022



This will have an impact on your Minimum Wage entitlement, for example if you were on or close to Minimum Wage, paid weekly and work 5 days a week then there is the potential to be entitled to an additional 45 minutes of pay at Minimum Wage (give or take). So please keep an eye on the situation and if it is potentially breaching the Minimum Wage then please contact ACAS Bonus knowledge! An employer may suggest a paid break mitigates the extra 15 minutes, this is not necessarily correct and under the right circumstances the pay associated for a break is not counted for when working out the Minimum Wage! Good luck! Edit, spelling

Thomas Vaughn

7th February 2022



Do you get paid NMW? If yes, then this would be illegal. If no, you need tonwork out if the extra 75 minutes a week would bring you under NMW. On a more oractical note: Is it possible to leave those various systems loaded between shifts? Limiting the time spend waiting for them to load?

Donna Valentine

7th February 2022



NAL so cannot comment on contractual law. But this is from the NMW perspective: If the employer requires you to be in work earlier than your start time this will be treated as working time for NMW purposes. They are not necessarily required to pay you for this time, but your wage can not drop below NMW. You should contact ACAS and/or the NMW team (through HMRC) they will be very interested to hear about this practice, you can choose to do this anonymously.

Derrick Varner

7th February 2022



Previous manager in a call centre, not dealt with WFH colleagues though. Expectation was always to be ready to take calls at 9am. You could walk in the door at 8:59am and log in to your phone at 9am but if your systems weren’t loaded this has potential to impact on your KPIs. Are you salaried or paid by hour? As an example I know roles where you’ll need to change into a uniform once in work and ready to start shift at X time but wouldn’t be paid for this as it’s part of your salaried contract. Happy to answer any questions specifically though. Worked in a major retailer in management position for eight years.

Thomas Fort

7th February 2022



You need to be ready to start work at 9am. If that takes 15 minutes to get ready then yeah, you need to be there at 8 45. If it takes 5 mins to start everything up then be at your dest for 8.55. You get paid for what you work, not preparing to work.

Emily Morton

7th February 2022

There's a lot of speculative nonsense in these responses with no basis in law. To give you actual legal advice, we need to know: 1. Are you paid hourly or salary? How much? 2. Is there a clause in your contract around additional hours, e.g. "employees may be asked to work reasonable additional hours. These hours will be unpaid".

Christina Gillespie

7th February 2022



Absolutely should be paid. It's not your fault you have multiple systems that take a while to log into. If you had a Mac, didn't have to shutdown, and could have everything loaded up in 30 seconds then it's arguable you should login by 8.59 but that's really the only justification IMO

Lori Gerry

7th February 2022