The meetings are training sessions for software that we use in our day to day, discussions about best practices, talking about learnings from a project etc. So not directly chargeable to a customer.

Previously, the meetings were charged to an "overhead" - but due to the company not meeting its financial targets, we can no longer do so.

Because the time can't be charged to a customer, we are being asked to attend the meetings in our own time. However, the meetings are during normal work hours. Is this legal in the UK?

  • 2
    What do you mean by in your own time during working hours?
    – user35069
    Feb 20, 2023 at 13:50
  • 2
    So, a meeting would be at, for example, between 11am and midday. That hour that we attend the meeting in doesn't count towards the 40 hours that we have to do per week according to our contract. So we'd have to do another hour of work during the week to make up for that that time by working for another hour
    – Eoin
    Feb 20, 2023 at 14:03
  • They can ask. You can say no. They can fire you. You can take them to arbitration. That could go to the labour court. The legal fees can financially ruin you. Or you can do what they ask. Continue to be employed. Enjoy eating breakfast, lunch and dinner and have the peace of mind that when it rains you will remain dry. Your choice.
    – Neil Meyer
    Feb 21, 2023 at 1:18
  • @NeilMeyer it is work. Not paying for work is illegal. Firing you for the company doing something illegal is illegal. You can make an employment lawyer very happy; they all love employers doing stupid things.
    – gnasher729
    Feb 21, 2023 at 6:49

1 Answer 1


Yes, they can ask

Provided you attendance is voluntary and there are no negative repercussions (other than missing the learning opportunity) for not attending. If you have to go, they have to pay you.

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