We are the contractor on a NEC Option C ECC contract. The PM has defined the working hours as 37.5hrs via email and audit, and stated any overtime is not payable unless instructed. Is it correct stating overtime is only to be worked if instructed? And can the limit on hours be communicated only via audit and email?
From experience, site working hours has always been stated in the Works Information. The Employer will usually state what the working hours are and if there is a need to work outside of those hours, what the Contractor must do to be allowed to work. I suggest checking your Works Information and possibly your Site Information to see if these have been stated.
I’m not sure that an audit is appropriate arrangement to discuss working hours, but there is nothing wrong with an email communication given it complies with the requirements of the contract (13).
Unless these restrictions were stated in the Works Information, any instructions issued post contract would be a change to the Works Information and a compensation event under clause 60.1(01).
In this instance, restricting the working week to 37.5 hrs, and potentially instructing no overtime working without instruction, could effect time/cost and thus result in a CE.
You would need to carefully review your Works Information to confirm the above.