Introduction to this document

Notice of staff meeting outside normal working hours

If you need to hold a general staff meeting, it may be hard to find a time when everyone is available. So you might need to ask some employees if they’re willing to attend outside their normal working hours. Use our letter for this purpose. 

Face-to-face communications

For some important workplace discussions, a face-to-face staff meeting is the only advisable way forward. For example, whilst you might use e-mail to advise employees on day-to-day matters such as general reminders about dress code or timekeeping, you wouldn’t let them know in this way that you’re carrying out a business re-organisation or proposing to relocate. The difficulty you then have is ensuring you can get as many employees as possible to attend the one meeting, which can be a particular problem if you have part-time employees who only work on certain days or at certain times. Therefore, you will probably have to hold the staff meeting outside of some employees’ normal working hours and this may involve asking part-time employees to come in on their day off or shift workers to come in early/stay late.

Contractual provisions

Whether you can insist on the employee’s attendance in these circumstances will depend on what their contract of employment says. If you have specifically reserved the right to require the employee to work such additional hours outside their normal working hours as the business may require, then you should be able to insist the employee attends, provided you give them adequate notice and your request is reasonable. If your contracts of employment are silent on this issue, the employee will need to expressly agree to come in outside their normal working hours. They’re only likely to agree if either you’re going to pay them for the attended hours or you’re willing to grant them time off in lieu. Our Notice of Staff Meeting Outside Normal Working Hours advises the employee that a meeting is to be held (and where and when) and asks the employee to attend, giving you the option to specify whether this will be paid at the employee’s normal hourly rate or with time off in lieu granted. It then requests the employee to confirm their attendance by a particular deadline. Give as much advance notice as possible of the meeting as this is likely to increase attendance. The letter also gives you the option of specifying what the meeting is about - employees are more likely to attend if you let them know in advance what topic is to be discussed.


In the event that an employee refuses to attend, or they simply can’t attend (for example, they’re on annual leave or have prior commitments that can’t be changed), don’t just forget about them - make sure they’re briefed about the meeting as soon as possible afterwards, whether that’s in person, over the telephone or by sending them a copy of the meeting agenda and minutes.