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Key Information on Overtime

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02
Sep, 2021

Key Information on Overtime

Posted by Helen in Pay Matters

Overtime is usually classed as hours worked above normal full time hours. Salaried positions often do not attract overtime payments, but it is common to find overtime arrangements for hourly or weekly paid staff.

 

Overtime Limits

 

The Working Time Regulations 1998 sets out that workers:

  • must not work more than 48 hours per week on average, but there is an option to opt out of this limit
  • must be allowed at one day off each week or two days off in a fortnight
  • should have 11 hours uninterrupted rest in a 24 hour period
  • is given at least a 20 minute break if their shift lasts more than six hours

 

Note - there are some exceptions depending on the nature of the work or where the employee is aged 16 or 17.

 

Types of Overtime

 

Overtime can be compulsory or voluntary. It will depend on the terms and conditions of the employment contract. 

 

Voluntary overtime is where there is no obligation on an employer to offer overtime and no obligation on the worker to do overtime if it is offered.  

 

Guaranteed overtime is where employer is contractually obliged to offer and a worker is contractually obliged to accept.

 

Non-guaranteed overtime does not have to be offered by an employer. However if it is part of the terms and conditions of employment, when it is offered, the worker must accept and work it.

 

Overtime Pay

 

There is no legal requirement for employers to pay enhanced rates of pay for overtime, but it is normal for a higher rate to be offered as an incentive.

 

Time Off In Lieu

 

As an alternative to paid overtime, an employer may offer time off in lieu for hours worked above the contracted hours. This means that additional hours worked are recorded and can be taken off at an agreed alternative time.

 

Part time Workers

 

If a full time worker receives an enhanced rate of pay for overtime, a part time worker should receive the same rate of pay after working the same amount of hours.  There is no obligation to pay a part time worker an overtime rate until they have worked the same amount of hours as a full time worker.