Overtime

Employers commonly ask employees to work overtime to carry out work outside normal hours, for example because of an increased volume of regular work, a temporary crisis in resourcing, or to cover for absences. One area of controversy is the treatment of overtime in holiday pay calculations (Lock v British Gas Trading Ltd).

Employees can be forced to work overtime, whether paid or unpaid, only if this is provided for in their contract of employment. However, it is common practice for employees to work unpaid overtime from time to time, to meet the reasonable requirements of the business.

Employers must bear in mind when asking employees to work overtime the maximum 48-hour working week under the Working Time Regulations 1998. An opt-out is available if the employee agrees.


Include regular voluntary overtime in holiday pay, judge rules

Employers must now consider any voluntary overtime that is taken regularly in holiday pay calculations

Wider NHS pension reform needed to remove overtime deterrent

5 Jun 2019

Plans to offer NHS doctors more flexible pensions will need to be part of wider reforms if the government wants...

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‘Overtime culture’ is causing employees to drive while tired, insurer claims

15 May 2019

Almost one in 10 staff who drive for work have fallen asleep or nearly fallen asleep at the wheel as...

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Should we rethink our working hours to boost productivity?

17 Apr 2019

UK employees work on average two-and-a-half weeks longer than their EU counterparts over the course of a year, new analysis...

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Holland & Barrett employee wins overtime case for opening and closing up

9 Apr 2019

Retailers whose staff work extra hours to open and close the store should ensure their employees are adequately remunerated for...

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Yawning tired woman worker

Unpaid hours and presenteeism blight UK workforce

5 Apr 2019

UK employees work an average of 6.3 hours per week without pay, a new report has found, just as employers must start adding more information about time worked to payslips.

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High Court rules that firefighters’ extra hours are pensionable

3 Apr 2019

Firefighters in Wales have won a landmark pay and pensions case that could have implications for other employers in the...

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Top 10 HR questions February 2019: Redundancy, FTCs and maternity leave

1 Mar 2019

When faced with the need to make redundancies, how should an employer decide which employees to select?
Redundancy exercises bring...

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Workers did 2 billion hours of unpaid overtime last year

1 Mar 2019

Employees in the UK did more than £32 billion worth of unpaid overtime last year, according to analysis by the...

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Working when the clocks go back: how should employers handle extra hour?

26 Oct 2018

The clocks go back an hour at 2:00am on Sunday 28 October 2018. But what does this mean for night workers?

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Top 10 HR questions May 2018: GDPR special category data

1 Jun 2018

Many HR professionals will have spent months preparing for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Now it is finally in...

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Technology to drive gig-style working for Tesco staff

8 May 2018

Tesco is implementing new technology that could see its employees working with levels of flexibility more associated with gig economy...

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Top 10 HR questions December 2017: Workers’ rights post-Brexit

2 Jan 2018

December saw the announcement of an agreement between the UK and the EU on citizens’ rights following Brexit. Employers are...

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UK needs to rethink overtime, claims the Resolution Foundation

12 Dec 2017

One in 10 workers did paid overtime in the UK in the past year but only a fifth received “time...

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Top 10 HR questions August 2017: GDPR and holiday pay

12 Sep 2017

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will require employers to provide employees with a privacy notice, detailing how their personal...

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