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.


hospital trolley patient

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

25 Oct 2019

The clocks go back an hour at 2:00am on Sunday 27 October 2019. But what does this mean for night workers?

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Betfred staff hit by holiday pay error

16 Sep 2019

Bookmaker Betfred has hit by a payroll issue affecting holiday pay for staff who had worked overtime.
The company’s automated...

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Shorter working week would be ‘unrealistic’, report finds

12 Sep 2019

A blanket shortening of the working week would be unrealistic in the UK as it would not meet the needs...

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Consultation into NHS pensions flexibility launched

12 Sep 2019

A new consultation into NHS pension changes designed to enable senior clinicians to work additional shifts without facing prohibitive tax...

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Court of Appeal: Junior doctor wins rest break test case

31 Jul 2019

The NHS faces a bill of millions of pounds after a junior doctor won a test case yesterday about the...

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Government promises better wellbeing support for frontline police officers

10 Jul 2019

The government has announced plans to improve wellbeing for frontline police.

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Top 10 HR questions June 2019: Ex-employee grievances

2 Jul 2019

Can an employer ignore a grievance if the employee no longer works for the organisation?
The most popular FAQ on...

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Teachers facing one of the highest global workload “burdens”

20 Jun 2019

The government has failed to tackle the “workload burden” many teachers face, it has been claimed, after a report found...

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Include regular voluntary overtime in holiday pay, judge rules

10 Jun 2019

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

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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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