Overtime Payments

One issue which came up in our members’ meeting last week was the relationship between overtime and time off in lieu.

Firstly, there is no contractual right to overtime, but if a member of staff is offered additional work then the offer should be made to everyone within the appropriate group (i.e. offered on a fair basis) and then any agreement to work overtime should be voluntary.

If you work above 37 hours a week then you should be paid for it at the appropriate rate, and this also applies to part time staff, so you only receive enhanced pay once you’ve worked more than 37 hours in the week. The rates are on this schedule.

The important point, and this crops up all the time, is that payments for overtime is the default. You can elect to take time off in lieu at the same rate, but only if you ask for it. Managers trying to tell you that you can only have time off in lieu are wrong and are badly advised or ignoring the policy because they don’t want to have to pay you.

There is a qualification to all this though, and that’s that members of staff graded (old) grade 6 or higher are not supposed to be able to claim overtime at all because their contract says they work 37 hours a week (or part-time equivalent) on average i.e. manage their own time to deal with busy and quiet periods. This never got sorted out properly when the Framework agreement came along, and so it really depends what it says on your contract and also the history of what’s happened i.e. if you’ve claimed overtime before.

So, if your manager wants you to do some work above the normal, please remember you’re not under any obligation to do it, and if you do, you should be paid at the rates in the schedule.

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