Top Five Questions About Overtime
Overtime, straight time and another compensation for entering trainee programs is often an area of litigation. Training is often an area of litigation where overtime claims are filed to demand not only payment for overtime but for a straight time when wages are not paid because the rules are often misinterpreted. There are several questions that arise when it comes to overtime.
Lets have a look at the top five questions about overtime
What is overtime?
Overtime is the time you work over and above your contracted hours. For example, if you are contracted to work 8 am to 4 pm Monday to Friday (45 hours), and you stay late to cover for someone who hasn’t arrived for their shift or to get a project finished, this extra time working is classed as overtime.
Some may wonder overtime legal?
Oh! Yes, overtime is legal, and a lot of us do it. However, there are rules regarding how much overtime you can do. Legally, you should not work more than a certain number of hours in a week. If your overtime means you are working more than these hours a week, then it could be illegal. There is a way around this, a written agreement signed by both the employer and employee; if you and your employer sign a contract saying you are happy to work with a certain number of hours a week, then this is legal.
Does overtime always have to be paid?
Each employer has their policy regarding pay for overtime; you should check your contract or your employer’s terms of business to find out yours.
What is unpaid overtime?
Unpaid overtime is the overtime that you work but do not get paid for. You are effectively working for free when you do unpaid overtime. Unpaid overtime is perfectly legal as long as your average pay for the total hours you work does not fall below the national minimum wage. If you end up doing so many hours that your average wage drops below minimum wage, then the amount of overtime you are doing becomes illegal.
Is it possible to be made to do overtime?
You can be asked to do overtime, paid or unpaid. You should refer to your contract if you are unsure what your employer can or cannot ‘make’ you do. Each employer has different policies, and you may have already agreed, by signing the contract, to do overtime if asked. In that situation, refusing to do so could be seen as a breach of contract or misconduct. However, if your contract is silent on overtime and you are asked to do some and refuse, you should not be sacked, especially if what is being asked is unreasonable.