Nearly everyone has been asked to work overtime by his employer especially when there is a high workload. Most of the people who work overtime do not know the legal part of it. This article will address the main issues about working overtime.
What is overtime
This involves working above the contracted hours, for instance extending your day working time from eight to ten hours. This is something that is very common when you have a project that needs to be finished or when you are waiting for the other person who has not arrived for his or her shift. The extra time that you work is considered as overtime.
Should the employer pay for overtime?
Labour laws do not guarantee this payment. It lies squarely on the employer’s policies concerning pay for overtime. This is something that you need to find out before signing a contract with your employer.
What do you understand by the term unpaid overtime?
This is the overtime that the employer works, but he or she is not paid for it. If you are not paid for working overtime, then it means that you are working for free. Unpaid overtime is legal provided your average pay is not below the set minimum wage by the government. However, your average wage will be severely affected if you happen to work overtime for many hours. In such a scenario, then your overtime will be considered as illegal.
Is it legal to work overtime?
Overtime is legal, but some rules dictate how much overtime someone can do. It should not exceed 48 hours per week. Any overtime work that is exceeds this time limit is considered to be illegal unless there is a written agreement between the employee and employer that guarantees the employer to work overtime for more than 48 hours.
Can you be forced to work overtime?
Your employer can ask you to work overtime, unpaid or paid. If you are not sure about the working terms, you can always refer to the contract that you signed with him or her. Employers shave different policies regarding this subject. If the agreement you made states that you should work overtime, then you will be breaching it by refusing to honour the overtime work assigned to you. However, some contracts are silent on this issue. For such cases, you cannot be sacked for refusing to work overtime.