Overtime hours are hours worked by an employee over and beyond their normal working hours. Employers should ensure that an employee’s contract clearly specifies whether or not the employee will be expected to work overtime. Even if overtime is not envisaged as being necessary for a particular employee it is prudent of an employer to reserve the right to require that employee to work overtime should the need arise.

 

A common misconception is that employees are entitled to additional pay over and above their normal rate when they work overtime; this is not the case. An employer can, through an employee’s contract of employment, require an employee to work overtime and they need only pay the employee’s basic rate for those overtime hours. However, it is common practice to pay an additional sum, such as time and a half or double time, where an employee works overtime and it may be most beneficial to do so as you are more likely to meet resistance from employees where they are asked to work extra hours for basic pay.