In an economy as vibrant as ours there is a certain inevitability about workers wanting to go beyond the necessary hours. As we know the HR department has grown tenfold in the last decade or so, as a result of, amongst other things, the growing necessity of an employee/employer relationship.
The incumbent generation of millennial workers are frothing at the mouth to achieve and further their careers, as quickly and efficiently as possible, and working overtime is a fitting vehicle to succeed in this vein. This leaves those of us who work in the HR department, with the burden of dealing with their eagerness, and as such the payment of overtime.
But What Are Their Rights? What are Yours? When Is Paying Overtime a Necessity?
Overtime: The basics
As is stated in the organisations of time working act “The maximum average weekly working hours (including overtime) over a 4-month period cannot exceed 48 hours.” Under Irish law the times at which the employee will be required to start and finish work each day, or equally the length of hours or she is required to work additional must be given by an employer in question at least 24 hours in advance. Specific provisions on overtime rates have not been identified or addressed in relative detail in Irish legislation.
The average weekly working hours and maximum overtime hours have not been explicitly defined by Irish legislation but are however more thoroughly determined through collective agreements such as The public Service Stability Agreement and The Provisions of Working Time Act.
The aforementioned 48 hour limit is averaged over a reference period of no more than 4 months, which can be extended to 6 months for certain specified activities, for example, surveillance, medicine, electricity, gas, airports, docks and the tourism industry. Equally, the reference period can be extended to 12 months if there is a pre-negotiated, contracted agreement between employer and employee and said agreement has been approved by the Labour Court. Again the overtime compensation is not clearly identified in legislation.
Night Work Compensation
Any employment undertaken between midnight and 7am of the following day is considered night work in the eyes of the law. A night worker i.e any given individual working at least 3 hours of the usual daily working time between midnight and 7a.m, shall not be required to work for more than 8 hours for work involving special hazards or a heavy physical or mental strain. For all other night workers, 8 hours on average over a reference period are foreseen (2 months or a longer period if provided under a collective agreement). As is stated in section 16 of the Organization of Working Time Act “Normal salary is paid for night work as no statutory night work related salary benefits are identified”.
Compensatory Holidays / Rest Days
As a generality a given employee who is required to work on a Sunday should be compensated by his or her employer for the purpose of being required to work by the ensuing means as is defined by section 14 of the Organization of Working Time Act
“ 1) The payment to the employee of an allowance of such an amount as is reasonable having regard to all the circumstances
2) by otherwise increasing the employee’s rate of pay by such an amount as is reasonable having regard to all the circumstances
3) by granting the employee such paid time off from work as is reasonable having regard to all the circumstances
4) by a combination of two or more of the means referred to in the preceding points. “
The employees who qualify for public holidays are entitled to:
- A paid day off on the public holiday
- An additional day of annual leave
- An additional day’s pay
- A paid day off within a month of the public holiday
If it is a necessity that an employee is required to work on the public holiday, said employee is entitled to a subsequent additional day’s pay for the public holiday (or to a paid day off within a month of the public holiday or to an additional day of annual leave).
Weekend / Public Holiday Work Compensation
According to The Provisions of the Public Service Stability an employee who works on Sunday is entitled to get either an allowance or a paid time off from work or the combination of two. However, Irish legislation does not explicitly provide for the specific percentage of this allowance which seems to be determined under a collective agreement. Furthermore there is a provision of allowances or payment at premium rates for workers employed on public holidays but the employer has the choice to give an additional day of annual leave or an additional day’s pay or paid day off within month of public holiday.
Controlling overtime can be a difficult task for any company in today’s diverse working environment. Implementing a Time and Attendance system that offers all the benefits of time tracking, Scheduling and HR functionality is essential for any business to save on staffing costs while increasing employee productivity and efficiency. A Time and Attendance system also enables your organisation to remain compliant with the Working Time Act.