ACAS guidance on overtime

13 July 2018

The new ACAS guidance explains the difference between compulsory and voluntary overtime.

Most employers use overtime at some point, to satisfy increased demands such as a large order or an unexpected increase in work. The new ACAS guidance explains the difference between voluntary overtime (where there is no obligation on the employer to offer overtime and no obligation on the worker to do overtime if it is offered) and compulsory overtime. It describes the two types of compulsory overtime:

  • Guaranteed overtime is where an employer has to offer overtime and the employee must accept it;
  • Non-guaranteed overtime is a halfway house where the employer doesn’t have to offer overtime, but an employee must accept it if it's offered.

The guidance explains the importance of setting out clear terms in contracts of employment to avoid confusion. It also includes a reminder that overtime hours still count towards working time and the limits set by the Working Time Regulations. There are also helpful sections on using time off in lieu instead of paid overtime, dealing with part time workers and the impact of overtime on holiday calculations.

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