When does overtime become contractual?
Many employees will be contractually required to work a fixed number of hours each week, in return for a specified salary. Typically, in some cases, the employment contract may make express provision for working additional hours.
There’s no strict legal requirement for employees to work more than their normal working hours. This means that overtime must be contractual, either by way of written or verbal agreement, for an employee to be required to work additional hours.
By law, there’s no requirement for employees to work over and above their normal working hours. If it not specified within the employment contract, employees cannot be forced to work overtime. If an employee is not required to work compulsory overtime under the terms of their contract of employment, they’re entitled to refuse to work any additional hours over and above their standard working hours.
If overtime is sufficiently regular where this creates a standard pattern of working, this will become what’s known as custom and practice – or a “implied” contractual term. This means that when calculating an employee’s holiday pay, any overtime work should be included in the calculation of “average pay”.
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