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Blog  »  October 2016  »  Are employees entitled to an extra hour's pay if they are working when the clocks go back? - Blog
Oct 16

Posted by
Laura Murphy

Are employees entitled to an extra hour's pay if they are working when the clocks go back?

This Sunday, 30th October, the clocks will go back an hour at 2am, changing from British Summer Time to Greenwich Mean Time. This can cause confusion if staff are required to work overnight.

Generally, it is for employers to decide how they will handle the situation, however in making their decision they will need to take into consideration:

  • terms set out in the contract of employment
  • the national minimum wage
  • working time regulations

The Contract of Employment

Employers should check the wording of the contracts of employees who are working when the clocks go back. For example, a shift could be described as lasting “eight hours’ or it could be “from 10am to 6am.

Employers don’t necessarily have to pay employees for working an hour longer on a particular shift. A salaried employee is more likely than an hourly paid employee to be required to work extra hours without additional pay. However, as long as the employer is paying at least the national minimum wage, entitlement to payment will depend on the employer’s rules on overtime.

Some employers may choose to pay their employees for the extra hour, or to allow employees leave an hour early.

The National Minimum Wage

If an employee who is paid at or near the national minimum wage rate works an extra hour when the clocks go back, the employer must be careful that the extra hour does not take the employee’s pay below the relevant rate.

Check the Rules on Working Time

If additional hours are worked, employers should be sure that it does not lead to a breach of the rules on maximum night working hours.

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