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Do you know when to pay your employees overtime? Find out by looking at this case study

by , 02 July 2015
We all have that one employee who is willing to go the extra mile in their duties. She always puts in extra hours and carries the team. She works late and sometimes even comes in on Sunday. Do you always have to pay her for overtime?

Find out as we look at conditions for overtime pay below.

After reading the case study, can you clearly answer whether the employee should receive pay for overtime

Miriam is the best employee your firm has seen. She goes over and above what is expected her. Many nights she is the last person to leave the office. One week, she even worked 15.5 hours overtime. Most of the time, she receives pay for the time she puts in. 
But two months ago, you promoted her to senior manager. She now earns R192 780 per annum, a whopping 23% more than her previous post. Her responsibility has also increased.  Her workload is even more intense now. Her assistant manager recently resigned and the company still needs to fill the post. On some days, she fills both roles. 
It's three days after payday and she is in the HR office, outraged. 
Again, this month she didn't receive pay for the overtime hours she worked. This is despite capturing it on the company's employee payroll site. After all that she's done for your company, she's sure she deserves it. Miriam is fuming and threatening to take you to the CCMA. 
What will the implications be if you fail to pay her for her overtime
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To answer this, let's look at the conditions regarding overtime pay 

The Basic Conditions of Employment Act expects you to pay employees:
- For a maximum of 3 hours per day, 10 hrs a week 
- At 1.5 times the normal hourly wage 
But not all employees qualify for overtime pay. Exempt employees: 
- Sales staff who travel to clients and regulate their own hours of work 
- Employees who earn more than minimum earnings threshold, currently set at R193 805 per annum
- Employees in senior management positions 

So should you pay Miriam for overtime?

In terms of the minimum earning threshold, Miriam would qualify to receive pay for overtime because she earns less than the stipulated amount. However, this is not the only condition you must take into account. Although Miriam has put in several hours outside of her normal working hours, she is not eligible for overtime pay because, as a senior manager, she falls into the category of exempt employees. Generally, for employees in this category, their salary includes a certain amount for overtime

There is a small but...

You can choose to pay her for overtime even though she is a senior manager. But, this is at your discretion and you must set it out when you enter into a contract of employment with her.  

For more guidelines on overtime, get yourself a copy of the Labour Law for Managers Handbook. 


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