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Your employee can say 'no' to working overtime! Make him say 'yes' every time with these two clauses

by , 10 April 2013
Did you know your employee can refuse to work overtime? Yes that's right! You can't force an employee to work overtime. But, if you need your employees to work late there's a solution. Read on to discover two clauses you can include in your employment contracts to get them to work overtime.

Fact: You can't compel an employee to work overtime unless you have an agreement in place. This is according to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA).

Basically, if you don't have an agreement with your employee to work overtime, it won't be easy to deal with him when he refuses to work overtime.

So how do you get your employee's consent to overtime?

These two sample clauses will ensure you employee works overtime

The Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service advises you include these two clauses in your employment contracts.

  1. Clause to get your new employee to work overtime: 'You're required, and agree, to work overtime should the need arise. Overtime will be paid according to the applicable legislation as amended from time to time.'
     
  2. Clause to renew an agreement to work overtime: 'You're required, and have previously agreed, to work overtime should the need arise. Please sign this letter and return it to HR to confirm your agreement to work overtime. You'll receive remuneration according to the applicable legislation as amended from time to time/as set out in your employment contract. This letter must be read together with your employment contract and updates your employment contract in terms of overtime.'

'If you have a clause in your employment contract that says your employee agrees to work overtime when required, your life will be much easier. Your employee will be in breach of contract if he refuses to work overtime and you can take disciplinary action against him,' advises the Loose Leaf.

So what's the legal amount of overtime you can ask your employees to work?

In terms of the BCEA, your employee can't work more than ten hours' of overtime a week. You also can't let your employee work more than 12 hours on any one day.

Also keep in mind that, even though the BCEA allows a certain number of hours of overtime per employee, it doesn't mean your employee has to work overtime. 'You still need their consent,' cautions the Loose Leaf.

Putting these two clauses in your employee's employment contract will ensure he works overtime if you need him to. What's more these clauses will ensure you don't have to ask for your employee's consent every time you need him to work late.

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