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Did you know: Your employees can say 'no' to working overtime?

by , 05 November 2014
It's not uncommon for companies that don't close in December to ask their staff to work overtime.

Employers depend on these employees to steer the ship while the rest of their staff is on annual leave.

If you plan to ask some of your employee to work overtime as well, you need to know that they'll be well within their rights if they refuse...

Don't believe us?

Then let me explain how overtime works...

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It's true, your employees can say 'no' to working overtime

According to the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service, Section 10(1) (a) of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) states you can't force your employees to work overtime unless you have an agreement in place.
Even though the BCEA allows a certain number of hours of overtime per employee, it doesn't mean they have to work it. You still need their consent.
To make your employees say 'yes' to overtime, include an overtime clause in your employment contracts.
If you think you'll need your employees to work overtime, plan in advance by putting the following clause in their employment contracts saying they agree 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.'
If you don't include this clause, you'll have to get your employees consent every time you need them to work overtime.

When you have your employee's consent, don't forget about the amount of overtime you can legally ask them to work

Your employees can't work more than 10 hours of overtime a week (Section 10(1) (b) of the BCEA).
You also can't make an employee work more than 12 hours of overtime on any one day (Section 10(1A) of the BCEA).
And if your employee is entitled to overtime pay, you must pay him at least one and a half times his wage for the overtime he works.
PS: For more information on overtime, check out Your Essential Guide to Overtime: Everything You Didn't Know About Overtime and More.

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