Employees believe employer has violated overtime laws

Just under two-thirds (63%) of UK hourly-paid workers believe their employer has violated laws or rules governing overtime, according to research by The Workforce Institute at Kronos.

The global survey, which polled employees from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, India, Mexico, the UK and the US, found that the vast majority of respondents said they are somewhat aware of the rules and laws governing overtime and compensation where they live. In the UK, 74% of respondents were aware of these rules.

However, Esther Smith, partner and employment specialist at law firm Thomas Eggar, said that it may be more of a case that employees feel their overtime terms are not fair.

“Overtime is not something that is regulated specifically by statutory provisions, but is a matter for contract between an employer and an employee,” she said.

“Many employees are under the impression that there is an obligation on their employer to pay overtime at a certain rate higher than their normal hourly rate of pay, and reference is often made to time and a third or time and a half. Again this is not quite right, as the only obligations an employer would be under in this regard would be those set out in the employee’s contract.

“It is therefore interesting that such a high percentage of employees believe their employer to be in breach of overtime laws. I expect what they are really saying is that they do not think the provisions operated by their employers are fair.”

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