Overtime opting out and compensatory rest
Overtime is usually those hours that worked in addition to standard full time hours, depending on the situation these hours can be voluntary or compulsory. Any need for compulsory overtime should be contained in a workers terms and conditions and not exceed the 48 hour limit over an average week. There isn’t a legal right to be paid for these extra hours; details of any overtime payment would be outlined in the terms and conditions of employment.
Choosing to opt out of the 48 hour limit
In normal circumstances employees do not have to work over the 48 hour limit per week unless they choose to. Agreement by the worker to opt out of the 48 hour limit can be withdrawn at any point by providing at least 7 days written notice. A longer notice period may be requested but should be no longer than a three month time frame.
The average working week is calculated by using the average over a seventeen week time frame.
A young person (aged 16-17 years) can usually not work more than 40 hours per week and they are not able opt out.
It is sometimes necessary for an employee to work during their rest period and will be asked to take the rest at a later point commonly known as compensatory rest. This rest period is the same length as the rest period that has been missed by the employee. In principle all employees are entitled to 90 hours of rest per week.