Overtime – How Does It Work? Guide for All You Managers Out There

<span id="hs_cos_wrapper_name" class="hs_cos_wrapper hs_cos_wrapper_meta_field hs_cos_wrapper_type_text" style="" data-hs-cos-general-type="meta_field" data-hs-cos-type="text" >Overtime – How Does It Work? Guide for All You Managers Out There</span>

Övertid - frågor och svar An overwhelming workload, but not enough time…recognizable? Ordering overtime work can be met with both praise and blame – but how much overtime is your staff allowed to work, and how are overtime work hours regulated? As an employer, when do you have the right to order over time – and when not? We’re answering eight common questions about overtime.

  1. What is overtime? Overtime is the time your staff work outside their regular hours (or on-call time) and is primarily regulated by the Working Hours Act. According to the Working Hours Act, employees may work up to a maximum of 48 hours per four-week period or 50 hours per calendar month. There is a differentiation between general overtime and extra overtime. Regarding general over time, it cannot succeed 200 hours over a calendar year. Extra overtime – overtime that exceeds general overtime – can be worked up to 150 hours over a calendar year. Still, there must be special grounds for working extra overtime.But no rule without exception! It’s important to remember that overtime work can also be regulated by collective agreements, where employers and trade unions agree on the details. In other words: the working hours rules vary between workplaces and businesses. Read more about the Working Hours Act.
  2. When can overtime be ordered? As an employer, you have the right to order overtime when there is a temporary need to increase the number of working hours. For you to be allowed to order overtime, there must be special circumstances – for example, a temporarily increased workload or many employees being sick at the same time. On the other hand, scheduled overtime is not allowed – overtime can only be requested if something unforeseen happens in the workplace.
  3. Can my staff work overtime by their own choice? Kalle is experiencing a heavy workload today, and to keep up with his tasks, he insists on working late. Can he do that? The correct answer is that your employees can never choose to work overtime themselves. As the employer, you must be the one who decides on overtime, and only then is it counted as overtime. Overtime shouldn’t be mistaken for flextime. Flex time is your employees’ voluntary choice to finish or start early, while overtime is something that the employer decides on. In other words: Overtime can’t be replaced with flex time, and as an employer, you can never ask your employees to use their flex time if you’ve urged them to stay late at work.
  4. Can my staff say no to ordered overtime? So, how much say does the staff have in the matter of overtime? Do I have the right to force them to work overtime if we get completely slammed at work, or can they refuse? The short answer is no, but keep in mind that you should consider if there are any special circumstances. If there are, they can give your employees the right to decline overtime work, for example, if the employee is on part-time parental leave or a single parent with no possibility of childcare.
  5. What about my part-time employees? Your part-time employees’ overtime that exceeds their regular working time is called “additional time” (in Swedish mertid). When working additional time, they have the right to compensation for the additional hours they work up to full-time. If a part-time employee should work more than full-time, those hours are calculated the same way as overtime, just like for full-time employees. Usually, additional hours don’t mean as much extra on the payroll account as overtime hours do.
  6. When does my staff have the right to overtime compensation? Your employees have the right to overtime compensation if the workplace has a collective agreement and if no other agreements have been made. The overtime must also be ordered by you as an employer or approved afterward. In some cases, overtime compensation can be excluded from the employment contract and is, in such cases, commonly replaced by extra vacation days and/or a higher salary.
  7. How is the compensation calculated? How much compensation your employees get for overtime work is determined by the collective agreement or your employees’ employment contracts. The overtime can be compensated through money (overtime compensation) or free time (compensatory leave).Regarding compensatory leave, employees usually get 1,5 hours of comp time per overtime hour if the overtime hours were worked in connection to regular working hours. Alternatively, if the overtime work was not performed in connection to regular working hours (for example, if the staff that usually work during weekdays are ordered to work during the weekend), two hours of comp time per overtime hour is most common.
  8. What happens if an employer doesn’t follow overtime regulations? The employer is responsible if it turns out that employees have worked too much overtime –and mistakes in this area can be costly (in Swedish). If regulations aren’t followed, the company’s safety representative can demand that the employer takes action to solve the problem. In the next step, the case can be brought to the Work Environment Authority for trial. If they determine that you as an employer haven’t fulfilled your obligations according to the Working Hours Act (and have no support from collective agreements), you may be obliged to pay a sanction fee.

Smart Tools Give You Overtime Overview

Working time, absence, flex, overtime, and comp time… Are you and your colleagues struggling with keeping track of your hours? In the time system Flex HRM Time and the staffing system Flex HRM Plan, there are many tools that will make your work safer and more accessible. You and your co-workers report your time via the web, time clock, or app – wherever and whenever. You also have access to several smart functions that secure your work processes as a manager. And, with a built-in controlling system in compliance with the working hours regulations, undesirable mistakes can easily be avoided; an intuitive tool for overtime monitoring will notify you when overtime hours are approaching the accepted limit. Do you want to know more about the smart tools in Flex HRM Time and Flex HRM Plan and how they can simplify your workday? Please get in touch with us!

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