Compensation for overtime work

On May 21, 2012, in Working Time and Leave, by Kalina Jaroslawska

Polish labor legislation provides for two options of compensating overtime work.

First, overtime work may be compensated by way of a statutory pay premium, which adds to the employee’s regular wages. The premium is 100% of the employee’s wages (based on the individual hourly or monthly rate) for overtime work performed at night and on Sundays and holidays which are not working days for the particular employee. For overtime work performed at other times the premium is 50% of the employee’s wages.

Second, overtime work may be compensated by providing time off in exchange. Here there are two further options. When the employee requests time off in lieu, the employer may provide it (but does not have to) in the same amount of hours as have been worked overtime. In the absence of the employee’s request, the employer may grant the employee time off of their own accord, but in this case the amount of time off in lieu must be 50% greater than the number of hours worked overtime. Employees provided time off in exchange for overtime work are not entitled to statutory pay premium.

In relation to employees holding particular positions there may apply different principles of compensating overtime work. For example, managers and heads of departments are expected to perform work also outside regular working hours without the right to compensation for overtime work (with a small exception related to work on Sundays and holidays, which was not rewarded by a day off). In relation to employees who work outside the office on a regular basis wages and the statutory pay premium for overtime work may be replaced by a lump-sum payment, which needs to be calculated in such a way as to reflect the number of overtime hours worked.

Calculating compensation for overtime hours is not an easy task, especially because you need to take into consideration work performed in excess of 8 hours a day as well as in excess of weekly working time, which is cleared in periods of several months. You must be careful not to calculate compensation for the same overtime work twice, which may happen if daily overtime work translates into exceeding weekly working hours over in a clearing period.

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Just like every labour legislation has got its working time regulations, it also needs to provide for situations when the employee exceeds his or her working hours. This is referred to as overtime work.

Formally, overtime work is permitted only when:

  • it is required by particular needs of the employer;
  • it is necessary to set up a search and rescue team in order to save life or health, or to protect property or repair a breakdown.

Polish Labour Code sets a cap on the amount of overtime work an employee may perform. There is a weekly cap and a yearly cap.

The weekly cap is 8 hours of overtime work. Altogether the amount of hours to be worked during a week (including regular and overtime hours) may not exceed 48.

The yearly cap is 150 hours of overtime work required by particular needs of the employer. However, this limit may be – and often is – extended in an individual employment contact, the collective labour agreement or the employer’s internal regulations.

The Labour Code provides for several options of compensation for overtime work, depending on the employee’s position and the time when extra work was performed. I will write more about this in the next post.

 

 

 

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