Overtime is one of the ways in which companies respond to unforeseen needs or particular periods. To do this, however, they have to pay the worker more. Let’s see what you need to know about extra work overtime pay rule.
Overtime is work beyond normal working hours, i.e. over 40 hours per week in the case of full-time employment. It is one of the tools that companies have to respond to particular needs and moments, thus increasing production capacity, on the condition, however, to pay the worker in overtime a greater share than the usual hourly wage or, alternatively, to grant hours of compensatory rest.
But how should overtime be managed by employers? How much must they be paid? And what role do national collective agreements play in regulating the use of overtime? Let’s see the most important things to know.
In this case, overtime work is considered to be that which exceeds the hours set by the national collective labor agreement, therefore starting from the 39th hour.
Also counting overtime, the law establishes a maximum limit of 48 hours a week of work and, in the absence of different indications in the respective contracts, also an annual maximum of 250 hours of overtime. Consequently, if a worker has a contract of 40 hours per week, but that week he works 45 hours, the extra 5 hours are considered overtime and must be paid with the increases provided for in the contract.
Alternatively, if the relevant National Collective Labor Agreement provides for it, the same hours can instead be compensated with hours of rest (the so-called “hour bank” mechanism) which can then be enjoyed by the employee.
The reasons why a company can request the use of overtime can be:
unforeseen production needs;
situations of force majeure requiring the use of additional hours;
particular events , such as a period of particular holidays.
Are overtime mandatory?
If the collective agreement of reference provides for the use of overtime, the worker cannot refuse to work extra hours if he does not want to incur disciplinary sanctions. Some national collective labor agreements, however, require the consent of the worker.
However, overtime work cannot be compulsorily requested (therefore the worker can refuse):
if there is a justified reason for doing so; if the employer’s request does not correspond to an actual business need;
if the request is completely arbitrary;
if the hours requested are much higher than the ordinary;
Furthermore, overtime work cannot be requested from:
student workers ;
underage workers ; in the event that the unions have declared a strike for overtime and ancillary services.