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Part-time overtime

Question

I have been working part time at the same company for over two years now. I normally only work part time because I'm studying, but over the summer I've worked some overtime. The problem is I haven't been paid for any of the overtime. Do I have a right to extra money for the overtime hours I've worked?

Answer

Since 1st July 2000 all part-time workers have had the same contractual rights as their full-time colleagues, unless the employer can show there are good reasons why this should not be the case. These rights include the right to overtime pay if full-time workers receive it.

If a part-time worker works extra hours above their normal contractual hours, they aren't entitled to an overtime rate of pay, until they work the same number of hours as a full-time worker normally works. If the part-time worker works extra hours, but does not go over the normal full-time number of hours, the employer can decide at what rate to pay these extra hours.

This means that although you do not have to be paid at the same overtime rate as people employed full time, you should be paid for the hours you worked unless your contract of employment says otherwise. If you are paid by the hour, you must be paid for overtime.

If you haven't been paid for the hours you have worked and you feel you've been unfairly treated because you're a part-time employee, then you may have a case to take to an Employment Tribunal. It is generally best to negotiate with your employer before taking action. If informal discussions don't resolve the issue you can also raise a grievance within the company because non-payment of wages may be considered an unauthorised deduction from your wages.

If negotiation doesn't work in your favour, you may choose to go to a tribunal. To do this you would need to take action within three months of the unfair treatment or unauthorised deduction from your wages occurring.

For more information and face-to-face advice you can contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB).

Updated: 05/09/2012


Question answered by CAB


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