Most sectors have their minimum overtime rates regulated by the respective Wage Regulation Order (WRO) that regulates their activity of work. Employees whose overtime rate is not covered by a Wages Council Wage Regulation Order shall be paid one and a half times the normal rate for work carried out in excess of a 40 week, averaged over a 4 week period or over the shift cycle at the discretion of the employer.
Overtime agreed in Pay Packages
Pay packages which include an unknown amount of overtime are not in conformity with the Information to Employees Regulations, in which there is specified that the employer has to inform the employee of the normal rates of wages payable and the normal hours of work.
A contract of employment may, apart from specifying the basic wage, also contain a clause specifying that an allowance of ‘X’ euro is paid in respect of up to ‘Y’ number of hours worked in excess of the normal working week. Such overtime may exceed 8 hours in a particular week provided that on average the 48 hour maximum is not exceeded.
Right to refuse Overtime
An employee who chooses not to give his/her consent to work over an average of 48 hours a week cannot be asked to work beyond such an average. On the other hand, the employer can oblige an employee to work overtime (1) when the total hours of work do not exceed an average of 48 hours a week, and (2) when an employee has consented in writing to work over such an average.
It is important to note that according to the Protection of Maternity (Employment) Regulations, notwithstanding anything stated to the contrary in any other law, regulation, order, collective agreement or in any contract of service, employees shall not be obliged to work overtime under the following situations:
(a) during pregnancy
(b) for a period of twelve months from either the birth of his or her child or from the effective date of the adoption of a child.
This right shall be a non transferable right.