It is a common occurrence that employers only allow overtime to be paid once an entire week’s hours are completed, regardless of whether the ordinary hours per day are exceeded. SD13 defines overtime as the time that the agri-worker works during a day or in a week in excess of ordinary hours of work. The first and most important factor to take into account is the contracted hours of the employee. What does the contract state in terms of working hours (for example, what days will there be expected to work, and for how long on each day)? If the employee is only contracted to work from Monday to Friday, and the employee sometimes works on Saturdays (on request of the employer), those hours need to be remunerated at an overtime rate of at least 1,5 times the employee’s normal hourly wage. Overtime is calculated on the hours worked which exceed the agreed-upon daily and weekly limit. This means that if a worker works less than the agreed-upon weekly hours (for example, 45 hours) but works nine hours instead of the agreed-upon eight hours on a specific day within that week, overtime should be paid to that worker for that hour.
For example: Adam is contracted to work nine hours per day, five days a week (45 hours per week), and on Monday he worked 10 hours. He will need to be compensated for that one extra hour at 1,5 times his usual hourly rate, even if he does not work the rest of that week, whatever the reason might be. Workers do not need to “fill-up” their weekly hours before overtime is paid.
It is important to remember the following (SD13, Section 13):
- Agri-workers may not work more than 15 hours of overtime per week.
- Agri-workers may not work more than 12 hours on any day, including overtime.
- Agri-workers must agree to work overtime.
- Management must make sure that working hours are monitored effectively.
For more information on overtime, work on Sundays, and public holidays, feel free to refer to the SIZA Social Standard code requirement 126.96.36.199.