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How should overtime hours for shift workers be calculated?

You need to pay overtime allowance if your employee is required to work either:

  • More than 44 hours over three weeks.
  • Or, more than contractual working hours per week, which can be agreed at less than 44 hours per week over three weeks.

This is an example on how overtime hours for shift workers can be computed. The scenario is based on a 44-hours work week.

Week Actual working hours Total working hours for continuous 3 weeks Total OT hours for continuous 3 weeks OT hours already paid in past 2 weeks* OT hours payable for this week*
1 50 To be computed in week 3 To be computed in week 3 To be computed in week 3 -
2 40 To be computed in week 3 To be computed in week 3 To be computed in week 3 -
3 46 50 + 40 + 46 = 136 136 - (44 × 3) = 4 0 + 0 = 0 4 - 0 = 4
4 42 40 + 46 + 42 = 128 128 - (44 × 3) → 0 0 + 4 = 4 0 - 4 → 0
5 50 46 + 42 + 50 = 138 138 - (44 × 3) = 6 4 + 0 = 4 6 - 4 = 2
6 45 42 + 50 + 45 = 137 137 - (44 × 3) = 5 0 + 2 = 2 5 - 2 = 3

* Overtime hours incurred from previous weeks are deducted to prevent double-counting.

You are advised to adapt the method for your own calculations.

Last Updated: 29 May 2017