How does overtime work in the United Kingdom?

Article author
Mika Komatsuzaki
  • Updated

Normal working hours are the hours outlined in your employment agreement. If you have normal working hours, overtime usually means any time you work beyond these hours.

In the United Kingdom, here’s how overtime works:

  • Employers are not required to pay for overtime. However, your average pay for the total hours you work must not fall below the National Minimum Wage.
  • If applicable, your employment agreement will usually include details of any overtime pay rates and how it works.
  • You only required to work overtime if this is outlined in your contract. Even if it is, by law, you cannot usually be forced to work more than an average of 48 hours per week. You can agree to work longer - but this agreement must be in writing and signed by you.'
  • The employer cannot discriminate against anyone, for example, by stopping some employees from working overtime while letting others do so.

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