FWHA and Overtime

21 Mar 2019

Guidance for branches on the Flexible Working Hours Agreement and Overtime.

Additional Hours Policy (Overtime)                  

DWP Additional Hours Policy, Procedure and Advice has been clarified, following discussions with PCS, for consistency with the relationship between flexi-time, under the Flexible Working Hours Agreement (FWHA), and overtime under the Additional Hours Policy for employees whose conditioned hours are 37 hours net (36 hours in London Pay Zones if within the exception detailed in 4.2 of the Overtime Policy).

Additional Hours Advice

A new Additional Hours Advice Q&A 16 has been introduced which states:

Q16. Can a full time member of staff claim overtime if they have not worked 36/37 hours in a week?

Yes.  Someone’s daily management of flexi credits and deficits within the permitted limits does not exclude them from working overtime. However, where an individual is not effectively managing their hours within the flexible working hours’ scheme, managers should consider whether it is appropriate to disallow overtime working for the individual until they have demonstrated appropriate time management.  Additional hours can be worked to help the individual reduce any flexi deficit.

Additional Hours Policy

Policy paragraph 4.1 now includes this definition for overtime pay:

  • Overtime pay – employees in Grades AA to SEO and equivalents, whose conditioned hours are 37 hours net (36 hours in London Pay Zones if within the exception detailed in 4.2 of the Overtime Policy), are eligible to claim and be paid overtime according to the table below for additional hours. Overtime payments are non-pensionable

Additional Hours Procedure

Additional Hours Procedure 2.1, under Manager Verifies and Authorises Claim, now states:

2.1 Before authorising the claim via SOP the manager must:

  • check the actual hours claimed - overtime rate can only be claimed by a part-time employee after working 37 hours (36 hours in London Pay Zones if within the exception detailed in 4.2 of the Overtime Policy)

Advice for Branches

The clarification that employees in Grades AA to SEO and equivalents, whose conditioned hours are 37 hours net (36 hours in London Pay Zones if within the exception detailed in 4.2 of the Overtime Policy), are eligible to claim and be paid overtime will be the basis for further joint consideration of overtime policy by DWP and Trade Unions.

There is no legal obligation on an employer to pay a part time worker an overtime rate until they have worked the same amount of hours as their full time counterpart. The Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000 state:

Less favourable treatment of part-time workers

5.—(1) A part-time worker has the right not to be treated by his employer less favourably than the employer treats a comparable full-time worker—

(a) as regards the terms of his contract; or

(b) by being subjected to any other detriment by any act, or deliberate failure to act, of his employer.

(2) The right conferred by paragraph (1) applies only if—

(a) the treatment is on the ground that the worker is a part-time worker, and

(b) the treatment is not justified on objective grounds.

(3) In determining whether a part-time worker has been treated less favourably than a comparable full-time worker the pro rata principle shall be applied unless it is inappropriate.

(4) A part-time worker paid at a lower rate for overtime worked by him in a period than a comparable full-time worker is or would be paid for overtime worked by him in the same period shall not, for that reason, be regarded as treated less favourably than the comparable full-time worker where, or to the extent that, the total number of hours worked by the part-time worker in the period, including overtime, does not exceed the number of hours the comparable full-time worker is required to work in the period, disregarding absences from work and overtime.

DWP and trade unions intend to give further consideration of the balance between complimenting the flexible hours’ scheme, ensuring equal treatment of full time and part time employees, and supporting line managers in managing this in a consistent way.

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