Daylight Saving Time: The Implications for Employers

Ben McCarthy

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08 Oct 2019

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Daylight Saving Time is coming to an end on Sunday 27 October, with the clocks going back an hour at 2am.

Many of you will be tucked up in bed and are therefore largely unaffected. However, some will be part way through their night shift, or scheduled to work on Sunday morning.

When the clocks go back...

Does this impact working hours?

The clocks going back does affect working hours and pay.

Your first port of call should be to check your employees’ contracts to see how their working hours are outlined.

In its simplest form, a contract stating the employees’ shift starts at 12am and finishes at 8am will require the employee to work a shift of nine hours.

If a contract says the shift lasts for eight hours starting from 12am, then the employee can leave at 7am, as they will have technically worked their eight hours.

In this situation, you may wish to agree with the employee that they’ll work an extra hour and leave at their normal finishing time.

What about pay?

If a contract states that your employee is entitled to hourly pay for every hour worked they should be paid extra if they work the extra hour.

Generally, salaried workers will receive their normal salary regardless of whether they work extra. However, you should consider if your company’s overtime rules would be applied here.

Salaried workers still need to receive the legal minimum wage for this period. So, if they’re paid National Minimum Wage or just above, you may have to pay them the extra hour so they receive their legal minimum entitlement.

Do I have any other options?

Organisations can choose how they treat the extra hour, subject to any contractual entitlements. Regardless of what you choose to do, you should act consistently and fairly.

One option to consider is allowing employees to go home an hour later when the clocks go forward in the spring, essentially cancelling out the extra hour worked now in the autumn.

The extra hour also has the potential to affect the working time rights of night shift workers.

All night workers must not work, on average, more than eight hours in any 24-hour period. They’re also entitled to a 20-minute rest break when working more than six hours a day.

Adult workers must also be allowed a minimum rest period of 11 consecutive hours in any 24-hour period.

If you require staff to work the extra hour, you should fully consider these rights to ensure there is no breach of any legal requirements.

Importantly, you should pre-warn workers who are on the rota to come in on Sunday about the clocks going back to ensure they are attending work on time.

Expert support

If you have concerns about how the clocks going back will impact your workplace, speak to a Croner expert today to discuss your options on 01455 858 132.

About the Author

Ben McCarthy works as a content writer for Croner producing commentary and guidance on employment law and key HR developments. Coming from an extensive legal background, Ben regularly constructs key training materials for clients and advisers, and provides daily contributions to national publications.

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