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2018-02-27

overtime

Reasonable overtime

Members call their Union office on a daily basis for a wide variety of reasons. However, some of the most frequently discussed topics members are contacting their officials for are those relating to overtime. Specifically, excessive overtime.

Whether it relates to automation and technology failures in our processing centres, or the massive increase in small packet volumes received by delivery centres, overtime across our workplaces are at a considerably high level, and have been for some time now.

Members are required to make themselves available to undertake reasonable levels of overtime. But the question often asked by members is “what is reasonable?”.

Because each workplace, the work performed there and the dynamics and personal circumstances of the individuals who work there vary widely from workplace to workplace, there is no definitive answer to this question that will remain true for each and every worker and workplace scenario.

There are, however, explicit factors that must be taken into account when determining whether overtime (or additional hours) are reasonable or unreasonable. These include:

-          Any risk to employee health and safety

-          The employee’s personal circumstances, including family responsibilities

-          The needs of the workplace

-          The notice, if any, given by management to work the additional time

-          Any notice given by the employee of his or her intention to refuse to work additional hours

-          The usual patterns of work in your workplace

-          The nature of the employee’s role and the employee’s level of responsibility

-          Any other relevant matter

Remember, you have a right to refuse to engage in unreasonable overtime and if you require any assistance with the individual circumstances affecting your workplace you should contact your State Branch Official for assistance.

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