What is Overtime and Who is Eligible?

Many people – both employers and employees – have a basic understanding of what overtime and overtime pay is; however, they may not be familiar with all of the details of who is entitled to it and how it works. The Employment Standards Act (ESA) defines overtime as any hours worked over eight hours per day or forty hours per week.

Overtime pay

According to the ESA, employees must be paid one and a half times their hourly salary for hours worked after eight hours per day, and if the employee works more than twelve hours per day, they must receive twice their hourly salary for the hours they worked beyond twelve hours.

Employees should also get paid overtime pay if they work more than forty hours per week. 

Who is eligible for overtime pay?

Managers and certain professions are exempted from the overtime provisions of the ESA.  However, Managers are entitled to be paid at their regular rate, not the overtime rate, for all hours worked.

There is a common misconception that employees who are paid a yearly salary are not entitled to receive overtime pay, when in fact, this could not be further from the truth. 

Although there are several exceptions that are outlined under the ESA, the fact is that the vast majority of employees are entitled to receive overtime pay.

Considerations for employers

Many employers have excellent plans in place when it comes to compensating employees for working extra hours. Often, employees even prefer having extra paid time off to receiving additional pay. 

However, the key to such plans is ensuring that they still comply with the Employment Standards Act. Employers still need to ensure that if they give time off instead of overtime pay, it is still accrued at one and a half hours per hour worked. 

Further, employers should keep in mind which employees are entitled to overtime pay – and the answer is most of them. The main exception in most workplaces would be managers.

Considerations for employees

If an employee notices that they are not getting paid for all their overtime hours at the appropriate rate, they should first speak to their employer. Many times, this is simply a misunderstanding or payroll mistake which can be easily resolved. 

If it turns out that this was not a misunderstanding, employees may file a complaint with the Employment Standards Branch, but they must do so within twelve months from when they became entitled to overtime pay. 

Employees should also ensure that they are working overtime with their manager’s approval, as extra hours worked without such approval may not be eligible for overtime pay.  

Contact Kent Employment Law today

If you are an employer or an employee with questions about overtime, the team at Kent Employment Law is here to help. Call us today to speak with an employment lawyer.

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