When the clocks go back – HR implications

At 2am in each October the clocks will go back an hour taking us into GMT. Most of us are looking forward to an extra hour in bed. However, there are some workers such as emergency services, staff in pubs and clubs, 24/7 call centre staff and security staff who will be mid-shift during the clock change.

So what does this mean for your staff and what should you consider?

Pay and Contracts

For salaried staff, despite the fact they will be working an additional hour, they are not actually entitled to an extra hours pay …. however … check the wording of their contracts of employment because they could be.

Does the contract describe the working hours as ‘xx hours per week’ or are the actual start and end times of the shift stated, ie 10pm to 7am. If it is the former, additional pay could be required.

If your staff are hourly paid they should receive the additional hours pay.

Also, for staff who are paid at or very near the minimum wage, the additional hour worked could bring the rate of pay down below the minimum. In this case, an additional payment should be made.

Working Time

There may be implications under the Working Time Regulations. Obligations regarding night shift length (especially for night staff who could work over 8 hour shifts), break entitlements and overall weekly hours should be considered.

How can you make it fair?

For employers who do have staff working during the clock change, you may wish to consider how to treat them that is seen as fair. You may wish to pay the additional hour or allow them to leave an hour early. Where possible, some employers reduce the shift by an hour and keep the pay the same.

Whatever you decide, a similar practice should then also be adopted for your staff who work in the Spring when the clocks go forward again.

Some employers pay as normal and apply the principle that things will balance themselves out when the clocks go forward again in the Spring. However, this assumes that the same staff will be working the same shift in the Spring change as in the October change. This is not always the case.

Need further clarification on how to treat staff who work during the clocks changing?

Would you like to discuss how Hill HR could work with your business providing HR help and support.