How to manage an employee working unauthorised over-time

As an employer, it is important to know what hours your employees are working each week, in order to ensure we are compliant with employment legislation. The Organisation of Working Time Act 1997 sets out the maximum hours an employee can work each week.

If you have an employee who works several hours overtime every day, you could be in breach of legislation and need to take the appropriate steps to ensure it doesn’t continue.

Firstly it needs to be established if the employees’ workload is too big and if so, delegate some of the persons’ duties elsewhere. It could also be the case that the employee in question is struggling in their role and requires additional training or support. Exactly what the problem is can be found out by meeting the employee on an informal basis to discuss the matter in greater detail.

However, if it is found that the employee doesn’t have an excessive workload and there are no capability issues, it is advisable to set out clear instructions for working overtime.

You can implement an overtime policy which clearly states all overtime needs to be authorised by senior management. Managers and supervisors should be appropriately trained on how to deal with employees who breach the policy to ensure consistency. Once the policy is enforced, any employee found in breach of the policy can be disciplined accordingly.

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Nora Cashe

Peninsula

Nóra studied Law in Griffith College Dublin and qualified as a Barrister in 2008, practising in the area of Criminal law. She is also member of the Irish Employment Law Association.

Nora has extensive experience representing clients at Employment Tribunal hearings, Conciliation / Mediation meetings before both the Workplace Relations Commission and the Labour Court. 

Nóra is a member of the Irish Employment Law Association and engages with the WRC Adjudication Service as part of their stakeholder engagement forum.

Deiric McCann

Genos International Europe

Deiric McCann leads Genos International Europe – The EU division of a world-leading provider of emotional intelligence solutions. 

With over two decades experience at the highest levels of management, Deiric supports clients to develop the resilience, emotional intelligence, psychological safety and engagements of their employees.

Rhiannon Coyne

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Rhiannon Coyne is a Senior HR Consultant at Graphite HRM and will be providing an overview of best practice on how to deal with complaints of bullying and harassment in the workplace. 

With a number of recent updates to employment laws, Rhiannon will take a closer look at employment equality and how it is interlinked to Health & Safety and what employers can learn from recent case laws.

David Begg

Workplace Relations Commission

David Begg was appointed Chairperson of the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) in January 2021.

David is also a professor at Maynooth University Institute of Social Sciences. Mr Begg’s extensive history in the trade union movement included leading the ESB Officers Association and Irish Congress of Trade Unions, stepping away from the latter in 2001 to chair international aid agency Concern.

David Begg was also previously a director of the Central Bank of Ireland between 1995 and 2010.