Pay FAQs

What are National Agreements?

Some employers are subject to agreements made between employers' associations and trade unions. Details of these agreements, which often form part of an individual worker's contractual entitlement can be obtained from the relevant employers' body or trade union.

Are employees entitled to overtime pay?

There is no legal right for employees to receive overtime pay if they work additional hours. The statement of main terms of employment should include details of what rates are paid for overtime and how this is calculated. Such terms are normally included within the scope of wage agreements made between employers and trade unions.

Some companies pay overtime on a daily basis, i.e. when more than the normal full time daily hours are worked, while others pay on a weekly basis, i.e. only when more than the normal full time weekly hours have been worked.

Overtime rates vary from employer to employer but may typically be time plus one third or time plus one half. Weekend work, particularly Saturday afternoons and Sundays and night work often attract a higher premium rate than other overtime periods.

What about shift pay?

Many employers offer an increase in rates to those employed to work shifts. The rate is usually expressed as a percentage of the basic rate. Typically, the rate varies according to the perceived inconvenience of the shift. The morning shift (typically 6:00 to 14:00) is normally considered the least inconvenient, the afternoon shift (typically 14:00 to 22:00) less convenient and the night shift (typically 22:00 to 6:00) the most inconvenient and the rates are adjusted accordingly. Employers that apply a rotating shift pattern, i.e. when employees work each shift in turn, often offer a single premium.

What are incentive schemes?

There are a number of schemes whereby employers offer incentives for increased or improved performance. Such schemes can be applied to individual employees or to groups of employees. Typically schemes include: piecework i.e. payment according to the amount produced; commission i.e. payment based on sales performance; value added, i.e. payment according to the value added to a process by an employee or employees.

What is appraisal related pay?

Some pay systems include an element of pay that depends on an employee's annual performance appraisal.

What about job grading?

Many organisations operate formal grading schemes for all or some of their employees. Such schemes help to make sure that pay systems and pay rates do not discriminate between groups of employees. There are a number of types of grading scheme and methods of applying them that fall under the title 'Job Evaluation'. More details can be found in the ACAS publication Job evaluation - an introduction, or by contacting JACS.

MArch 2015

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