Guide

Manage overtime

Advantages and disadvantages of overtime

The potential advantages of using overtime working include:

  • a more flexible workforce
  • the ability to deal with bottlenecks, busy periods, cover of absences and staff shortages without the need to recruit extra staff
  • increased earning for employees and mutual employer benefit
  • avoidance of disruption to jobs where the workload is more difficult to share, eg transport and driving
  • the ability to carry out repair and maintenance which has to be done outside normal working hours

However, disadvantages of using overtime may include:

  • the expense of premium overtime rates
  • inefficiency if employee's pace of work, through poor management, is slack and it becomes necessary to compensate by providing overtime
  • regular long working hours, which can adversely affect employees' work, health and home lives - read how to promote good work/life balance in your business
  • fatigue, which may increase absence levels and lead to unsafe working practices
  • employee expectations of overtime, leading to resentment and inflexibility if you try to withdraw it