Overtime or Goodwill


Overtime or Goodwill

What is overtime and what is goodwill may come down to simple timing. While an employee might be happy to do a little extra, unpaid, work on occasions, if the relationship breaks down such goodwill might not seem so important.

Take the recent case of Jozsef Fitz and Holland and Barrett Retail Ltd. Mr Fitz was a supervisor who was, on occasions, expected to lock up the store when the manager was not present. However, Mr Fitz was on a contract that ended at store closing time and to lock up meant that he would be working a little longer to reconcile the tills, put the money away and check the premises prior to locking up – effectively meaning that he would, on occasions, work longer than his contracted hours.

I’m fairly sure that many of us have either expected this or done this ourselves, but an Employment Judge agreed with Mr Fitz that the extra time worked when he locked up was, in fact, overtime that he was entitled to be paid for.

In this case Mr Fitz’s contract was for a fixed amount of hours, which left little wiggle room if he was expected to occasionally do a few minutes extra, the judge went back the full 2 years permitted by legislation and awarded Mr Fitz just over £1,000. Possibly not a lot in the big scheme of things, but if that is multiplied out by 50 stores, there is quite a healthy bill to be paid.

This case may not be as exciting as some others I have reported, but it does demonstrate, very clearly, the need for contracts of employment to be fit for purpose. It also shows that contracts need to be updated as time passes and job roles evolve.

At Premier Legal we can check to make sure your contracts of employment are able to do the job they are intended for. Members of the Premier Legal Total Cover Scheme would have their contracts check to confirm they were fit for purpose and updated to ensure they were compliant with current legislation

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