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Time Off in Lieu When Working Additional Hours

By: Maggie Lonsdale BA (hons) - Updated: 18 Aug 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Employee Employer Working Company

Taking time off if you have worked overtime or additional hours is a common practice and is often referred to as ‘TOIL’ – time off in lieu.

TOIL is especially common in highly paid roles where the employee in question is often likely to appreciate the time off rather than additional money. However, regardless of the position or seniority of the employee, TOIL must be agreed in writing by the employee and the employer. It cannot be assumed or enforced by either side, which is important to note if you are being expected to work overtime and are being given TOIL or money when you would prefer the opposite.

EU Working Time Directive

It is worth noting that there is actually no legal right to be paid for extra hours worked, with no minimum overtime entitlement, although payment must not be less than the Minimum Wage. TOIL is part of the EU Working Time Directive, of which a central theme is that no employee can be made to work more than 48 hours a week without prior written agreement.

If there is such prior written agreement, signed by both the employee and the employer, the method of either payment or TOIL can be agreed between both parties. Many companies will have their own rules, which must be set out in the employers' handbook or be available from your HR department. For specific TOIL rules, companies will either have a set company stance (this need not be the same for everyone, although should be for people on the same grade/level/job title etc) or confirm it on a case-by-case basis.

Contract Clauses

To avoid workers simply taking loads of time to do something that they should be able to do comfortably within their working week, or to avoid workers having weeks of extra holiday available (which can cause staffing issues and/or operational issues) the written agreements usually included clauses.

Such clauses are usually related to how many additional days can be accrued and when these additional days must be taken by, such as ‘no more than three days can be rolled-over into the following year’ or ‘no more than one day each month can be accrued through TOIL’. Again, these clauses must be open and approved by both parties.

Time off in lieu of working additional hours is both a popular and common way to reward extra hours, although companies tend to prefer this when there is someone else to cover your work while you are taking your time off, or if the time can be taken at a reasonable time that will not affect the business, such as between Christmas and New Year.

Check Your Contract

As the employee, it is important that you make yourself aware of your Employment Contract. As the employer, you must ensure you are clear about what you are offering to workers that work more than their agreed hours. It is terribly frustrating to think that you will get more in your pay packet after a bumper month's work only to be given extra holiday that you don’t really want, or to be thinking that you’ll be able to take an extended holiday from all the TOIL accrued to be told that you have lost your entitlement because you did not take it in time. Check your employment contract and clarify it with HR.

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[Add a Comment]
Hi, when I do overtime and I ask for pay i get time and a half or duble but when I ask for TOIL I only get single time. Is that fair practice?
BrodeRwynn - 18-Aug-18 @ 3:16 PM
Rob - Your Question:
I have been paid lieu days for my sickness while I was working from home due to been sick.there was no agreement on this. Can my employer do this? Many thanks

Our Response:
You would have to read the terms and conditions of your employment contract. However, as a rule lieu days should not be taken as sickness unless you consent to this. You need to speak to your employer directly.
WorkingRights - 10-Aug-18 @ 11:07 AM
I have been paid lieu days for my sickness while I was working from home due to been sick.there was no agreement on this. Can my employer do this? Many thanks
Rob - 9-Aug-18 @ 4:22 PM
Hi just wondering where I stand I have worked overtime and have 25 hours this was put done as time in lieu I know that the policy of the company is taken within two months but what with a number of staff either on sick or holidays plus loosing two members of the team I could not take this time back as would leave the buisiness even more stretched . I have since been told that they will only honour half or one day in lieu and that I will have to loose the rest surely they can't do this if I hadn't covered things would have been even more stretched hope you can clear this up for me .
Meg - 6-May-18 @ 5:39 PM
My company only works half days on Fridays. I need to have this Friday off as my daughter is unwell and my boss says I should make up a full day for this (8 hours) when the company is only losing 4 hours of my time. His point is that if we take a holiday on Friday it’s classed as a full day so it works the same but it just doesn’t make sense. Surely if I’m making up the time then I’d only need to do the 4 hours. I’d be working an extra 4 hours technically unpaid. Could this be a company policy that I’d need to check handbooks/contracts/HR for or could this be classed as illegal?
Gerald93 - 1-Feb-18 @ 7:53 PM
i have at 23 members of staff that i am responsible for we have a uni rep but i find it hard to believe a lot of what he says more than once i check up on it and found it to be in correctbut the is no a problem happening with the lieu days that are given of for working bank holidayshe has been telling every on they can take them when every they want and can not be refused them so the staff are turning up the day before and demanding a day off witch is coursing a nightmare . all holiday is book off were possible two week in advanceand can only be granted if there is space for the to have it this clued lieu day any help word be great
fattymanrun - 20-Jan-18 @ 9:49 AM
My sis works in retail,her store is gapped 3 positions and the manager leans on her and her colleague to do additional hours to cover the gaps offering TOIL for the extra hours. However then won't allow her and her colleague to take the TOIL because of the lack of staff. I'm concerned she's being discriminated against with the threat of job loss for not covering those additional hours. She is completing 47 hours per week just under the 48 max so I feel she should be remunerated instead of the unhonoured TOIL. Grateful for advice to assist her?
Bunty26 - 15-Jan-18 @ 12:43 AM
TOIL. How does it work with overtime pay rates Should it be worked out from the difference in pay from basic rate to overtime rate so if you do 8 hours on a Saturday and Sunday should it be worked out by what you paid for that day so Sunday would be worth 1½ leave ?
Marky - 9-Jan-18 @ 5:28 PM
I don't work Mondays but have compulsory training coming up and it's on a Monday.Can I have time off in luie?
Momday - 23-Dec-17 @ 5:49 PM
I have been offered a new role within my company and my contract states im expected to work additional hours as needed with no payment for OT or Toil. Is that legal?
Fishol - 21-Nov-17 @ 10:52 PM
I work as 1 of 16 operations team managers in the pharma industry, our contracted hours 07:30 - 19:30 day shift and 19:30 - 07:30 nights shifts rotating. We are expected to arrive at work approximately 45 minutes early every day in order to receive a daily handover, andto set up the shift prior to technicians arriving. Therefore all the OTMs (managers) work an additional 45 minutes every shift. Should this time be paid as overtime, TOIL or as the company is trying to convince us that it is part of the expectation of being a Manager. If anyone has any advice it would be appreciated.
Nickj - 8-Nov-17 @ 4:18 AM
I am one of 6 care managers. I had always worked 45-55 hours per week..until my contract was changed to a 37.5 hour working week with hours worked over this 37.5 being paid at a set overtime rate. This has seen a substantional drop in my income as i am not allowed to work overtime hours due to the cost to the company. Nor are the other managers. However, support staff, who are on zero hours contracts, and some staff on set hours contracts are able to work as many hours as they wish which includes enhanced weekend pay, which equates to more than the overtime rate i would receive as a manager!.We have also been allowed to take toil to a maximum of one day per month which is not always possible due to being busy. Am i allowed to be blocked from doing overtime?
Jem17 - 4-Nov-17 @ 11:23 PM
My employer has made an amendment to all our staff handbooks stating that working hours are 9-5:30 and no time in lieu or money will be given to work or travel time that occurs outside of those hours. I am in a department where quite often we travel for meeting and events, often working until 7pm and not getting home until 11pm if events are in London (which most are). We are also expected to work during travel time I.E writing reports on said meeting and events. Do I have any rights to appeal this as amendments? I feel this change means I'm suddenly working for a lot less.
Em - 23-Oct-17 @ 11:11 PM
My daughter has chronic health condition and is yo get a general anaesthetic and I will need to take her to hospital 25 miles away and collect her and stay with her for 24 hours post op.I have told my employer this but don't have a date yet but it should be within next month and I have kept some annual leave for this. She says we are too short staffed. No way am I going yo cancel her appointment because of that.quite showing really as I am a staff nurse in theatre go same trust! Do you know what my rights are please?
Suz - 17-Oct-17 @ 8:59 PM
@ClaireTA - your employer has no right to reduce your TOIL hours because you have been off sick.
FeeR - 16-Oct-17 @ 12:42 PM
Hi,I was owed hours in lieu to a value of 50 hours.But due to an operation I was off for 4 weeks.My employer has continued to plot a rota and reduce the hours even though I was on paid sick leave leaving me now with only 33 hours. Is this legal?Thanks
ClaireTA - 15-Oct-17 @ 8:22 AM
My partner has been allowed to accrue 20 hours flexy ( toil),and has had 2 days holiday granted for later in the year, so because she has all this toil accrued, she has asked to change the days off to " toil " days and as had these declined and will Probably loose the time accrued in toil. Surely this is either wrong at best and illegal at worst. Please can you advise on the law regarding this. Kindest regards Ian
Skanko - 10-Oct-17 @ 7:46 PM
blvdnights - Your Question:
Hello,i have been made redundant and days in lieu will be paid to me.am I still entitled to take time off going to interviews?regards,

Our Response:
If you’ve been continuously employed for two years by the date your notice period ends, you’re allowed a reasonable amount of time off to: look for another job, arrange training to help you find another job. Please see gov.uk link here for more information.
WorkingRights - 3-Oct-17 @ 11:07 AM
Hello, i have been made redundant and days in lieu will be paid to me. am i still entitled to take time off going to interviews? regards,
blvdnights - 2-Oct-17 @ 2:19 PM
I am about to start a new work Rota, basically 6 on, 2 off. Looking at the year ahead I am due to work a lot of bank holidays. I'm contracted for 28 days holiday a year, which can include bank holidays. As I am Rota to work the bank hols we have agreed time off in lieu to make up my 28 days hols. What hours do I have to book for working time regulations on the lieu days. Normal leave days I book 8 hours a day or 48 for a week, bank holidays I don't book any hours towards working time...what do I need to book for lieu days?
Ian - 27-Sep-17 @ 9:36 AM
davey345 - Your Question:
Hello,My company has a lieu time policy of you have to work 45 hours a week before you can accrue lieu time, our standard working week is 37 hours, so I am having to work 8 hours FREE before I get any time back is this legal or just and can I challenge it? Also, they have the policy that if you work 8 hours on a weekend then you get all those hours back at just time, and not time and a quarter or half. I am looking at doing at least 60 -70 hours next week, when the company will get paid for all of it but only offer me 60-70 less 8 hours. Can someone advise what I can do, please?

Our Response:
You would really have to have a look at the terms and conditions of your employment contract and what you have agreed to when signing it. As the terms under which TOIL can be taken are agreed between employee and employer.
WorkingRights - 14-Sep-17 @ 3:50 PM
davey345 - Your Question:
I have just read your responses to the other questions and already I can answer my own question as to what you will say, as all your comments simply say read your contract very useful advice. and pretty pointless site

Our Response:
All information is usually contained within the terms and conditions of the employment contract, which people should read (as specified in the article). Many people fail to read the terms of the contract before they ask a question. If they read the terms, more often than not they would find the answer without having to resort to the site. Therefore, it is a catch-22 situation. We are also unable to answer many questions as they might be company-specific, However, as you will also see many reader's questions are answered with additional information to help guide readers in the right direction.
WorkingRights - 12-Sep-17 @ 3:49 PM
I have just read your responses to the other questions and already I can answer my own question as to what you will say, as all your comments simply say read your contract very useful advice. and pretty pointless site
davey345 - 12-Sep-17 @ 8:42 AM
Hello, My company has a lieu time policy of you have to work 45 hours a week before you can accrue lieu time, our standard working week is 37 hours,so I am having to work 8 hours FREE before I get any time back is this legal or just and can I challenge it? Also, they have the policy that if you work 8 hours on a weekend then you get all those hours back at just time, and not time and a quarter or half. I am looking at doing at least 60 -70 hours next week, when the company will get paid for all of it but only offer me 60-70 less 8 hours. Can someone advise what I can do, please?
davey345 - 12-Sep-17 @ 8:36 AM
I work for my employer contracted to do 5 days out of 7. Once every three weeks I have to work a weekend. I was ill for three days, one of these days being a saturday, and now my employer is asking me to make up the day in lieu. Basically they don't want this to count as a sick day, which I feel is wrong. And they only told me I have to make up the day, five minutes before I left the day before this coming shift. Are they correct in doing this?
ronbo - 6-Sep-17 @ 8:49 PM
Natty - Your Question:
I work in security,& my contract says I get days in lieu for hours worked on bank holidays. Now I have worked three bank holidays, my employer says that if you are rota'd in that day, you wont get them?

Our Response:
Contractually, if bank holidays are counted as part of your statutory holiday entitlement, then you would need an additional day off in lieu to bring your total paid leave back up to the statutory minimum. For instance, if your total paid leave is 28 days per year, you must have a day off in lieu to bring your annual holiday entitlement in line with your contracted annual entitlement. You may wish to double-check this in your contract. If you are still in doubt, you may wish to give ACAS a call. You can also see more via the CAB link here which may help you further.
WorkingRights - 1-Sep-17 @ 3:02 PM
I work in security,& my contract says i get days in lieu for hours worked on bank holidays. Now i have worked three bank holidays, my employer says that if you are rota'd in that day, you wont get them?
Natty - 1-Sep-17 @ 12:26 AM
My employment contract in 27.75 hrs but it also adds must work 'hours required of the job'. This appears to benefit the employer, with being told to work extra hrs without pay and weekend work at peak times. Should I be able to request the time back? I work in Northern Ireland
Stef - 15-Aug-17 @ 7:24 PM
Hi, We are going through a change in contract. Can an employer remove our TOIL days (that we get after being on call at a weekend) to work them but not get paid our hourly rate on those days? So we will be working 2 8 hour days extra ( ×10 8h days in the year) without being paid our standard hourly rate. We will get a £20 retaining fee for Sat/sun but that us for being on call, as they have totalled that up and added that to salary, the company feels they shouldn't be paying us for those 2days we are actually working. Can they do this? Any help will be appreciated Thanks
Steph - 8-Aug-17 @ 7:36 AM
Can your employer refuse a lieu day off the you have accurred?
Ross - 13-Jul-17 @ 12:54 PM
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