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Time Off in Lieu When Working Additional Hours

By: Maggie Lonsdale BA (hons) - Updated: 17 Oct 2017 | 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]
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
Can your 11hr rest break be taken away by toil! I.e work from 9 till midnight. Then turn up to work at 11am the next. Can the employer take your toil away as you were not in work at 9am!
Djlee - 12-Jul-17 @ 2:14 PM
Niner - Your Question:
HiWonder if anyone can help. I work in a school as full time term time only support worker, my tasks are such that I cannot carry them out in the 37.5 hours that I am contracted for. I regularly work around 3 to 4 extra hours per week by starting early and finishing late. I must do the extra work to satisfy health and safety concerns and maintain workshop equipment as I am in the classroom most of the day.My question is am I entitled to TOIL or over time as a term time only contract and if so are the school allowed to refuse.Thanks

Our Response:
You would have to read the terms and conditions of your employment contract to see if you are entitled to TOIL. Otherwise, you would have to discuss the matter directly with your line manager. There is no law to say your employer has to offer TOIL as a response to working overtime. Employers can request that an employer may have to work unpaid overtime in order to complete any tasks, as part of their contract.
WorkingRights - 7-Jul-17 @ 12:41 PM
Hi Wonder if anyone can help. I work in a school as full time term time only support worker, my tasks are such that I cannot carry them out in the 37 .5 hours that I am contracted for. I regularly work around 3 to 4 extra hours per week by starting early and finishing late. I must do the extra work to satisfy health and safety concerns and maintain workshop equipment as I am in the classroom most of the day. My question is am I entitled to TOIL or over time as a term time only contract and if so are the school allowed to refuse. Thanks
Niner - 6-Jul-17 @ 7:13 PM
NO1TERRY - Your Question:
Hi there, I travel a lot with work, maybe 8 times a year. Generally, each trip will include a long-haul flight to Asia (fly Saturday, land Sunday) then work a 5 day week of around 10-12 hours a day, followed by a return flight landing back in the UK on a Sunday.So each trip effectively takes 2 weekends away from me – is there any law as to hours worked, or days back in lieu I should for this? My work contract states working overseas, and at weekends, but there is no stipulation of any days in lieu. We are devising a new plan for days in lieu and I want to see if there are any laws we should be aware of? Or if I should be able to claim back a minimum from the weekend days worked.Thanks,

Our Response:
You would have to speak to your employer directly regarding this, as it is company-specific.
WorkingRights - 6-Jul-17 @ 2:37 PM
Hi there, I travel a lot with work, maybe 8 times a year. Generally, each trip will include a long-haul flight to Asia (fly Saturday, land Sunday) then work a 5 day week of around 10-12 hours a day, followed by a return flight landing back in the UK on a Sunday. So each trip effectively takes 2 weekends away from me – is there any law as to hours worked, or days back in lieu I should for this? My work contract states working overseas, and at weekends, but there is no stipulation of any days in lieu. We are devising a new plan for days in lieu and I want to see if there are any laws we should be aware of? Or if I should be able to claim back a minimum from the weekend days worked. Thanks,
NO1TERRY - 5-Jul-17 @ 11:06 AM
Hi, I work in retail and could not work today or tomorrow as the shop has been damaged by a fire and it is closed. My boss has said I should work these days in lieu (or at least one of them) next week after discussion. I do not think that I should have to do this as surely the company (which is a large one) will be insured for loss of business and it is not my fault and actually, an inconvenience. Where do I stand? I cannot find anything on this in my contract. Many thanks.
foxy - 1-Jun-17 @ 12:05 PM
MissE - Your Question:
I work in retail as a manager for a company. I worked with them for 10months and will finish working my noticd in a few days. I am also over over 40hours in lieu because I was unable to takw the time back as there was no one to cover the shifts.Would I be paids foe these hours?Please help.Thank you

Our Response:
You would have to speak directly to your HR dept or line manager. We cannot comment on this as it depends upon your individual company policy.
WorkingRights - 24-May-17 @ 1:35 PM
I work in retail as a manager for a company. I worked with them for 10months and will finish working my noticd in a few days. I am also over over 40hours in lieu because I was unable to takw the time back as there was no one to cover the shifts. Would I be paids foe these hours? Please help. Thank you
MissE - 24-May-17 @ 4:32 AM
@LJB - if your contract is for 20 hours then you are tied into that contract. You need to read the terms of your contract - it's you that opted out and consented to do extra hours. You should ask your employer to change your contract if you will be doing this indefinitely.
Kate - 17-May-17 @ 2:10 PM
My contract is for 20 hrs a week but for the last 11 months I have worked between 36-40 hours per week but everytime I take a holiday I'm only ever paid 20hrs, and if I work a 9 hour shift on a bank holiday I'm only allowed 4 hours back in lieu as my contract is for 20 hrs,is this allowed?
LJB - 16-May-17 @ 10:54 PM
I regularly accrue toil. My employer has started to dictate when I have to take this time back without discussion. Surely as this is something I am entitled to I should able to take it back when I want (within a time frame) and not purely at their discretion
Nicedevil96 - 6-May-17 @ 7:11 PM
happyworker - Your Question:
My contract says that I am based in Bedford and expected to travel to other locations occasionally. I am being sent to York (3 hours by car) regularly and have been told that this travel time is not part of my daily hours and therefore will not be paid or part of toil.Is they allowed to do this

Our Response:
Much depends upon whether the terms of your employment contract says your employer can make these changes and whether/how you will be paid in accordance with them and/or whether such travel is an integral part of your job. If you disagree, or think your employer is overstepping the terms of the contract, then you should speak to your employer directly regarding this.
WorkingRights - 27-Apr-17 @ 11:29 AM
My contract says that i am based in Bedford and expected to travel to other locations occasionally. I am being sent to York (3 hours by car) regularly and have been told that this travel time is not part of my daily hours and therefore will not be paid or part of toil. Is they allowed to do this
happyworker - 26-Apr-17 @ 3:31 PM
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