For Employees

Overtime: Are You Being Paid Enough?

Are you receiving all of the overtime to which you are entitled?

The requirements regarding overtime in British Columbia are set out in the Employment Standards Act.

Overtime entitlements are applicable to the number of hours worked in a day or the number of hours worked in a week.

Daily Overtime
Overtime calculated on a daily basis is not payable on the first eight hours you work in a day. Once you have worked eight hours in a day, you must be paid time-and-a-half for up to the next four hours you work. After you have worked 12 hours in a day, you are entitled to double time. This applies even if you have worked less than 40 hours in a week.

Weekly Overtime
Once you have worked more than 40 hours in a week, you are entitled to overtime pay at time-and-a-half. This is true even if you have not worked more than 8 hours on any given day. So if you worked seven hours a day for six days during a week, then you would have worked 42 hours during the week. You would then be entitled to two hours of overtime paid at time-and-a-half even though you have not worked more than 8 hours on any given day.

You cannot contract out of the overtime provisions of the Employment Standards Act. There are, however, a few alternative options that employees and employers can agree upon.

Employees and employers can, for example, agree to enter into an averaging agreement where the employees’ hours per week are averaged out over a period up to four weeks.  The requirements for averaging agreements are quite strict, however.

Alternatively, an employee can request that a time bank be established. With a time bank, overtime hours are credited to the time bank instead of being paid to the employee for the pay period where the overtime takes place.  An employee can then use this time bank to take time off with pay. When the time bank is closed, then the outstanding balance in the time bank must be paid to the employee.

The overtime provisions in the employment standards act apply to most employees, but some employees are excluded such as employees who are managers.  To determine whether the overtime provisions of the Employment Standards Act apply to you, you should seek legal counsel. Please contact me today for a consultation.


This blog is produced by Waterstone Law Group LLP. This blog is intended for information purposes only and is not offered as legal advice for a specific claim. Subscription to or use of this site does not establish a solicitor – client relationship between the user and Waterstone Law Group LLP or any of the individual contributors. For advice relating to your employment law claim, please contact us to arrange for a consultation.

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