HR Glossary  /  Compensation and Payroll  /  Overtime


What is overtime? 

Overtime refers to any hours worked in excess of the standard hours of work determined by legislation. Standard hours of work are typically presented as a daily and a weekly figure. If an employee works all their standard hours in a given day or week, any additional hours worked are considered overtime hours. Typically, employees are entitled to pay of at least 1.5 times their regular hourly wage for all overtime hours worked. There are also legislative provisions that allow employers to provide time off with pay instead of paying for overtime, equivalent to 1.5 hours of time off paid at their regular pay rate for every hour of overtime worked. Legislative requirements vary by jurisdiction. Certain classes of employees are exempt or have specific requirements for thresholds and what constitutes overtime pay. If uncertain, always confirm hours and their application to pay by reviewing the applicable jurisdiction-specific legislation.  


Mismanaging employee hours can easily get an employer in hot water. It’s important that employers understand the proper application in both their jurisdiction and industry. Developing your knowledge of overtime legislation will help you better serve your employees, while also protecting your company from liability. It is important to learn the rules that apply to your business to ensure legal compensation. Make it a priority to then communicate this information with your staff so as to reduce confusion.

For information on how statutory and non statutory holiday pay differs from overtime, check out these following guides for employers.

Do you still have questions? Our blogpost, Calculating Overtime: Three Things to Consider, can help. Or, book a free demo and see how Live HR Advice helps organizations just like yours.

HR is more manageable with HRdownloads!

Get one HR tool