These are your pay rights if you’re working when the clocks go back

The clocks go back in the early hours of Sunday 25 October, which means most of us can enjoy an extra hour tucked up in bed.

But will those working overnight when the clocks go back have to work an extra hour, and do they get paid for it?

Here's what you need to know.

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Do workers have to work an extra hour when the clocks go back?

Daylight Saving Time comes to an end on Sunday 25 October, with the clocks going back an hour at 2am.

Alan Price, employment law expert and CEO of BrightHR, explains that the first thing you should be aware of is how the clocks going back affects your working hours.

You will need to check your contracts to see how your working hours are detailed. Mr Price explains that a contract which states the employee’s shift starts at midnight and finishes at 8am will require the employee to work a shift of nine hours.

However, in contrast to this, a contract which says the shift lasts eight hours starting from midnight will allow the employee to leave at 7am, as they will have technically worked eight hours.

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If this is the case, employers “may wish to agree with the employee that they will work an extra hour and leave at their standard finishing time,” said Mr Price.

The employment law expert explains that, although organisations can choose how they treat the extra hour, subject to any contractual entitlements, they should act consistently and fairly.

One option to consider is allowing employees to go home an hour earlier when the clocks go forward in the spring, which would then cancel out the extra hour worked in the autumn. However, this option may not be consistent with the rules on National Minimum Wage and pay reference periods.

The extra hour may also impact the working time rights of night shift workers, as night workers must not work, on average, more than eight hours in any 24 hours. They are also entitled to a 20 minute rest break when working more than six hours a day.

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Adult workers must be allowed a minimum rest period of 11 consecutive hours in any 24 hours.

Therefore, if employers require staff to work the extra hour, they should consider these rights in order to ensure there is no breach of any legal requirements.

What about pay?

A contract that states an individual is entitled to hourly pay will mean that they should be paid extra if they then work the additional hour.

Mr Price said, “Generally, salaried workers will receive their normal salary regardless if they work extra, although you should consider if your company’s overtime rules would be applied here.”

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Salaried workers still need to receive the legal minimum wage for this period, so if they are paid National Minimum Wage or just above, they may have to be paid the extra hour in order to receive their legal minimum entitlement.