As an employer you should be aware of the best practice for Christmas overtime and how to apply this over the festive period…

Most employers will pay their employees an increased wage for working bank holidays over the festive period. However, this isn’t a legal requirement, and there is no set rule to how much extra employers should pay. Again, although, it is entirely up to the individual employer how much they pay for Christmas overtime and bank holidays, most would pay between time and a half and double time for employees working these days. Some employers may also give time back in lieu. The way in which lieu time can be taken back is employer dependent. Some employers may insist when employees take back time, maybe choosing quieter times of the year, whereas some employers will let employees choose when they are going to take their time back.

Even if an employee’s contract does not state that employees should receive extra pay for working bank holiday days over Christmas, but it has been consistently paid in previous years, an employer cannot take this away (and could be ruled against by a court) under the rules of ‘custom and practice.’

In order to avoid any miscommunication with employees, you should directly state in the terms of your contract your rules for overtime and bank holiday rates and follow these rules year to year.

So… To conclude, our top tips for employers with employees working over the Christmas period are:

  • Review previous practice
  • Check and update your contracts
  • Communicate with your employees.
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