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Daylight Savings End - Payroll Impact

As an employer, what do you pay a night shift worker when the clock is turned back one hour? 

Where an employee is rostered to work an 8-hour night shift on the evening when daylight savings ends, in practice they will work 9 hours due to the clock going backward one hour. Given this, confusion can arise regarding whether an employee would be entitled to receive their ordinary eight hours pay or whether they are to be paid for the time physically worked (nine hours)?

As a general rule, Industrial Tribunals, have determined that at the commencement of daylight saving when clocks are put forward one hour, an employee is to be paid by the clock, so that they receive payment for the full eight hours despite them having actually worked only seven hours. Equally, when daylight savings ends, and the clock is put back one hour, an employee may work nine hours but be paid only for eight hours.

If an applicable award, workplace agreement or policy provides for a more generous entitlement so as to ensure that employees are not disadvantaged in any way by the time changes (i.e. if it provides that an employee will receive payment for the ninth hour when the clocks are turned back), this more beneficial entitlement would continue to apply. In the absence of a specific provision in an applicable award, agreement or contract of employment, you would be under no obligation to pay nine hours' pay in this circumstance.

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Information in HR Advice Online guides and blog posts is meant purely for educational discussion of human resources issues. It contains only general information about human resources matters and due to factors such as government legislation changes, may not be up-to-date at the time of reading. It is not legal advice and should not be treated as such.

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