Overtime consists of all hours worked by an employee which are in excess of the standard working week for that employee. It is normal for overtime to be paid at a higher rate than normal pay .
The maximum number of hours of overtime which an employee is entitled to work is regulated by statute: under section 41 of the Conditions of Employment Act 1936 overtime must not exceed two hours per day, or 12 hours per week, or 240 hours per year, or 36 hours in a period of four consecutive weeks. These limits can be extended under section 42 of the Act by a permit issued by the Minister for Employment and Enterprise.
In general it has been occasional Government policy to seek to reduce the overtime worked by employees in the economy overall, in the light of the general view that overtime deprives others of employment. Overtime is still, however, a regular feature of the employment scene. See hours of work .
Please note: the European industrial relations glossaries were compiled between 1991 and 2003 and are not updated. For current material see the European industrial relations dictionary.