Sample Policy: Time Off in Lieu of Overtime Policy


1.1       The (Name of Organization) recognizes that on occasions staff may be needed to work outside official working hours. However, (Name of Organization) also recognizes the need to provide healthy and safe work conditions for its staff by ensuring that they do not work excessive hours, and that any additional hours are agreed in advance and monitored appropriately.

1.2       This policy serves as a guideline for Business Unit Heads or Department Heads to assist them in planning and managing the working hours of staff who asked / are asked to work additional hours when there is a busy period, project meetings or specific event.

2.Operating Units and / or Locations Covered

All business entities in (Name of geographical region, country or state)

3. Scope

3.1       This policy applies to all permanent staff and contract staff regarding overtime work not covered by Singapore employment laws.

3.2       This policy does not form part of the employee’s contract of employment and may be changed from time to time with current best practices and statutory requirements, and to ensure that business needs are met.

3.3       There is no provision in this policy for overtime work to be paid.


4.1 Business Heads and Department Heads are responsible for work and manpower planning and distribution, overtime work approval and for managing the consumption of time off.

4.2 The CEO is responsible for gathering insights into overall planning of key events for the year so as to ensure that adequate manpower is available to support the events.

5. Definitions

Term Definition
Overtime Time in excess of the set time limit of 9 hours in one day or 44 hours in one week. This excludes rest and meal breaks. (Source: Clauses 2(1) and 38(1b) of Employment Act and Ministry of Manpower website).
Time Off in Lieu of Overtime Time off refers to time which staff are allowed to treat as off-work time for hours worked beyond the normal working day. It applies to additional periods of work either before or after the normal working day. It does not apply to lunch periods.


Form Title Form Number
Not Applicable

7.Replacement Public Holiday

Substitute day off given as replacement for public holiday that falls on a non-working day should not be regarded as time off in lieu of overtime.

8.Approval for Working Overtime

All overtime work needs prior agreement from supervisory or managerial staff overseeing the performance of work; and approval from Business Head or Department Head.

9.Responsibility for Work Planning

9.1       It is the responsibility of the Business Unit Head or Department Head to oversee their team’s workloads such as workload distribution and work planning so that the work is done within the normal working week.

9.2       When a Business Head or Department Head is aware that a busy period or specific event is approaching he or she should plan accordingly and review available staffing. Consideration should be given to maximizing the available staff in the department, through ways such as revising annual leave and time off requests, flexible work arrangements for that specific period.

9.3         Generally, staff should be given a break after 6 hours of continuous work. If the nature of the work requires continuous work for up to 8 hours, breaks must be provided for meals. The break should be at least 45 minutes long. (Source: Employment Act clause 38(1a)) It is the responsibility of the immediate supervisor or manager to ensure that time is given to staff working overtime to get the appropriate lunch and/or dinner break.

10.Responsibility for Evaluation of Work Load

10.1    The need to work additional hours should be for a limited period of time only.

10.2    If additional work hours are required for a period longer than a month, the immediate supervisor or manager should review the effectiveness of its processes, vendors, tools to ensure working practices are effective and/or efficient.

10.3    If additional work hours continued pass the first month, the supervisor or manager should approach the Business Head or Department Head on means to eliminate, reduce, simplify, consolidate, slow down or automate work.

10.4    The Business Head or Department Head is responsible for evaluating the need and raising manpower requisitions for temporary manpower; filling a current vacancy; requesting for additional head-count or creating a new position.

11.Working on Rest Day

Work on rest day should be by mutual agreement. As much as possible, staff should only be requested to perform work on a rest day only under special circumstances.

12.Maximum Hours of Work

Except provided by Employment Act (Chp.91), staff should not work more than 12 hours a day.

13. Maximum Hours of Overtime

Staff should not work beyond 72 hours of overtime work in a month. This excludes work done on rest days or public holidays but include work done beyond the usual daily working hours on those days.

14. Authorization of Overtime Work

14.1    When a staff identifies potential additional hours which might justify time off, he/she should raise this with his/her supervisor/manager for agreement in advance. All overtime work requires the approval from the Business Unit Head or Department Head.

14.2    It is recognized that there are occasional exceptional circumstances in which advance authorization may not be possible but such circumstances should be minimized. Where it is not possible to agree the additional hours beforehand, the manager must be informed as soon as practicable.

15.Accumulation of Time Off in Lieu of Overtime

15.1    Time Off must be accumulated within a plan agreed with the line manager or officer in charge. Any additional hours worked must be agreed in advance. If this agreement is not in place, then the additional hours will not qualify for the accrual of time off and will be lost.

15.2     As a guide, at any one time staff may not accrue more than the following number of hours of overtime. Any excess should be utilized otherwise it will be lost. There will be no monetary compensation for lost accrued time.  The CEO has the discretion to approve exceptions; and the authority to change this guideline.

Accrued Hours
Division Head 48
Business Unit Head 48
Department Head 20
Other staff 20

15.3    Time off should be used as soon as is possible after it is accrued. If time off after 3 months of accruing it, it will be lost. There will be no monetary compensation for lost accrued time. The CEO has the discretion to approve exceptions to the duration; and the authority to change this guideline on the duration.


15.4    Business Head or Department should ensure that employees are given reasonable opportunities to take any accrued time off within the time limit. Where the Business Head or Department Head does not approve the requested dates for time off, suitable alternatives dates (earlier or later) should be identified and suggested.

15.5    Staff should give 3 days’ advance notice to their Business Unit Head or Department Head

16. Record of Overtime Work

16.1    The minimum amount of time that can be recorded for the purpose of time off is 30 minutes. Time off is rounded down to the nearest half an hour – This is a matter for discussion with the immediate supervisor.

16.2    Staff are accountable for keeping count of the time off that had accumulated and used. They may be required to justify accruals when time off balances are excessive.

16.3    All utilization of accumulate time off are to be administered and approved through the electronic leave management system.

17. References

Part IV of Employment Act

18. Process Map

Not Applicable

19. Revision History

Revision Date Description of Changes Requested By
0.0 1 July 2016 Initial Release