Extra money through overtime

Published On: 11.May.2022Categories: Working worldTags: 2 min read
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Christina Schröder writes about legal topics for the Love & Law Blog at Recht 24/7.

The topic of “overtime” regularly occupies German labor courts. And currently also the Augsburg City Council. More than 4,500 hours of overtime, around 220,000 euros and clarity about the current legal situation are at stake.

Gerd Merkle is not having an easy time at the moment. The 63-year-old CSU building officer is being heavily criticized – because of a claim against the city of Augsburg. He is claiming payment of around 4,500 hours of overtime. These result from his many years of work as coordinator for construction-related tasks for the City of Augsburg.

The sum: approx. 220,000 euros. “Aloof”, “without tact” and “completely uninhibited”, say critics. “Legitimate” and “logical” is the response from advocates. Who is right?

Overtime must be paid

The good news for employees: overtime must be paid – provided this is regulated in the employment or collective agreement. However, in the absence of a corresponding provision, employees are not necessarily left empty-handed. According to Section 612 of the German Civil Code (BGB), overtime must be compensated if compensation is customary in the company or industry.

The prerequisite in both cases is that the overtime was ordered by the employer or at least tacitly accepted. This means that anyone who goes into the office beyond the end of the working day without the knowledge of their superior will not normally be paid for the overtime.

Working time account documents work performance

Merkle kept a working time account to document the hours he worked. This procedure is recommended for employees. The reason is easy to find, as it allows overtime to be documented – and remunerated accordingly. However, in practice, working time accounts are often linked to a so-called cut-off period.

Employees must assert their claim to overtime pay within this period. Otherwise, the overtime and therefore the remuneration will expire.

Different amounts of overtime pay

The amount of overtime pay depends on the employment contract or collective agreement. If you are paid by the hour, you will also receive your usual hourly wage for every hour of overtime worked. If you receive a fixed salary, your hourly wage is calculated using the following formula: 3 x monthly wage (gross) ÷ 13 ÷ weekly working hours = hourly wage (gross).

Good to know: In some sectors, an overtime supplement is paid. The amount of the supplement is usually determined in the collective agreement and is around 25 percent.

Your employer refuses to pay overtime? Recht 24/7 can help you. We will check your claims, advise you on how to proceed and represent you in court if you wish.

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