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Clocks go back at 2am on Sunday 27th October

Daylight Saving Time ends and clocks go back by one hour at 2am on Sunday 27th October 2019. Whilst this means that most of us will be lucky enough to gain an extra hour in bed, what does it mean for those working a night shift? Will they have to work an extra hour or finish an hour earlier?

Largely the answers to this will be dependent on your approach as an employer, and the wording of the employment contract. The contract may state that a shift starts at 10pm and ends at 6am or it could specify only the need to work an 8-hour shift.

If the contract of employment states the start and finish times, you will not necessarily have to pay employees for working an additional hour; any entitlement to payment will be as set out in the company rules on overtime. However, you must take care to ensure that you are paying at least the minimum wage.

You may choose to pay employees for the additional hour worked or allow them to go home once their normal hours have been worked, regardless of the contractual obligations. If you do this, it is important to be consistent. For some workers, the position will even out when they gain an hour when the clocks go forward again. But this won’t always be the case – a worker who works an extra hour in October might not be working the night shift when the clocks go forward again in March.

Nevertheless, in the interests of fairness, employers that require employees to work by the clock in October should do the same in March, when they will be able to go home after working an hour less.