A Guide to Time Off In Lieu (TOIL)

Craig Hynd |


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What is TOIL?

Time Off In Lieu – often abbreviated to TOIL – is time off for an employee, used instead of overtime pay, for hours worked beyond an employee’s contracted hours. Another way to think of it is ‘time off instead of paying for overtime’.

For example, if an employee works an extra three hours one day – with their line manager’s consent – they can then store those three hours to take off at a later date.

You’ll likely use TOIL when your organisation requires employees to work extra hours or days beyond their contracted hours. This can happen frequently or infrequently, depending on the nature of your business.

TOIL is also particularly useful to employers that encourage and facilitate flexible working practices.

Whilst TOIL might seem simple enough on the surface, there are various complexities that need to be taken into consideration, particularly when it comes to the accumulation of accrued hours and how to record it.

This Guide to Time Off In Lieu will cover how TOIL works in practice and how you can record, track, and manage TOIL in an efficient and compliant way.

How does TOIL work in practice?

An important point to take into consideration from the outset is that TOIL is subject to the Working Time Regulations. This means that no employee can work more than 48 hours each week, unless they sign a written opt-out agreement. This also includes overtime.

The provision of TOIL has to be agreed between the employer and the employee. The offer must come from you in writing, and you can’t force it upon the employee.

After an agreement has been reached, the employee and you should sign a copy of the agreement. If your company uses HR software, this can be uploaded to the employee’s record. Youmanage offers this functionality.

You don’t have to create and sign an agreement for each time an employee wants to accrue TOIL – it’s only needed as an initial agreement which covers any future TOIL accruement.

Once the agreement is in place and has been uploaded to the employee’s record, the employee can then store the time they would like to take off at a later date.

HR software can really help with tracking TOIL; giving you an overview of the current TOIL situation in your organisation, as well as empowering employees to request TOIL themselves via self-service.

For example, Youmanage gives you the ability to create individual TOIL records.

In addition, Youmanage is intelligent enough to only let you book time if the employee has accrued enough hours to do so.

Employees can also request TOIL themselves. This can be done via a self-service request, or through timesheets. Youmanage has the ability to automatically create a TOIL record for any hours that have been submitted and authorised over the employee's working pattern hours.

For HR users, you can also access a TOIL Summary page that allows you to quickly see which employees have accrued and/or used time, as well as seeing their remaining balance.

In summary...

TOIL is a great way to give your employees flexibility, as well as to give them an alternative to overtime pay when they work more than their contracted hours.

TOIL can be very difficult to record and manage if you don’t have suitable tools at your disposal. If you’re using spreadsheets and manual timesheets, perhaps it’s time for an upgrade.

If you’d like to discuss how you can effectively record and manage TOIL in an efficient and compliant way, then get in touch with us.

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