Working 9 to 9: Overtime emerging as a concern for Canadian organizations



    OTTAWA, Aug. 11 /CNW Telbec/ - Legal challenges to unpaid overtime, and
concerns from both management and employees, are leading many Canadian
organizations to put their overtime practices under scrutiny.
    Two-thirds of respondents to a Conference Board survey said overtime
compensation concerns have been raised by employees (11 per cent), management
(20 per cent), or both (33 per cent) over the past year. Concerns centre on
employee eligibility for overtime pay, compliance with legislation, control of
overtime costs, and potential legal liabilities associated with unpaid
overtime.
    "Organizations should have three goals in managing overtime," said
Michael Bloom, Vice-President, Organizational Effectiveness and Learning.
"First, they should seek ways to make the most efficient use of overtime to
optimize organizational performance. Second, employers need to mitigate any
potential liabilities resulting from claims of unpaid overtime. Third,
organizations can implement policies-for example, around the use of personal
digital assistants (PDAs)-that help ensure employees achieve a suitable
work-life balance."
    Based on the survey responses of 130 mostly mid-to-large-sized
organizations, employers stand in one of three camps regarding their
compliance with overtime regulations:

    
    -   38 per cent of respondents identify the management of overtime and
        associated risks as a critical issue that needs to be addressed and
        is squarely on management's radar. Compared with the other segments,
        these organizations-which are more likely to be private-sector
        organizations in high-tech, communications and business services
        sectors-have the highest percentage of employees working overtime;
        concerns have been raised internally.
    -   24 per cent of respondents-made up more of firms in construction and
        manufacturing, or finance, insurance and real estate, and with some
        unionized employees-say the issue of overtime compensation is just
        moving onto management's agenda.

    -   38 per cent of respondents-more likely to be organizations in the
        government, education, health and not-for-profit sectors-have
        overtime policies and practices that are tightly managed and well
        under control.
    

    The report, Working 9 to 9: Overtime Practices in Canadian Organizations,
also includes tips to help employers guard against overtime lawsuits. For
example, the report highlights how organizations can develop policies around
the use of PDAs, in order to protect themselves against claims of unpaid wages
for employees working remotely.
    The report is available at www.e-library.ca.





For further information:

For further information: Brent Dowdall, Media Relations, Tel.: (613)
526-3090 ext. 448, E-mail: corpcomm@conferenceboard.ca


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