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Overtime and Payment of Wages


Many employees believe that if they have outstanding expenses that haven’t been paid that they can bring a claim to the Workplace Relations Commission under the Payment of Wages Act 1991 (as amended). This is incorrect.

The Payment of Wages Act 1991 specifcally states that expenses are not included in the definition of “wages” for the purposes of the Act.

In this case the employee lost her claim in relation to expenses she felt were due to her.

The employee also claimed that overtime payments were due to her. Her contract of employment specifically provided that she was expected to work such hours as were necessary for her job. Her employer had a policy of time in lieu and argued that the employee did not arrange for her hours to be signed off in advance and therefore would not be entitled to overtime.

The Workplace Relations Commission noted that the employer in this case did not have a record of the hours worked by the employee and awarded the employee payment for overtime as well as compensation for breach of the Act.

Employers should take note that failure to keep records of an employee’s working time will result in you not being able to defend a claim for holidays or working hours. It is also a legal requirement to keep records.

A copy of a link to the case can be found here