(*see reference at end)
For being a developed country the UK lacks any substantial overtime laws.
Just think if you were in a developing country you could be protected by Fair Labor Laws or the EEIC or other groups which require premium pay for overtime and a 60hr cap.
(See references at end, including the Overtime Around The World. UK is the worst on the list )
'All adult workers are entitled to one day off a week. Days off can be averaged over a two-week period, meaning you are entitled to two days off a fortnight.'
Many working in visual effects beyond the hours are not paid any more money. Those working on the weekends may receive what's known as in lieu pay for those days. (Or Time Off In Lieu (TOIL)) That simply means that they make it a regular day off or paid their regular pay. In many cases the visual effects companies actually reduce the contract end date for those workers and get them off their payroll sooner.
From the visual effects survey referenced earlier:
Any company not paying an overtime premium rate, especially if there is not even regular per hours costs associated with overtime, will by default be working those people overtime. Whether it's a junior manager or the head executive who will have the bright idea that they can simply increase productivity by 50% by working people 50% more. And it's all free. Pure profit. It's just wasted labor if they don't use it. It's like someone going to a buffet and piling their plate full of food they not only couldn't eat but wouldn't eat if it weren't the fact it was 'free'. And that manager will likely get a promotion.
No pay or regular pay for overtime is simply an incentive for a company to use as much overtime as possible and provides no incentive to hire the correct number of people or reduce the amount of overtime. Money is the only language most companies understand.
In some cases a company may have a person or two filling a critical role that only they can do there. That puts the company in the position of having to work these types of people long hours and this type of lynch pin worker means the company is on very shaky ground if they were to become incapacitated or leave for any reason. The company would be better off getting correct coverage with enough people to fill that role.
10. Communication and monitoring
It's important as a worker to know when overtime is truly required and requested.
Always get overtime approval before simply putting in overtime.
Make sure you understand the schedule before you determine something has to be done immediately.
And it's important for management to convey when it is required and to monitor overtime hours.
I was told on one project a few crew members were working overtime. Some where simply getting approval from the vfx producer to make more money. Some were trying to work overtime to finish shots that did not need to be done that night. If the director won't be reviewing the shot until later in the week or there are other things going on, the overtime may be a complete waste of the workers time (and the companies money) I asked to be put in charge of overtime approval and the problem disappeared.
12. Saying No
Workers who don't want to workovertime should simply say no. At the very least put a cap on the number of hours you're willing to work. Don't feel obligated especially if you're not being paid to work overtime. All the more if the company wasn't forthright about the amount of overtime when you were hired.
13. Home is not the answer
Some people think if they could just work from home all of these problems would disappear. They could get out of bed at 10am, knock out a few green screen shots and finish with a martini by 4pm.
As many who have worked from home have found it doesn't play out that way.
The elements that were supposed to have been upload last night weren't.
They finally get uploaded at 11am.
And of course there are problems with the elements. Much, much more work is required than expected.
And because of the promise of delivering the shots right away the worker continues to work away on them.
And the need for perfection and possibly the work ethic drives the number of hours further.
At 8pm comes a call or an email that there is a change or an issue.
More hours are put in.
With the lack of separation that a separate workplace creates along with co-workers leaving, the home working may find their hours spilling even longer. They look up to find it's now past midnight.
In some cases they've been asked to bid on the work. Now the broken fixed bid model is off loaded from the company onto the worker who is now taking on the risk.
And the time required to email, make calls to clarify, look for more work, write up invoices and all the other freelance independent contractor work that needs to be done is non-billable. Not to mention the expenses of the workstation, software, additional tax prep, etc.
And they will be unlikely to bill for overtime and are not covered by any labor laws.
And while some may find this all works well for them it's not an industry wide solution.
Global worker overtime rules
FLA - Fair Labor Association
FLA Code of Conduct
FLA Complete code and benchmarks
Frame of reference:
FLA is in use by HP and Apple in China and other locations.
Here's their HOURS OF WORK section:
"Employers shall not require workers to work more than the regular and overtime hours allowed by the law of the country where the workers are employed. The regular work week shall not exceed 48 hours. Employers shall allow workers at least 24 consecutive hours of rest in every seven-day period. All overtime work shall be consensual. Employers shall not request overtime on a regular basis and shall compensate all overtime work at a premium rate. Other than in exceptional circumstances, the sum of regular and overtime hours in a week shall not exceed 60 hours."
"Calculation Basis for Overtime Payments
- Employers shall compensate workers for all hours worked.
- C.7.1 The factory shall comply with all applicable laws, regulations and procedures governing the payment of premium rates for work on holidays, rest days, and
- C.7.2 Employees shall be compensated for overtime hours at such premium rate as is
legally required in the producing country.
premium, employees shall be compensated for overtime hours at the prevailing industry premium rate or at the internationally recognized overtime rate, whichever is higher.
C.7.3 Employers shall not set production targets, piecework, or any other incentive or production system at such a level that the payment for overtime work performed is less than the premium pay required by law or the FLA Workplace Code.
- C.8 Overtime Wage Awareness
Workers shall be informed, orally and in writing, in language(s) spoken by workers about overtime wage rates prior to undertaking overtime."
The imposition of overtime where workers are unable to leave the work premises constitutes forced labor. "
[ Think of it- 60 hrs maximum in most of the world as defined by some of the largest companies.]
EICC - Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition
EICC Code of Conduct
- Studies of business practices clearly link worker strain to reduced productivity, increased turnover and increased injury and illness. Workweeks are not to exceed the maximum set by local law. Further, a workweek should not be more than 60 hours per week, including overtime, except in emergency or unusual situations. Workers shall be allowed at least one day off per seven-day week.
- 4) Wages and Benefits
Compensation paid to workers shall comply with all applicable wage laws, including those relating to minimum wages, overtime hours and legally mandated benefits. In compliance with local laws, workers shall be compensated for overtime at pay rates greater than regular hourly rates. Deductions from wages as a disciplinary measure shall not be permitted. The basis on which workers are being paid is to be provided in a timely manner via pay stub or similar documentation. "
Double-time is to be paid to any employee working more than 9 hours in a day or 48 hours in a week.
Employees earn time-and-a-half for any hours worked beyond 8 in a day or 44 in a week. If an employee has to work overtime on a day off, they earn double their regular wage. If the day off is a public holiday, they earn triple their regular wage, in addition to their holiday pay."
VFX Guilds around the world
UK VFX Overtime issues
Mill Exec: If You Don’t Like Long Hours Then Get Out
Visual effects workers in film industry 'overworked'
W. Scott Meador's Blog - Who needs sleep
Motionographer 40hr week
THE TROUBLE WITH OVERTIME
Classification and Overtime pay Issues
VFX Artists are not High Tech Employees
Hourly rate video
Kronos report on Overtime violations
"Paul DeCamp, national chair, wage and hour practice, Jackson Lewis LLP, and former Administrator of the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division
"Seeing that significant numbers of employees around the world believe their employers have violated overtime laws should serve as a wake-up call to employers everywhere. If your employees perceive that you are out of compliance, you are at risk for a wage-and-hour lawsuit which can be incredibly costly even if you are ultimately found to be in compliance. Investment in wage and hour compliance should be seen as part of risk management for any smart business."
Unpaid Overtime: Wage And Hour Lawsuits Have Skyrocketed In The Last Decade
More Workers Filing Lawsuits To Claim Unpaid Overtime
White Collar Wage Theft Is Trending: Companies Using Jail And Illegal Arrangements To Prevent Employees From Leaving
Scotiabank Unpaid Overtime Class-Action Lawsuit Reaches Settlement
An Epidemic of Wage Theft Is Costing Workers Hundreds of Millions of Dollars a Year
Wage theft: How employers steal millions from American workers every week
Lawsuit: Silicon Valley Under Scrutiny for $9 Billion in Wage Theft Conspiracy
Apple, Google give high tech workers an extra $90 million in “no-poach” suit
The Techtopus: How Silicon Valley’s most celebrated CEOs conspired to drive down 100,000 tech engineers’ wages
Pixar’s Ed Catmull Emerges As Central Figure In The Wage-Fixing Scandal
DreamWorks Linked To ILM/Pixar Collusion Cartel