Daylight Saving Time begins at 2.00 am on Sunday 31 March, meaning that the clocks will go forward an hour. Although those of us who do not work at the weekend will not likely notice we get an hour’s less sleep. It is important to consider how this will affect working hours, and pay, for those working in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Unlike when the clocks go back in October, employers do not need to worry about the risk of paying under the national minimum wage or breaking working time rules. However, employers should bear in mind that employees will technically be working an hour less in their shift as a result of a clock change.

Whether the employer will need to pay their employees for a full shift will depend on upon the contract of employment. Generally, a contract will set out that a worker is entitled to hourly pay for every hour that they work or a regular weekly or monthly salary regardless of whether they work one hour less. A salaried employee is more likely to be required to work extra hours without additional pay( and to be entitled to pay even if they work fewer hours) than someone who is paid by the hour.

Subject to any contractual entitlements, employers can choose how they treat this “lost” hour, but should act consistently and fairly.

If an employee is scheduled to work on Sunday morning, they should be reminded that the clocks are going forward an hour and encouraged to prepare for this. Employee lateness can be costly for a company and employers can consider disciplining any late worker if they believe it is necessary.

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