Guaranteed Overtime clause

We currently have a clause in our Engineers contracts which states that they are required to work 140 hours overtime throughout the year to assist with busy periods within our factor. We therefore, include this overtime in their holiday pay as it is deemed to be guaranteed overtime.

We are a co-manufacturing company who supply products to a large food and drinks manufacturer and as such are required to comply with their ethical standards and are audited against the Sedex SMETA guidelines. One of the findings of the audit highlighted that the overtime clause reads as if it is "forced labour" and as such we have been asked to amend this.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how we could re-word this clause so that it  still qualifies as guaranteed overtime but dows not imply forced labour?


  • Hi Emma

    My only thought is whether you looked at making the contracts annualised hours? www.gov.uk/.../types-of-flexible-working you could have core hours they must be present for?

    What are the hours per week at the moment in the contract?
  • Forced labour?? If that's forced labour then surely stating you are to work 40 hrs per week or similar is also 'forced labour'?
  • In reply to David Perry:

    Agree with David........and they say auditors do not have a sense of humour.

    Had a quick look and found this www.sedexglobal.com/.../ forced labour is used in reference to modern day slavery so unless Emma is participating in a criminal enterprise I would ask the auditors to clarify their statements. Even auditors make mistakes
  • In reply to Steven :

    Think David and Steven have the right approach. Thus does not breach the guidelines and your particular auditor is well off the mark.

    At best I would be softening the wording here a little ( but no real need) but probably a better course is a robust discussion with an auditor who clearly has no real concept of what forced labour is.
  • Hi Emma

    I would be interested to know whether you managed to persuade the auditor that it was not forced labour or whether you changed your wording. We also were picked up on our contracts for stating overtime could be requested and the employees were expected to assist where possible. We had to change it to include the statement that overtime was not compulsory as it is also part of the code that employees can refuse to work overtime.