There are many businesses that allow employees to build up and take TOIL which both benefits the employee and the business. There are however some businesses that do not allow TOIL and for very valid reasons.

Now some of you may be thinking, “Whoa, slow down, what is this TOIL you are going on about?”. Well if you are thinking that, you have come to the right place.

This article explains what TOIL is and how it works, how employees can take it, the pros and cons, and if you are thinking about introducing it, what should go in your TOIL policy.

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What is TOIL?

TOIL is an abbreviation that means ‘time off in lieu’. It is a term used when an employee works extra hours on top of those they are contracted to. TOIL then allows them to take these extra hours off at a later date.

How does it work

TOIL is very simple, for every minute extra you work on top of those you are contracted to, you can accumulate these extra hours and take it off. An example of this would be if you are contracted to do 8 hours a day, but you work 9 hours each day that week. This would mean you have accrued 5 hours of TOIL which could then be taken off in one go or spread over a few days depending on the businesses TOIL policy.

How employees can use their TOIL

If an employee has accrued enough TOIL that amounts to a whole day, this would allow them to take a whole day off. This extra day works just like a normal holiday, meaning they can tag it onto the end of a weekend to have a long weekend, not use it and get paid instead, or maybe just use it as a duvet day.

Pros and cons of TOIL

There are positives and negatives to offering employees TOIL, with some businesses seeing the positives outweigh the negatives, with others seeing it as a huge negative.

Pros

  1. Dealing with busy periods – By offering paid overtime you can manage increased busy periods and finish off important projects easier.
  2. Reduce financial stress – It can come as a huge relief for those employees who are having financial issues if the business offers TOIL. Employees can work extra hours and get paid for them instead of taking them as holiday. Meaning employees wouldn’t have to look for an extra part-time job to help them financially, which could affect their current work.
  3. An additional benefit – A lot of employees will see this as a nice benefit making the business more attractive, making them less likely to look for a job elsewhere.

Cons

  1. Taking advantage – Employees may try and drag out projects and stay late after work just so they can accrue TOIL and have an extra day off.
  2. Cost to business – If an employee decided not to take the extra time they accrued off, then the business would be required to pay them for this.
  3. Long working hours – Some employees may look to work longer hours each day, so they only have to work 4-day weeks. This may cause increased tiredness and result in sloppy work.

What should go in a TOIL policy

A TOIL policy can be difficult to create and one you will need to take your time over creating. You don’t want to create a policy that annoys employees by setting different rules for different groups of people, but you also need to create one that doesn’t allow employees to abuse overtime. Here are a few key things you should include:

Written consent – We would highly recommend that in your policy you include the fact that employees who want to work overtime, must get this in writing and not just verbally. This way there are no issues when a dispute arises between a manager and employee about approved overtime.

Set a date for when TOIL needs to be used – Another key area you should include in your policy is when TOIL needs to be taken. It is probably best to just use your holiday year and whenever that ends, is when employee need to use their TOIL by.

Minimum TOIL taken at one time – Setting a minimum amount of TOIL that can be taken at once will not only help you keep track of all the TOIL being taken, but will stop employees just coming in 30 minutes late every day and annoying other employees who just think they are constantly late and never being disciplined.

 

TOIL can be hard to manage, but lucky enough our amazing absence management system can track TOIL. If you would like to know how you can manage TOIL using our online platform, call us on +44 (0)333 300 3403 or book a demo and one of our software consultants can take you through the system.

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