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OT Offsetting with Tardy

Updated: Jan 16

An irate employee stormed into the HR office and demanded that he be paid the correct Overtime (OT). According to him, he rendered two (2) hours of authorized OT for a specific day but his payslip shows that he was paid only for one (1) hour.

Upon investigation, the payroll clerk explained that the reason is that he was tardy for one (1) hour on that day. Therefore the one-hour tardy was offset (deducted) from his OT. In other words, if no tardy was incurred on that day, then the OT would have been two (2) hours.

Was the payroll clerk correct?

We usually think of OT (Overtime) as work rendered outside regular work schedules. For example, working from 5 PM to 7 PM when regular hours is at 8 AM - 5 PM is customarily considered a 2-hour OT. In this scenario, any tardiness or undertime incurred during the regular work schedule has no bearing on credited OT.

However, there is a counterargument that offers an alternative procedure when calculating OT. This stems from the definition of OT from DOLE.

Chapter 4 of the DOLE's Handbook of Statutory Benefits defines Overtime as "...additional compensation for work performed beyond eight (8) hours a day."

Many interpret the above definition that eight (8) regular hours must be first rendered before any OT is credited.

A strong argument supporting this OT Offsetting logic is that the DOLE should have defined Overtime as work rendered outside regular work schedules. If defined in this manner, then it would be absolutely clear with no room for misinterpretation. But currently the wording used as "...worked performed BEYOND eight (8) hours a day" which leaves room for debate.

When clarification was sought from multiple DOLE sources, the answers do not align.

What do you think? Are you in agreement with the OT Offsetting logic? Please leave your comments below and contribute your thoughts on this controversial topic.


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