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Daylight Savings Time: How It Affects Employees’ Pay


Daylight Savings Time is the practice of changing the time by one hour twice a year in order to have the sun set later and have more daylight hours in the summer months. Daylight Savings Time begins this Sunday, March 8th at 3:00 am, meaning that the clocks will go forward one hour.

The hour that is lost can cause of confusion for employees and employers. It raises the question of whether employees must be paid for the hour that they have been scheduled for but haven’t actually worked. While many workers will be asleep at this time, there will be many who are working overnight or in the early morning on Sunday that will be affected by this change. Here’s what employers need to know about paying employees working during the time change.

Pay for Workers Earning Hourly Wages

For hourly workers, a well drafted contract should state that only hours worked will be considered for pay and overtime and that work hours are subject to change according to service needs. With this type of contract, the employer is protected from paying employees for the extra hour when Daylight Savings Time begins.

Pay for Workers on a Salary

On the other hand, salaried workers would be paid their regular wages. Since their salary is a set annual amount, it doesn’t fluctuate based on their work hours. Salary workers are more likely to stay longer at work and leave early without it affecting their pay. Even though they would work one hour less, their pay wouldn’t change. Likewise, when Daylight Savings Time ends in the fall, they wouldn’t be paid for the extra hour they would work then either.

Daylight Savings Time Advice for Employers

If employers want employees to make up for the extra hour and work longer, this should apply to all workers. Regardless of what the company policy is, it should be consistent. Workers should also be reminded of the upcoming time change, as those who are unaware might show up late to work on Sunday.

Do you need advice on scheduling shifts and paying employees during Daylight Savings Time?

Our HR experts can help. Speak with one of our knowledgeable advisors today to find out your employer obligations and to ensure your business is operating in compliance with your provincial Employment Standards legislation. Call us today: 1 (833) 247-3652.

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