Comp Time: what’s, who qualifies, and the best way to calculate it


Time beyond regulation isn’t for everybody. Whereas some workers leap on the probability to earn extra cash, others wish to hold a strict work-life steadiness. 

However in case you have a busy week, you could wrestle to adequately workers your online business whereas respecting every group member’s preferences.

And utilizing additional time isn’t a sustainable technique. Certain, occasional emergencies and one-off occasions would possibly get absorbed into your labor funds. However for those who depend on additional time each week to cowl shifts, the elevated labor prices will overtake your income.

Comp time is a option to resolve these issues in a single transfer. By providing days off in change for additional time, you possibly can keep away from paying additional time charges, adequately cowl each shift, and encourage your group to work extra hours.

As comp time is a fancy matter, we’re masking all the rules you want to concentrate on earlier than you begin utilizing it. Our article explores:

  • Whether or not comp time is at all times authorized
  • Which workers are eligible
  • Methods to calculate comp time
  • Methods to arrange comp time for your online business

What’s comp time?

Comp time (in any other case often called compensatory time without work) is the follow of providing workers extra paid time without work in change for working past their regular hours. This PTO is as an alternative of normal additional time pay.

That approach you possibly can reward workers for taking extra shifts and guarantee full shift protection whereas decreasing additional time.

Providing comp time may also enhance morale and enhance retention charges. Workers might wrestle to pack holidays and private commitments into PTO or discover they want extra days off after they’ve used all their allotted trip. Comp time provides your group extra management and suppleness over working hours to allow them to handle time without work higher.

In some circumstances, comp time helps you grasp onto workers. For instance, college students can save days off for examination season as an alternative of handing of their discover.

Is comp time authorized?

Comp time is authorized based on US federal regulation however there are numerous guidelines and restrictions. The Honest Labor Requirements Act (FLSA) states that:

  • Workers should conform to the association
  • They’ve to make use of the time without work they accrue inside the identical pay interval
  • Employers should additionally honor comp time as soon as they make the settlement
  • They have to additionally pay unused comp time if it expires
  • Comp time can’t exceed 240 hours per yr (apart from some healthcare and emergency service staff who can take 480)
  • The minimal price is 1.5 hours of comp time per hour of additional time

The legal guidelines on comp time additionally range between states. For instance, Alaska has banned this follow outright and California solely permits it for a number of circumstances. 

Test your state’s Division of Labor (DOL) web site for essentially the most up-to-date rules on comp time in your space.

Who’s eligible for comp time?

The principle guidelines and rules surrounding comp time concern various kinds of staff. So, let’s determine the completely different classes and which guidelines apply to every.

Comp time for exempt vs non-exempt workers

Earlier than we delve in, let’s make clear the distinction between exempt and nonexempt workers. Consider ‘exempt’ as ‘exempt from additional time pay.’ So, exempt workers can’t earn more cash by working additional hours whereas nonexempt workers can.

Notice: Exempt doesn’t at all times imply salaried. If salaried workers have government, administrative, or skilled roles, and earn lower than $684 every week, they rely as exempt.

The foundations are usually as follows:

  • Exempt workers are eligible for comp time if additional time is necessary at their firm.
  • Nonexempt workers might obtain comp time relying on their sector, native labor legal guidelines, and the way they receives a commission.

Comp time for hourly and salaried workers

Salaried staff have fastened schedules and pay in order that they aren’t often eligible for comp time. The concept is that employers shouldn’t make groups work past the hours of their contracts.

However companies with salaried workers can have a casual association the place, for instance, bosses give everybody Friday off for working additional hours on a challenge. 

And, as we’ve famous, nonexempt salaried workers are an exception. 

Then again, hourly workers don’t have fastened schedules and their pay instantly corresponds to the period of time they work. If staff exceed their common hours, the regulation states that employers should pay them additional time. These companies can’t implement comp time until:

  • Native labor legal guidelines enable it
  • There’s an settlement with the employees’ union
  • Workers work in particular public sector roles (which we define under)

Comp time for personal and public sector workers

Some public sector roles are eligible for comp time as a result of they contain working lengthy, irregular hours. This consists of the next industries:

  • Social companies
  • Healthcare 
  • First responders
  • Legislation enforcement
  • Public works
  • Authorities companies

It’s value noting that workers who work for privately owned companies in the identical industries could also be ineligible. If you happen to run a non-public clinic, for instance, you possibly can’t supply your nurses comp time simply because they work in healthcare.

In actual fact, most personal sector workers don’t rely for comp time until the native labor legal guidelines say in any other case.

So, for those who’ve dominated out all the opposite situations the place your workers could also be eligible for comp time, test your state guidelines and rules. Be sure your info is updated and applies to your business. 

There are additionally consulting companies like Homebase’s group of HR professionals which may give you steering on enterprise insurance policies like this.

What if my worker isn’t eligible for comp time?

Maybe you’ve gone by means of the sections above solely to find that your group isn’t eligible for comp time. However there are different methods to handle time without work extra successfully and provides workers extra flexibility over their schedules. Listed here are a number of the hottest concepts:

  • Flexi-time: If your online business doesn’t require workers to work set hours, you possibly can allow them to resolve their very own schedules. That approach they will slot in commitments like childcare and research with out the necessity to take days off.
  • Distant work: One other option to resolve the problem of household care is to let workers do business from home. That’s on the proviso that their private lives don’t intervene with their skilled tasks.
  • Seasonal and momentary work: Some workers want lengthy intervals off. As an illustration, dad and mom can’t at all times work in the course of the summer season holidays and retirees might relocate for the winter. Providing momentary contracts permits these group members to take as many days off as they want.
  • Firm-wide time without work: Throughout sure festivals, your online business might decelerate. It can save you operational prices and spare workers from utilizing their PTO by closing for today.
  • Private days: Employees would possibly discover they’ve taken all their PTO after they abruptly get hit with authorized obligations, transport issues, or house emergencies. Providing private days helps them save time for trip and unexpected circumstances.
  • Self-scheduling: Letting your workers prepare their very own swaps and covers provides them extra management over their hours. Apps like Homebase have scheduling and chat options to assist your groups coordinate and approve shift adjustments.

How do I calculate comp time?

If you happen to found your workers are eligible for comp time, let’s have a look at the best way to calculate their additional PTO.

First, test the native legal guidelines to see in the event that they set a minimal price. The usual rule is that workers get one hour of comp time per additional hour labored. So, if Mal often works 15 hours however agrees to remain two hours afterward Tuesday night, you’d get:

2 hours of additional work = 2 hours of comp time

But when an worker works greater than 40 hours in every week, they’re into additional time and you modify their comp time accordingly. That is usually at a minimal price of 1.5 for every hour of additional time. Let’s say Lena works a 40-hour week however stays 4 hours late on Sunday, now you’d get:

4 hours of additional work x 1.5 additional time price = 6 hours of comp time

However what occurs if workers don’t usually work 40 hours however their additional hours take them into additional time? Now, you would need to apply completely different charges. Think about Ace does 30 hours every week however picks up 15 hours of additional shifts one week for comp time. You calculate:

10 hours of additional work = 10 hours of comp time

5 hours of additional work on the additional time price x 1.5 = 7.5

10 + 7.5 = 17.5 hours of comp time

On taking a look at these calculations, you could resolve you want labor greater than you might want to cut back additional time pay. For instance, possibly you possibly can’t afford to lose Ace for 17.5 hours later within the month.

If group members don’t use their comp time earlier than it expires, you merely reverse these calculations and add these hours to your payroll as you’d ordinarily.

How do I arrange comp time for my workers?

When you’ve checked your worker’s eligibility for comp time, and seen whether or not the charges above swimsuit your online business, you’re good to go.

Now to arrange comp time insurance policies for your online business and introduce them to your workers. We’ve listed the important steps under.

  • Evaluate labor legal guidelines and rules: Which means going past eligibility. As an illustration: What’s the minimal additional time price? Do you might want to get hold of written consent?
  • Resolve who’s eligible: If in case you have various kinds of staff, you could wish to hold issues easy and solely supply comp time to full-timers. Scheduling might develop into overly sophisticated and time-consuming if part-time workers hold shifting round their shifts.
  • Decide an accrual price. As we’ve mentioned, you need to adjust to the state minimal. However possibly you wish to supply a extra beneficiant price to encourage workers to take additional shifts. Say, there’s a one-off occasion your group all hates working, you can supply two hours of comp time per hour labored to reward them.
  • Set accumulation limits: You could wrestle to workers your online business if all of your workers take comp time throughout busy intervals. In that case, limit how a lot they will take and use in a month to fit your labor calls for.
  • Develop a coverage: With all of the above found out, write a coverage. Homebase’s HR professionals will help you draft one which fits your particular wants and preferences whereas staying compliant.
  • Clarify the coverage: Be sure workers are conscious of and perceive the coverage. You possibly can announce the adjustments through your group chat, maintain a gathering to debate the principles, and add the coverage to your handbook.
  • Practice managers: As managers might oversee comp time shifts, allow them to know what to anticipate. If you happen to’ve beforehand informed them to ship workers house after they method additional time, they could discover the adjustments complicated.
  • Observe comp time: You possibly can lose observe of hours for those who don’t document them correctly. Have groups observe comp time on their time clock to make sure errors don’t result in them getting below or overpaid.
  • Evaluate: Groups change and so do their priorities. They could discover comp time doesn’t swimsuit them anymore and cease utilizing it after some time. Hold checking how a lot workers use it and contemplate tweaking your coverage in the event that they’ve misplaced curiosity.

Compensatory time without work: Key takeaways

While you come throughout a coverage like comp time that advantages you and your group, little question you wish to reap the benefits of it. 

As a result of let’s face it, you don’t wish to assign workers lengthy hours or undesirable shifts any greater than workers wish to take them. And comp time is a option to incentivize workers to take these hours with out going over your labor funds.

However navigating the labor legal guidelines surrounding comp time could be a problem. That’s particularly when you have already got a enterprise to run and might’t spend hours researching guidelines and rules.

There’s no have to sort out new enterprise insurance policies alone, although. Homebase has compliance options that:

  • Replace you on altering labor legal guidelines associated to comp time
  • Advise you on whether or not your group is eligible for this follow
  • Show you how to draft a comp time coverage and add it to your handbook

That approach you possibly can simply introduce comp time to your online business with out worrying about incurring heavy fines or disrupting your online business move.

Bear in mind, this isn’t official authorized recommendation. If in case you have any issues, it’s finest to seek the advice of an employment lawyer. 



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