TOIL Policy: What is it and how do I manage it?

TOIL Policy: What is it and how do I manage it?

30 September 2022

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A business may sometimes need its employees to work extra hours. That might be staying late to finish a project or when you need to bring in staff for a few hours to cover a particularly busy period. It may also be when someone calls in sick at the last minute. That’s when a TOIL policy will come into play.

What is TOIL?

TOIL stands for Time Off In Lieu. A TOIL policy is where an agreement in is place between you and your employee where they take time off in lieu of extra hours that have been worked rather than any additional pay.

How should TOIL be managed?

TOIL should be managed clearly and consistently across a business. You might choose to have wording in your contract for how TOIL operates or have a policy for it. Whatever you decide to do there are a number of key points to be mindful of:

  • How is TOIL requested?
  • Who approves TOIL requests?
  • How is TOIL recorded?
  • Is there a maximum amount of TOIL that can be accrued within a set period?
  • Can employees carry TOIL over from year to year?
  • When should accrued TOIL be used by?
  • What is the process for requesting and approving for when accrued TOIL is being taken back?

Problems with TOIL

If TOIL is not managed carefully, then it can cause problems. Without a proper approval mechanism some employees may come in early and finish late. They may work through lunch and class that as TOIL even though there is no business need. If your TOIL process is not followed consistently across the business then staff may feel aggrieved. It is also important to be clear if TOIL is the only option for additional hours or if there will be instances in which overtime payments are offered instead. Without close supervision, TOIL can also be used to mask issues of efficiency and productivity. Some employees may try and exploit TOIL and slow down productivity to then accrue TOIL in making up for lost time. If TOIL becomes the norm this needs to be reviewed as it could be that you need to change your staffing model, rotas or even recruit to give you more capacity.

Can HRX help me with TOIL?

Streamlining the administration of TOIL is an effective way of managing it. In the employee documents section of HRX you can upload a TOIL spreadsheet which can then be used to log TOIL and manage it without the need for paper based manual processes.

To find out what else HRX can offer your business why not try before you buy, and sign up for your free 30 day trial.


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