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Overtime: how much is too much?

Photo: SaHo_H / iStock

To work overtime is clear: But where are the limits?

For workers, overtime seems to be part of it. A survey of the University of Leipzig showed: 85 percent of consumers work about six hours a week longer.

Sure, that sometimes you work more, if the situation in the company requires it. But when overtime becomes a habit, some ask themselves: what do I have to do and what do I get for it?

As a rule, except for exceptions, the boss may only order overtime if this is stipulated in the employment contract or regulated by a company agreement.

And here too, upper limits apply: Working hours may not exceed 10 hours a day and 60 hours a week.

The more work you have to do is paid for just like a normal working hour. You only need to accept time off payments instead of money if there are express regulations for this.

Even if the employer has not asked for extra work, you are entitled to a payment. Prerequisite: Your boss knows that you are working overtime and takes it.

If you have to work overtime in your company that runs counter to legal or contractual requirements, you do not need to do it. Therefore, your boss may not warn you or even give you notice.

Before refusing, however, you should first seek advice from the works council or a lawyer.

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