Keep your employees ticking when the clocks go back

Within the UK there is always a sense of confusion in both March and October when the clocks change. In March the clocks go forward an hour and in October the clocks go back an hour from British Summer Time to Greenwich Mean Time.

On Sunday 30th October 2016 at 2am the clocks will go back an hour, resulting in many of your employees joining snoozers across more than 60 other nations relishing in having an hour of ‘free time’ or just an extra hour in bed.

It could be argued that night shift workers get rather a raw deal, when many of us our jubilant at enjoying that extra hour, a night shift worker is likely to watch the clock strike 2 twice!

In most cases an employer will decide on the working hours during the time change equally those working shifts during the times when the clocks change should clarify the wording of their contracts to ensure that they are paid accordingly to their hours. Salary pay versus hourly pay when the clocks change can be an HR nightmare if not checked.

Differences occur when, for example, an employee’s contract states 10pm – 6am or just an ‘eight hour shift’, or if the contract states ‘paid hourly’ or ‘salaried pay’. A salaried employee is more likely to work the extra hour without getting paid. This would mean that the employee would need to look at their contract regarding overtime payment.

Employees need to also be aware that they do not pay their employees below the nation minimum wage due to the employee working an extra hour, during the clocks changing. Equally, it is important to understand the regulations surrounding the maximum night time working hours and to ensure that the employee receives the correct rest periods during their night shift when the clocks change.

At management level preparation is vital to organising and engaging your employees whilst at work. In the case of the clocks changing, if an employer is expecting their employees to work an extra hour in October then they should also be expecting their employees to go home an hour early in March.

Ensuring that when the ‘clocks changing issue’ arises that it is managed to a high standard and communicated through the entire business to enable both employees and employers to reach an agreement which will suit everyone involved. This will allow employees to stay motivated, productive and safe, whilst the business can continue to operate to the correct regulatory standards during the change in time.

But what about your employee’s health at the times of the clock changing?

What is particularly striking about these very subtle time shifts is the noticeable toll on the human body and our health, tiny changes to our sleep patterns can have a surprising effect on our general wellbeing and alertness. Areas of research have included increased road traffic accidents, accidents in the workplace most specifically with professions that are more physically taxing and an increase risk of heart attacks in the 5 days following the springtime clock change.

As a specialised independent insurance broker BDHL aim to provide a total health insurance service. We work with all the leading health and risk insurance companies providing cover in the following areas: Private Medical Insurance, Group Income Protection, Group Life, Group Critical Illness, Corporate Health and Wellbeing, Cash Plans, Employee Assisted Programmes’ Dental and Travel.

If you are interested in how BDHL can work with your company to provide a complete health and wellbeing package to ensure your employees are motivated and valued then speak to a member of the BDHL team today on +44(0)1892 891900 or email