Advocacy Corner: time off in lieu part 2

July 13, 2017

Hello, I'm Anne Mason, APSA's Executive Director and an advocate on our Advocacy Committee. On behalf of the Committee, I'm answering your questions related to time off in lieu.

1. Different departments seem to regard time off in lieu differently. How do we interpret this policy when I’ve heard of departments where APSA members are expected to work at least five hours of overtime each week?

We have heard that some departments consider 20 hours a month of overtime work "reasonable". Others require members to work a set amount of overtime before they can have time off in lieu. There are even others where staff are working 11 or 12 hours a day and are asked to make up the time for an appointment over and above the additional hours that have already been worked.

In all the above instances, the interpretation of the policy is incorrect. We want to be as clear as possible on this.

As mentioned in the first Advocacy Corner: time off in lieu article, AD10.13 Work Schedules outlines overtime. Section 3.03 states

A member of [APSA] at the University is primarily self-directing and self-disciplinary concerning the functions of his/her position. He/she will exercise discretion about the time and location of work performed in support of the established job objectives. From time to time the Employee may find that for a variety of reasons it is necessary to work considerably more than a standard work week to carry out his/her responsibilities satisfactory.

While there is no monetary compensation for these extra hours, the Employee is entitled to a reasonable compensating time away from the workplace at a time mutually acceptable to the Employee and the supervisor. The Employee's right in this respect should be accommodated.

Please note the phrase, “from time to time”, which means overtime should not be a consistently set amount of time, but rather on occasion, when needed.

Section 3.3 also uses the word “reasonable”. It is not reasonable to ask members to work 20 hours of overtime each month.

Departments who practice this type of overtime are in violation of the policy. We strongly advise managers who oversee this practice to modify it to ensure it is in compliance with the policy.

Additionally, members who are subjected to this practice may have grounds to file a grievance. Please contact myself or an APSA advocate so we can investigate and file a grievance on your behalf.

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Previous Advocacy Corners:


Coworker concerns

Position Eliminations

Probation and breaks

Off the books vacation


Time off in lieu

Severance and leaves without pay

Variable Scheduled Work Week