Time in lieu, also known as "time off in lieu" (TOIL), is a flexible work arrangement where employees receive time off instead of overtime pay for extra hours worked. This arrangement benefits both employees and employers by providing flexibility and helping manage workloads efficiently.

What is Time in Lieu?

Time in lieu is an alternative to overtime pay. Instead of being paid extra for overtime hours, employees can take equivalent time off at a later date. This arrangement is particularly beneficial in industries with fluctuating workloads, allowing employees to balance their work and personal life more effectively.

Benefits of Time in Lieu

  1. Flexibility: Employees can take time off when needed.
  2. Work-Life Balance: Helps employees manage personal commitments.
  3. Cost-Effective: Reduces the financial burden of overtime pay for employers.

How Does Time in Lieu Work?

  1. Accruing Time: Employees work beyond their standard hours.
  2. Recording Hours: Extra hours are logged and tracked.
  3. Taking Time Off: Employees request time off equivalent to the extra hours worked, subject to employer approval.

Implementing a Time in Lieu Policy

  1. Clear Guidelines: Define how and when time in lieu can be accrued and taken.
  2. Approval Process: Establish a straightforward process for requesting and approving time off.
  3. Tracking System: Use reliable methods to record and track extra hours worked and time off taken.

Example Policy

  1. Eligibility: All full-time employees.
  2. Accrual Rate: One hour of time in lieu for each hour of overtime worked.
  3. Usage: Time in lieu must be used within three months of being accrued.

FAQs about Time in Lieu

What is the difference between time in lieu and overtime pay?

Time in lieu provides time off instead of extra pay for overtime hours worked. Overtime pay compensates employees with additional wages for the extra hours.

How is time in lieu recorded?

Employers should use a reliable system to log extra hours worked and track accrued time in lieu. This can be done manually or through performance management software.

Can all employees opt for time in lieu?

Eligibility for time in lieu depends on the company policy. Typically, it is available to full-time employees but may be extended to part-time or temporary staff.

How long can I keep accrued time in lieu?

Policies vary, but generally, time in lieu should be used within a set period, such as three to six months, to ensure it is taken as intended.

Can my employer deny my request to take time in lieu?

Yes, employers can deny requests if taking time off would disrupt business operations. However, they should provide reasonable alternatives for using accrued time in lieu.


Time in lieu is a practical and flexible solution for managing overtime. By understanding its benefits and implementing clear policies, both employees and employers can enjoy a more balanced and productive work environment.

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