24x7 on-call rates

Dominic Thoreau dominic.thoreau at googlemail.com
Wed Oct 1 10:11:05 BST 2008

2008/9/30 Peter Haworth <pmh at edison.ioppublishing.com>:
> I know this subject has been discussed on the list before, but I can't
> seem to figure out the right search terms to find it in the archives,
> so I'm going to have to ask again:
> My employers are trying to come up with a clear remuneration scheme
> for the 24x7 team, after it was accidentally shrouded in mystery for a
> number of years, and the team members are looking for comparable
> schemes at other companies to make sure that what we're offered is
> fair. So, what are people who provide 24 hour on-call support being
> paid for it, or what do you think is fair?

I had a flatmate who did on call support a few years back. He was a MS
DBA, but a: there's no accounting for taste, and b: the principle is
if not the same, then pretty similar. He did work for a bureau, that
had him working directly with other clients (he also worked from home,
next to a large TV, with sofa's he could (and did) sleep in, but this
is not the point).

Things it's worth considering/asking for
- If you get called out to do work on site after hours, get travel
time. (coders shouldn't need to go on site - unless coding's just a
part of the job, or you need to coordinate directly with others)
- If there's any call out, you need a minimum charge.
- If you are working office hours as well as being on call, you need
recovery time if you were working late at night.
- EU time rules say you must have 12 hours off between finishing a
days work and starting the next
- Shuffle/rota the on-call around - it will burn staff out if they're always on.
- I believe Health and Safety rules forbid employees from being alone
in the office for extended periods, where practical - but IANAL, check

Just my thoughts.
No train here, but still:
The sign says: "Ready to Leave"
Normal service, yes?

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