24x7 on-call rates

David Cantrell david at cantrell.org.uk
Thu Oct 2 14:50:16 BST 2008

On Thu, Oct 02, 2008 at 10:57:08AM +0100, Peter Haworth wrote:

> Actually, it's a whole 24x7h at a stretch on call. This rotates
> through the team members, so we're on call one week in 9 at the
> moment. We've all had to sign an exemption to the working hours
> directive for the weeks that we're on call

You can't be required to sign that.  Talk to your union.

>                                            but this is only to cover
> the maximum hours worked per week. I'm not familiar enough with the
> legislation to say what other limits we might also be breaking.

Summary: http://www.etuc.org/a/504

> > Offer them +20% for doing a night shift and see how that goes down.
> > (Wait, 'goes down' maybe not the ideal phrase...)
> Although what other people have said has been very useful, for which I
> thank you all, this is the only figure which has been mentioned. I'd
> appreciate any other numbers people have seen or would like to see.
> For comparison, we're currently being offered a flat GBP2500/year for
> being a team member, with time in lieu available for actually being
> called out.

Well, one week in nine you're being asked to put in 24*7/40 - 1 == 3.2 times
as many hours (assuming a normal 40 hours working week).  3.2/9 == 0.36,
so the starting point for figuring out what you're owed is 36% of your
normal salary.  Adjust that downwards depending on how much actual work
you need to do when on-call.

I'd probably accept 10% extra salary for being on call six weeks a year,
plus GBP100 for any day when I'm actually called, plus 100 if I'm
woken up.  If they don't want to pay me extra for actually calling, then
I'd want 20% extra salary instead.

Oh, and that's 10% and 20% calculated *after tax*, so roughly 15% and
30% before tax if you're a higher-rate tax payer - wow, my "what feels
about right" actually matches the calculations!

>             Demands for per-call payment don't seem likely be received
> well from what we've heard so far, but overwhelming evidence of such
> practice in other organisations might help our cause.

I'm fairly sure that I remember the BBC guys I worked with getting an
allowance for being on call plus payment if they were actually called,
but I can't remember what the figures were.

David Cantrell | Hero of the Information Age

  I remember when computers were frustrating because they did
  exactly what you told them to.  That seems kinda quaint now.
      -- JD Baldwin, in the Monastery

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