Why you have no right to 'overtime work'

Yes, you have read that title right. You have no right to overtime work.

You may be wondering and thinking this is impossible because you absolutely know that, under Presidential Decree (PD) 442 or the Labor Code of the Philippines (the Code), employees have the right to demand either 25% or 30% overtime pay, as the case may be. Let's go to the provision:

"Work may be performed beyond eight (8) hours a day provided that the employee is paid for the overtime work, an additional compensation equivalent to his regular wage plus at least twenty-five percent (25%) thereof. Work performed beyond eight hours on a holiday or rest day shall be paid an additional compensation equivalent to the rate of the first eight hours on a holiday or rest day plus at least thirty percent (30%) thereof." (Article 87 of the Code)

Notice the phrase "paid for the overtime work." Your right as an employee is to overtime pay, not overtime work. This means that, if you work beyond the normal hours of work, you are entitled to overtime pay. This is in line with Article 83 which says, "The normal hours of work of any employee shall not exceed eight hours a day."

Overtime work and overtime pay are two different things. Overtime work is work performed beyond eight hours. On the other hand, overtime pay is what you get if you do overtime work.
Going back to the premise that you have no right to overtime work, it must be realized that no employee can compel his employer to allow him to do overtime work. Whether or not to allow employees to do overtime work is part of management prerogatives.

A short review is in order. Management prerogatives flow from the fact that the employer's business is property right. And as owner, he is allowed to promulgate reasonable and good-faith rules and regulations to control his employees. One such rules can be regarding overtime work.

In sum, if you do overtime work, you have the right to demand overtime pay. However, even if you are able and willing to do overtime work for any reason whatsoever (such as a vacation that you are saving up for), you cannot compel your employer to give you overtime work.

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