Each month, the Advocacy Committee answers your questions about the AD 10 policies (aka, your terms and conditions of employment.)

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Hello, I’m Tracey Ferris, APSA’s Members Services Coordinator and an advocate on our Advocacy Committee. I’m answering your questions related to our AD 10 policies. Questions? Submit them anonymously here. These questions will be answered in a monthly advocacy corner issue. For an immediate answer, please contact us.

I’ve been approached by my leader about banking my overtime. I just wanted to know if time banking is mandatory.

According to the Employment Standards Act (ESA), an employee can make a written request to bank their overtime, which strongly suggests that it isn't mandatory, but voluntary. There's nothing in the ESA that says an employer can request or otherwise pressure an employee to bank their overtime hours. 

If an employee requests to bank their hours, they can then ask for time off with pay for a period mutually agreed upon by them and their employer, part or all of the overtime wages to be paid out or pay out their banked hours entirely and close the bank. This last ask must be made in writing.

The employer does have the right to close a time bank. They must let the employee know with one month's written notice, and they must do one of three things within six months of the notice.

They must pay the employee all the overtime credited to the time bank, allow the employee to take the credited overtime as time off with pay or pay the employee for part of the wages and allow the employee to use the remainder of the credited overtime wages time off with pay.

Time banking may or may not be a good solution for you, but it is up to you to request the time bank. You shouldn't be feeling pressured by your supervisor or other SFU leaders to be agreeing to creating one.

How much of my in-lieu time can I take? We're being told that we can't take a week of it at once.

It's key to remember if you choose to put your overtime in a time bank, that it's time owed to you by the University in lieu of overtime pay—it's your time. Your leadership can't unreasonably restrict your use of your banked time. While you need to be mindful of operational demands in your unit, if you can take a week or two of vacation, for example, there's no rationale for your not taking a week or two of banked overtime if you've accumulated that much or more.

If you feel that your leadership is unreasonably restricting your use of your overtime, you can always choose to end the time bank and be paid out per the requirements of the Employment Standards Act. You can see our infographic here for more about that.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss this and other issues arising from overtime pay. As always, such discussions are completely confidential.