Time off in Lieu explained

Time Off In Lieu (TOIL) explained



The time off in lieu meaning comes from a French phrase ‘in lieu’ which means instead of.

Time off in lieu, or TOIL, is when an employee works pre-approved overtime and receives compensatory time off for the same amount.

TOIL is agreed between the employer and the employee, as there is no statutory right to be paid for additional hours worked. If both parties agree that an employee’s overtime is to be rewarded with TOIL leave, it should be confirmed in writing.


If a worker was to work two hours extra in a day assuming that it has been approved by a manager, they could bank these hours to take them at a later day.

TOIL vs overtime

As a UK employer, you have the right to choose whether you offer any kind of compensation for working extra shifts – let alone whether it’s paid overtime or TOIL. However, introducing a formal reward system can help you to fill scheduling gaps quicker and keep staff morale high.

It’s also important that opportunities to earn TOIL are managed fairly, to stop a small handful of people unfairly accruing extra leave. When staff do earn time off in lieu, you may want to set limits on how long they have to use it up.

However, without careful management TOIL can cause problems, such as:

  • Confusion over the rules
  • Abuse of TOIL
  • Overtime becoming the norm
  • A build-up of TOIL
  • TOIL being universal (not appropriate for certain roles, such as receptionists, for example)

Managing TOIL

You will need to decide how you will manage TOIL :-

  • Which employees are eligible for TOIL?
  • How will TOIL be accrued?
  • How will TOIL be authorised?
  • Will you require employees to agree the TOIL hours with you before they work any additional hours?
  • How will you monitor the taking of TOIL? Will you require the employee to request the TOIL time in the same way as a request for holiday? Will you require employees to use any accrued TOIL within a specific time frame, e.g., within one month?
  • How will you deal with TOIL that has been accrued by an employee but not redeemed? Will that TOIL be lost with no monetary compensation offered?
  • What will happen to accrued TOIL when an employee leaves their employment with you? Will untaken TOIL be lost upon termination with no payment made in lieu?

If you would like any further information about this subject, please feel free to contact  Tick HR Solutions

Download our TOIL policy Download here  

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