Last edited 09 Nov 2020

Non-productive overtime


Non-productive overtime (NPO) is time that employees or workers spend in the workplace over and above their contracted hours but which is not being spent on productive activities. If this is not managed effectively and monitored carefully it can have negative and costly implications for a business or project.

An example could be using the internet or deliberately not working, or working at a slow pace, when doing overtime.

However, there can be circumstances when non-productive overtime cannot be avoided. For example, if construction works are being accelerated to try and meet a deadline, requiring overtime, but exceptionally adverse weather then means some workers have to curtail their activities, albeit, temporarily. In addition, if activities in certain conditions could put workers at risk, it can be considered reasonable to stop work or to work at a slower pace. Works can also stop due to a lack of equipment, materials or information, delays on related activities and so on.

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