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0604 - Overtime

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These guidelines and procedures apply to all employees except those in the Northwest Territories Teachers’ Association, those employed by the Northwest Territories Power Corporation or those in senior management.



Overtime is work performed by an employee in excess of or outside of their regularly scheduled hours of work.

Lieu time is leave provided as compensation for overtime worked, instead of a cash payment.



  1. To deliver programs effectively, the Public Service Regulations provide that the Employer may require employees to work more than their daily or weekly standard hours of work or on a designated paid holiday to meet operational requirements.

Authorization for Overtime and Related Expenditures

  1. The requirement for overtime is driven by identified and approved operational needs.  The Employer controls the duration of the overtime worked.

  2. Overtime expenditures and related expenses must be authorized in advance verbally or in writing by the responsible manager/approving officer, except when employees are required to work in isolated settlements, in which case the Employer must make arrangements for the authorization of overtime prior to the employee’s dispatch to the isolated settlement.
  3. Overtime reimbursements must be recorded in PeopleSoft Self Service as soon as is practical but no longer than one pay period from when the overtime occurred.
  4. Compensation for overtime is paid when work is authorized in advance by the Deputy Head or a departmental official delegated to approve overtime. In accordance with Section 44(1) of the Financial Administration Act on expenditure control, a designated accounting officer must certify the expenses incurred.
  5. Unless permitted otherwise, the approving officer shall do the following before overtime begins:

    1. Determine that overtime is necessary.
    2. Make this section available to everyone responsible to comply.
    3. Ensure that the overtime or lieu time comply with this section and applicable collective agreement or employee handbook.
    4. Authorize the overtime verbally or in writing.
    5. Authorize overtime to be compensated as lieu time, verbally or in writing.
  6. Unless permitted otherwise, the approving officer shall do the following after the overtime ends:

    1. Ensure the operational requirement that required the overtime has been met.
    2. Resolve any discrepancies and ensure that unnecessary payments are avoided.
    3. Ensure the employee has entered the authorized overtime into PeopleSoft Self Service within the appropriate pay period.
    4. Approve the overtime in PeopleSoft Self Service. Before approving overtime, approving officers must review and confirm the reasons for the overtime provided by the employee in the Comments field of PeopleSoft Self Service.
  7. The employee shall:

    1. Obtain authorization before working overtime.
    2. Obtain authorization for overtime to be compensated as lieu time.
    3. Enter authorized overtime into PeopleSoft Self Service within the appropriate pay period. The employee shall note reasons for the overtime in the Comments field provided by PeopleSoft Self Service.
    4. Not work or enter any unauthorized overtime.
  8. Misinterpretation of this information is no basis for reimbursement.

  9. An employee may, for cause, refuse to work overtime.  The refusal must be in writing.  Cause may, for example, involve religious beliefs.  Participation in a business or outside employment is not a reasonable ground for refusing to work overtime.

  10. Instead of paying for overtime, a department may agree to grant equivalent leave with pay at the appropriate overtime rate (lieu time).  It must be taken at a time agreeable to both the Department and the employee.  (see Section 609 – Lieu Time).

  11. An employee who must work overtime shall be compensated for each completed 15 minutes of overtime worked.  There is a minimum payment of one hour at the appropriate overtime rate.

      1. Example 1:  Employee works 25 minutes of overtime.  They get paid for one hour (OT1).
      2. Example 2:  Employee works 10 minutes of overtime.  They do not get paid for any overtime.
  12. After the first hour of overtime, an employee is paid for each completed 15 minutes of time.
    1. Employee works two hours and 20 minutes of overtime on a Saturday.  The overtime pay is for two hours and 15 minutes (OT1).
  13. Part-time employees have their regularly scheduled hours set in advance.  Compensation is paid for all overtime worked in excess of those hours, whether or not those hours exceed the full-time daily or weekly hours.
  14. Overtime will be paid when the employee is on normal duty travel or when the employee is required to take specific training deemed by the Employer to be an absolute requirement for their job (e.g., airport emergency fire fighter training).
  15. Overtime will not be paid to an employee who has asked for and been granted approval for attending courses, training sessions or conferences not deemed by the Employer to be an absolute requirement for their job.  This includes travel outside the normal hours of work and on weekends.  Normally the GNWT pays for registration, travel, accommodation and training materials.  Employees should see this as an opportunity for development that may not otherwise be possible.


Entitlements for bargaining unit and excluded employees are contained in collective agreements and employee handbooks including:

Main Collective Agreement with UNW:

Article 23, Overtime
Article 22, Hours of Work
Article 24, Pay
Article 25, Reporting Pay
Article 26, Call-Back Pay
Article 27, Shift Premium
Article 29, Standby
Article 31, Pay for Travel on Behalf of the Employer
Article 45, Duty Travel
Article 48, Short Term Leave for Training Purposes

Excluded Employees' Handbook - Hours of Work (Overtime, Duty Travel)


About this section

Authority:                 Public Service Regulations, Section 10, Overtime and Holidays
Effective Date:         February 24, 2023     
History:                    November 4, 2011 – Overtime
Responsible Unit:    Labour Relations