Time Off in Lieu (TOIL): Balancing Employee Rewards and Work-Life Harmony

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In this article, we'll discuss how TOIL works and the benefits of offering it to employees.

What is the meaning of Time Off in Lieu (TOIL)?

Time Off in Lieu, commonly referred to as TOIL, allows employees to take time off work in exchange for extra hours worked.

Sometimes it is included in the employee's contract, and it is a flexible way for employees to balance their work and personal lives while still meeting the demands of their job.

This arrangement benefits employees who may have unexpected personal or family commitments or have difficulty taking time off during regular working hours.

TOIL is a mutually beneficial arrangement for employees and businesses, as it increases productivity and job satisfaction.

What is a day in lieu?

A "day in lieu" (also known as "lieu day" or "compensatory time off") refers to a day off work that is granted to an employee as compensation for working on a public holiday or for working overtime.

Essentially, it is a way for employees to make up for the time they have worked on a day that would typically be a non-working day.

For example, if an employee is required to work on a public holiday, they may be given a day off in lieu at a later date as compensation.

Similarly, employees may be given additional time off to compensate for the extra hours worked if they work overtime.

A day in lieu can be taken at a convenient time for the employee and the employer. The process of requesting and approving the day off is usually outlined in the company's Time off in lieu (TOIL) policy.

It is important to note that the concept of "day in lieu" is different from "overtime pay", which is the additional pay employees receive for overtime hours.

Time Off in Lieu (TOIL) calculation

Calculating Time Off in Lieu (TOIL) is a crucial aspect of managing this type of arrangement in the workplace.

The process of calculating TOIL typically involves determining the number of extra hours worked by an employee and then converting that into a corresponding amount of time off.

The specific method of calculation will depend on the lieu policy and the legal requirements that apply in their jurisdiction.

When calculating Time off in lieu, one crucial consideration is the maximum weekly working hours. Many businesses will have a maximum number of hours employees are allowed to work in a week, which should be considered when calculating TOIL.

For example, if an employee works an additional 6 hours in a week, but the maximum weekly working hours are 40 hours.

The employee will only be able to accrue TOIL for the additional 2 hours that were worked beyond the extra hours.

Another important consideration when calculating TOIL is the rate at which it accrues. Some businesses may offer a 1:1 ratio, meaning an employee earns an hour of TOIL for every hour worked.

Others may offer a different ratio of 1:1.5, meaning the employee earns 1.5 hours of TOIL for every hour worked. This can significantly impact the amount of TOIL made by an employee over time.

Company owners should also consider the rules around paying overtime when calculating TOIL. Under the national minimum wage laws, employees must be paid overtime at a rate of time and a half for any hours worked beyond their regular schedule.

Employers should consider this when calculating how much TOIL, as any hours paid as overtime should not be included in the calculation of TOIL.

What are the benefits of a TOIL policy and why it matters?

handsome-asian-man-turning-off-his-laptop-after-wo-2021-09-04-15-57-44-utc_50A Time off in lieu (TOIL) policy can be a valuable tool for employees and employers. This type of policy allows employees to take time off work in exchange for extra hours worked, providing a flexible way for employees to balance their work and personal lives while still meeting the demands of their job.

There are several key benefits of a TOIL policy, including:


A TOIL policy allows workers to take time off work when it suits them best rather than being restricted to pre-scheduled vacation time. This is particularly useful for employees with unexpected personal or family commitments, such as a sick child or an elderly relative who needs care.

Longer periods off

Because TOIL is earned based on extra hours, workers can accumulate a significant amount of time off. This can be particularly useful for workers who may have difficulty taking time off during additional hours worked, such as those with long commutes or who have caregiving responsibilities.

Increased productivity and job satisfaction

Employers can reduce absenteeism and increase employee engagement by allowing workers to take time off work when it suits them best. Additionally, by offering TOIL, business owners can demonstrate that they value the work-life balance of their employees, which can improve employee morale and retention.

Compliance with legal requirements

A TOIL policy can help business owners comply with legal requirements around working time, overtime pay, and paid time off.

Improved efficiency

The use of time and attendance software can automate the tracking and calculating of TOIL, helping business owners more efficiently manage the process and ensuring that records are accurate and up-to-date. This can also help comply with the EU working time directive and other legal requirements.

Reduce stress and fatigue

Employers can reduce stress levels and improve employee mental health and well-being by giving workers greater flexibility and control over working additional hours.

Overall, a TOIL policy can be an effective way for managers and workers to benefit from a flexible work-life balance

Useful Read: Stress Leave from work: Implications and Best Practices

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Best practices for managing TOIL

Effective management of Time off in lieu (TOIL) is essential to ensure that the policy benefits workers and company owners. Here are some best practices for managing TOIL:

Communicate the policy:

Ensure all workers are aware of the work policy and understand how it works, including the process for requesting and approving time off, the additional hours, and the accrual rate.

Set clear rules and guidelines:

Establish detailed rules and guidelines for managing TOIL, including calculating the amount of time off earned, requesting and approving time off, and handling disputes.

Keep accurate records:

Use time and attendance software to accurately track the hours worked by employees and calculate the amount of TOIL earned. This can help comply with legal requirements and ensure that overtime is paid correctly.

Encourage employees to use their TOIL:

Remind workers of the TOIL they have earned, and encourage them to take time off when it works for them. Allowing workers to take time off can improve productivity and job satisfaction.

Review and adjust the policy as needed:

Regularly review the work policy to ensure that it works as intended and make adjustments as needed. This can help ensure that the policy meets the needs of both workers and company owners.

Be mindful of busy periods:

Be mindful of busy periods, such as the holiday season, and plan accordingly. Consider limiting the amount of TOIL taken during these periods to ensure that the business continues to function effectively.

By following these best practices, HR can ensure that the labour policy benefits employees and employers.

Can TOIL be carried over?


When it comes to Time off in lieu (TOIL), one question that often arises is whether or not the leave can be carried over into the following year. The answer to this question depends on the specific policies and procedures put in place by the employer.

Useful Read: Personnel Policies: Crafting a Human Resources Framework for Success

HR can generally determine whether TOIL may be extended into the following year's annual holiday.

Useful Read: Holiday Accrual: Understanding Employee Entitlements and Time Off

This decision should be based on factors such as the business continuity of key staff members and the potential impact on the overall operation of the business. For example, if a key employee has accumulated significant TOIL and takes a prolonged period off, it could hurt the company.

It is also vital for HR to determine the amount of TOIL leave that a worker can accumulate before being required to take the leave. This can be based on factors such as the additional hours, the accrual rate of TOIL, and the business's specific needs.

Useful Read: Accrual Leave: Definition, Examples, and How It Works

When implementing a TOIL policy, it is essential for employers to consider the potential impact on business continuity and to include detailed rules and guidelines for managing the leave.

This can include clear instructions on calculating the amount of time off earned, requesting and approving time off, and handling disputes.


Time off in lieu can be an effective way formanagers too provide their workers with a flexible work-life balance. However, managers need to implement best practices when managing TOIL and consider additional hours, the accrual rate of time in lieu, and potential business continuity issues.

By following these guidelines and setting clear rules and guidelines for managing TOIL, employers can ensure that both workers and businesses benefit from this policy.

Absence Management
Topic: Time off
Rinaily Bonifacio

Written by:

Rinaily Bonifacio

Rinaily is a renowned expert in the field of human resources with years of industry experience. With a passion for writing high-quality HR content, Rinaily brings a unique perspective to the challenges and opportunities of the modern workplace. As an experienced HR professional and content writer, She has contributed to leading publications in the field of HR.


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