Overtime ban

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Overtime bans are a type of strike in which workers refuse to engage in overtime work, being any work that falls outside of contracted hours.[1] They do this to leverage their employer into negotiating various working conditions. Often organised in unions, workers may choose this form of industrial action to bargain for a higher rate of pay, better working conditions or to discourage an employer from making redundancies.[1] Unlike a full strike in which employees are usually in breach of their contract, workers engaging in overtime bans are typically well protected. Employers cannot legally withhold normal wages during an overtime ban if employees are not breaching the terms of their employment contracts by refusing to do overtime work.[2] However, the legalities of overtime bans do vary between countries. Overtime bans are effective where "industries and organisations run on such habitually high levels of overtime or goodwill that overtime bans ... can have a significant and immediate impact upon the availability of a good or service".[3] Historically, unions have at times received criticism on ethical grounds for choosing to enact overtime bans. The literature records the occurrence of such bans from the 1800s and there is documentation of their use in four continents.