Be aware of the rules for on-call duty and on-call time

If you have employees who works either on-call duty or time, then it is important to know the rules for these types of shifts because they can have different rates and bonuses depending on the weekday, working hours and the type of service. Here you can read more about the rules for on-call time. 

What is understood by on-call time?

On-call duty means that the employee is obliged to be available either on or outside of the working position which he is called to. If a company needs the employees to be available outside of the company’s normal working hours, the company can make an agreement with the employees that they have to be available with short notice.

You are then not on an on-call duty if you are not obligated to be available. If you are called outside of the working hours without an agreement, then this is on-call time. 

Which function does an on-call time shift have? 

The on-call duty and time is covering the same working function, even though there is a slight difference. 

If you want your employees to be available, then you need to make an agreement about this so they can be called outside of normal working hours. 

Employees that are being called to work for a on-call shift have a resting period in which they are not working. This period must be of 11 coherent hours. The resting period is to be held outside of the working place. 

On special occasions the resting period can be lowered from 11 to 8 hours. This appears in Arbejdstilsynets bekendtgørelse om hvileperiode og fridøgn m.v. 

The resting period is interrupted if the employee is called to work. This is the case when the employee is called out and when the employee is called to do work remotely. The interruption starts when the call happens and ends when the work is done or the employee arrives home. 

What do you have to be aware of? 


There are different types of rates on bonuses for and on-call duty and time shifts depending on the contract the employee has. Therefore, it is important to know the difference when the agreement is made. 

  • A normal on-call is when the employee is being called outside of normal working hours and when it happens without an agreement. This has one specific rate. 
  • If you are in an availability service then it is by agreement your duty to stay in the home or nearby the working place in case you will be called in. The employee has to be available in case a call should be made and this has a different rate. 
  • By being called out during on-call duty, the bonus rate for availability service lapses and a normal agreed payment in accordance with the contract is paid. This is a third rate.

Rates can vary depending on the day, whether it is a normal weekday or sunday or a public holiday. This will appear in the concerned contract. 

  • When an employee has an agreed duty to be available in shift periods that only counts Sundays and public holidays and/or in the period from the end of normal working hours Friday to the beginning of normal working hours Monday, one rate can be paid per hour from the beginning of a wage week. 
  • During on-call duty outside of the above mentioned periods an employee is being paid another rate per hour from the beginning of that wage week. 

The rounding rule

When you are called out the hours are squared up in whole hours and at least 4 hours in bonus rate. This means that if an employee is being called out during an on-call duty and only works 1 hour, then the employee will be paid for 4 hours. The square up counts for whole hours so if you surpass the 4th hour by 10 minutes, it is rounded up to 5 hours. 

The rounding rule initially goes across different agreements, but as an employer, one should be aware of the employee’s individual contracts when the agreement for availability service is made. 

Keep track of variations in rates and bonuses

If your company makes use of availability and on-call services, then all report on the bonuses for each employee should be registered and logged. It is our clear recommendation to be aware of the employees contracts when dealing with on-call duty and time shifts. 

Maybe you already have a system to keep track of the employees rates, but if you wish to optimize on the registrations, this can be done with digital administration. 

Intempus’ digital system makes use of both automated rounding per hour and registrations for the shifts and for the different types of rates. We believe that our system can deal those registrations necessary for the concerned company. 

With Intempus you can create your own bonus with name, factor, price and unit, and the employee can register the bonus, so it can be invoiced and transferred to the paycheck.

Do you want to hear more about digital solutions? Don’t hesitate to give us a call on +45 26390400 or send us a message. We will try to respond your questions as best we can.You are also welcome to book a free demo where you can hear more about the system and how we can meet your specific needs:

Sources: Arbejdstilsynet, Bygge- og Anlægsoverenskomsten 2021-2024, Branche-overenskomst for vagtselskaber 2020-2023

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