I am currently working for one of the big 4, subcontracted through a recruitment agency.
A simple explanation of the work entailed is ensuring that the work passed on to the regulator meets certain standards. The current project is almost over with less than a week of work left. In an attempt to boost the numbers. An overtime structure was announced where the analyst would get a fixed $ X rate if the case is easy, i.e has 1 issue that needs resolution.
But for a complex case, the pay rate would double the 'usual employee rate", regardless of completion. However, they've stated that it is at the discretion of the management whether the "hours" entered are reasonable for the case, and if discrepancies are found, they reserve the right to limit and/or not pay the amount.
The following statement was questioned by one of the "senior" team members, however, the standard response given to them was that the team members are opting to such an agreement and can choose not to partake.
No explanation is given for what constitutes a "reasonable hour" for a complex case, or what variables would the management look into. A call to have HR review the clause has been met with a veiled threat, that such an action would undermine the management and would have a consequence on the renewal of the contract.
Normally, I wouldn't care too much about this and would've stayed quite like the rest of the team members, but given that the project is ending and I am not keen on continuing, I would like to stand for what is right, even if that means "burning the bridge".
Earlier O/T structure has involved management telling us to put in X amount of hour for a complex case, regardless of the amount of time spent as it was easier for their tracking/calculation purpose, and if a case was incorrect then you would not be paid for it.
The same justification was used earlier as well, "that people have opted in". I guess nobody spoke up that time because we were still halfway through the project.
Is such an ambiguous O/T structure legal, just because people are desperate enough to opt-in?
And what should the follow-up action be to educate and empower the team members to stand up for what is right?