In The Netherlands it is possible that you get paid extra (above your hourly wage) if you have 'irregular' working hours, e.g. you work at uncommon times, like Saturdays, Sundays, national holidays etc.

This is called onregelmatigheidstoeslag, which Google translates as irregularity allowance. Its official abbreviation is ORT.

Is irregularity allowance the correct English translation*, and what would its abbreviation be?
(If there's any difference, we prefer American English in our software translations).

* I do find that term online, but it's on Dutch sites, so I don't consider that decisive.

  • Is it actually an allowance? Allowance allows you spend your own money and be reimbursed. This is actually extra pay, right? Software translations often don't fit in sentences (I know because I am a translator.) :) – Lambie Oct 19 '18 at 14:54
  • Employment law is quite different in the US and the Netherlands. US law requires only certain employees to be paid a shift differential, not all. opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/pay-administration/… and dol.gov/general/topic/workhours/nightwork – Tᴚoɯɐuo Oct 19 '18 at 17:22
  • @Lambie Correct, it's a percentage extra salary, e.g. you get paid 125% for those hours. – user22427 Oct 22 '18 at 15:25

In UK it is sometimes called "unsocial working hours" or "night work". This website says

Unsocial hours payments are additions to basic pay. These apply for staff whose work in standard hours, within the normal 37.5 hour working week (section 10), is undertaken at the times, and on the days, specified in the national agreement and shown in the table below.

A phrase used when working away from home is "subsistence allowance" as described here.

Subsistence includes meals and any other necessary costs of travelling, eg parking charges, tolls, congestion charges or business phone calls.

  • This is not a general term at all. – Lambie Oct 19 '18 at 14:55

In the US and Canada, the usual terms are shift premium, shift pay, or shift differential. A shift is defined as:

a person's scheduled period of work, especially the portion of the day scheduled as a day's work when a shop, service, office, or industry operates continuously during both the day and night

The shift premium is the extra pay that an employer must offer to ensure that all shifts, including nights and/or weekends, are fully staffed.

  • Not everyone works shifts. But most people who are employed full time have some kind of regular working hours. Shifts are for factories and suchlike. – Lambie Oct 19 '18 at 15:13
  • @Lambie - "Shift" and "shift premium" are commonly used in most workplaces where the majority of employees are paid by the hour (rather than being exempt) and business hours extend beyond 9 to 5: retail stores, restaurants (both fast-food and fine dining), IT support, etc. – Canadian Yankee Oct 19 '18 at 15:23
  • But the general term is regular work hours. Check the EU sites. A shift is very specific. Shifts work some number of hours. So do office employees. working hours is the term here, not shift. Mid-level executives and associates (sales, etc.) don't "work shifts". work schedule is also seen. – Lambie Oct 19 '18 at 15:38
  • We decided to go with Irregular hours premium ('work' is obvious in the context), combining two answers. Therefore I'm upvoting both but not flagging one as 'correct.' – user22427 Oct 23 '18 at 15:30

In English, we have regular work or working hours, as in 9 to 5, for example. Regular work week. also: regular work schedule and irregular work schedule. Shift is too specific.

regular working hours versus irregular working hours.

Not: irregularity here, for the term. Abstract nouns don't work so well in English, usually.

EU working hours

I suggest: extra pay for irregular working hours or irregular work(ing) hours bonus or extra pay for irregular work schedules

  • So in my case it would be something like extra pay irregular working hours? Anything else possible instead of extra pay? And what would then an understandable abbreviation be? – user22427 Oct 22 '18 at 11:51
  • @JanDoggen It is too long for pre-positioning. extra pay for irregular work hours OR irregular work hours bonus. – Lambie Oct 22 '18 at 17:07
  • We decided to go with Irregular hours premium ('work' is obvious in the context), combining two answers. Therefore I'm upvoting both but not flagging one as 'correct.' – user22427 Oct 23 '18 at 15:30
  • @JanDoggen That is an incorrect use of the word premium. (I am a translator, fyi.) Premium is either your insurance premium or "a sum added to an ordinary price or charge." – Lambie Oct 23 '18 at 16:02

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