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1 Direct labour is one of the key areas of the syllabus and you can therefore expect to see it in the exam that you will be facing.
2 Direct wages are all wages paid for labour(either as basic hours or as overtime) expended on work on the product itself.
3 Direct wages costs are charged to the product as part of the prime cost.
4 Examples of groups of labour receiving payment as direct wages are as follows.
a) Workers engaged in altering the condition or composition of the product.
b) Inspectors,analysts and testers specifically required for such production.
c) Foremen,shop clerks and anyone else whose wages are specifically identified.
5 Two trends may be identified in direct labour costs.
a) The ratio of direct labour costs to total product cost is falling as the use of machinery increases,and hence depreciation charges increase.
b) Skilled labour costs and sub-contractors' costs are increasing as direct labour costs decrease.
【Question】A direct labour employee's wage in week 5 consists of the following.
（1）Basic pay for normal hours worked,36 hours at $4 per hour＝$144
（2）Pay at the basic rate for overtime,6 hours at $4 per hour＝$24
（3）Overtime shift premium,with overtime paid at time-and-a-quarter 1/4×6 hours×$4 per hour＝$6
（4）A bonus payment under a group bonus(or 'incentive')scheme-bonus for the month＝$30
（5）Total gross wages in week 5 for 42 hours of work＝$204
What is the direct labour cost for this employee in week 5?（ ）
【Explanation】Let's start by considering a general approach to answering multiple choice questions(MCQs).In a numerical question like this,the best way to begin is to ignore the available options and work out your own answer from the available data.If your solution correstonds to one of the four options them mark this as your chosen answer and move on.Don't waste time working out whether any of the other options might be correct.If your answer does not appear among the available options them check your workings.If it still does not correspond to any of the options them you need to take a calculated guess.
Do not make the common error of simply selecting the answer which is closest to yours.The best thing to do is to first eliminate any answers which you know or suspect are incorrect,For example you could eliminate C and D because you know that group bonus schemes are usually indirect costs.You are then left with a choice between A and B,and at least you have now improved your
chances if you really are guessing,
The correct answer is B because the basic rate for overtime is a part of direct wages cost,It is only the overtime premium that is usually regarded as an overhead or indirect cost.