Hours of Work

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The regular work week is 8 hours a day and 44 hours a week. Any time worked above this is considered overtime.

Your hours of work in any given day must be confined within a period of 12 consecutive hours, unless an accident occurs, urgent work is necessary, or other unforeseen or unpreventable circumstances occur.

In other words, under normal circumstances, if you start work at 8:00 am, you cannot work past 8:00 p.m.

Rest Periods

You must be given at least a 30 minute break for every 5 consecutive hours you work. The break can be paid or unpaid at the employers discretion. The 30 minutes can be taken in one unbroken period but may be provided as two 15-minute or three 10-minute breaks.

You are entitled to:

  • One day off a week.
  • 2 days off in a row for every 2 consecutive weeks worked
  • 3 days off in a row for every 3 consecutive weeks worked.
  • 4 days off in a row for every 4 consecutive weeks worked.

Employees cannot be required to work more than 24 consecutive days unless the period is followed by at least four consecutive days of rest.

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Compressed Work Weeks

You can be made or allowed to work a compressed work week, meaning you work fewer days a week but more than 8 hours a day. You won't get overtime until you go over the maximum 44 hours a week, but you still cannot be made to work more than 12 hours a day.

For example, you could be required to work 11-hour shifts for four days and not receive overtime pay.

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Overtime is all hours worked in excess of:

  • 8 hours a day, and/or
  • 44 hours a week.

Overtime hours are calculated on both a daily and on a weekly basis. The higher total is the overtime hours worked in the week.

All employees, including those who are paid a weekly, monthly, or annual salary, must be paid overtime pay for overtime hours they work.

Overtime must be paid at the rate of at least 1.5 times the employee's regular wage rate.

Generally speaking, workers do not have the right to refuse overtime work.

A common exception to paying overtime is the signing of an overtime agreement. An overtime agreement allows overtime hours to be banked and taken off with pay, hour for hour, during regular work hours.

Overtime agreements:

  • can be between an employer and a single employee or with a group of employees, or the overtime agreement can be part of a collective agreement.
  • must calculate overtime hours the same way as it would be if overtime pay is to be paid at time-and-a-half.
  • must be in writing and employees must be given a copy of the agreement.

Time off must be taken within three months of the end of the pay period in which the overtime was earned. If time off is not taken, overtime hours must be paid out at time-and-a-half.

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Schedules and Changes to Schedules

All employers must notify employees of when work starts or ends by posting notices where they can be seen or by other reasonable methods.

You cannot be forced to change from one shift to another unless you have been given at least 24 hours notice and at least 8 hours of rest between shifts.

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