Division I - Hours of Work of Part III of the Canada Labour Code sets out the requirements an employer must meet with respect to hours of work and overtime.
The following questions and answers will be of interest to employers and employees under federal jurisdiction. Pamphlet #1 of this series describes the types of businesses covered by the Code. It is available from any Labour Program office and on the Labour Program Website.
No. Managers, superintendents, and employees who carry out management functions are exempted. Architects, dentists, engineers, lawyers, and medical doctors are also excluded. Special hours of work regulations in several industries exempt or set different standards for certain employees. The major examples are the following:
(refer to pamphlet 9A for details)
|East Coast and Great Lakes shipping||Employees on ships|
|West Coast shipping||Employees on ships|
|Railways||Running trades employees|
Eight hours in a day and 40 hours in a week except in the case of averaging (see question 8), special regulations (see question 1), or modified work schedules (see question 13). Hours worked in excess of standard hours must be paid for at the overtime rate. In the Code and Regulations, standard hours are also referred to as "working hours".
Note: The Code defines a day as any period of 24 consecutive hours. A week is the period between midnight on Saturday and midnight on the immediately following Saturday.
Overtime means any hours worked in excess of the standard hours specified in the Code or Regulations, in most cases 8 in a day or 40 in a week. If the total of daily overtime hours differs from the total of weekly overtime hours, the greater of the two amounts is used in calculating overtime payments.
A minimum of one and one-half times the regular rate of wages.
The weekly standard hours (normally 40) must be reduced by 8 hours for each holiday. Therefore, in a week in which a holiday occurs, overtime would apply after 32 hours. Any time worked on a holiday is not counted in calculating overtime entitlement. (See pamphlet 4 on the pay requirements for hours worked on a holiday.)
The maximum time an employee may work each week is normally 48 hours.
Yes, in the following situations:
Yes. If the nature of the work in an establishment necessitates irregular hours due to seasonal or other factors, resulting in employees having no regularly scheduled hours or having regularly scheduled hours which vary from time to time, then the hours can be averaged. In such cases, the employer may average the working hours of employees over a selected period of 2 or more weeks.
Please refer to the Canada Labour Standards Regulations for specific information on implementing an averaging plan. Also, because of the complexities involved in the use of averaging, it is recommended that more detailed information be obtained from a Labour Program office.
Overtime applies after exceeding the standard hours in an averaging period. Standard hours are determined by multiplying the number of weeks in the averaging period by 40.
The maximum and standard hours are reduced as follows:
For any holiday with pay - by 8 hours
For any day of annual vacation - by 8 hours
For any day of bereavement leave with pay - by 8 hours
For any day that is normally a working day for a class of employee when he or she is not entitled to the regular remuneration or salary (for example when an employee is off sick) - by 8 hours
For every such week - by 40 hours
If there are no fixed working days, for every such period of seven consecutive days - by 40 hours
The Code provides for at least one full day of rest a week - Sunday where practicable. During an averaging period, hours may be scheduled and worked without regard to the normal requirement for weekly rest.
The term "modified work schedules" includes such schemes as compressed work weeks and flexible hours of work. For example, employees scheduled to work 10 hours per day, 4 days a week can be said to be on a modified work schedule.
An employer may establish a modified work schedule or modify or cancel an existing schedule under which the hours of work may exceed the standard hours if certain conditions are met. Where there is a trade union involved, there must be written agreement between the employer and the union to adopt a new work schedule or to cancel or modify an existing one.
Where the employees are not subject to a collective agreement, the work schedule or its modification or cancellation must be approved by at least 70 per cent of the affected employees.
The employer is required to post a notice of the new schedule, or its modification or cancellation for at least 30 days before it comes into effect.
Yes. In any modified work schedule, the standard hours of work for a period of 2 or more weeks cannot exceed an average of 40 hours a week, and the maximum hours for the same period cannot exceed an average of 48 hours a week.
Not necessarily. Overtime must be paid after the approved daily or weekly hours. For example, when the schedule is for a compressed work week consisting of 4 days of 10 hours each, overtime is payable after 10 hours in a day and 40 hours in a week. Overtime must also be paid after an average of 40 hours in a week where the schedule consists of 2 or more weeks.
This pamphlet is provided for information only. For interpretation and application purposes, please refer to Part III of the Canada Labour Code (Labour Standards), the Canada Labour Standards Regulations, and relevant amendments.
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© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, 2010
Cat. No.: HS23-2/9-2010
Cat. No.: HS23-2/9-2010E-PDF