Work Days

Your employer must schedule your work hours and post the schedule at least a week in advance. Your employer cannot schedule you to work more than 44 hours in a week. You are entitled to overtime if you work more than 40 hours.

If you usually work 20 or more hours in a week, you must be given 1 day off every week. If you work in a retail store that has more than 10 employees, you must be given 2 consecutive days off a week. Live-in care providers and people that work in peoples homes are also entitled to 2 consecutive days off a week.

Employers who use modified work weeks or apply for a permit from Employment Standards may have different rules that they must follow.

Workers must also be given at least 8 hours off in any 24 hour period, unless there is an emergency. An emergency is where a person, the employer’s property or the employer’s business is at risk because something unexpected happened.

You must be given a half hour meal break after 5 hours of work. Your employer does not have to pay you during your meal break. However, if you are required to stay at work and be available during your meal break you must be paid for it, even if you do not end up doing any work. If you are allowed coffee breaks they must be paid. It is up to employers to decide if they give employees coffee breaks.


If you work more than 40 hours in a week your employer must pay you the overtime rate for those extra hours. Overtime is paid at 1.5 times your regular wage.

You also receive overtime pay if you work more than a certain number of hours in any day. Overtime depends on how your employer schedules employees. Employers can choose to use 8 hour shifts 5 days a week, or 10 hour shifts 4 days a week. If your employer chooses 8 hour days you will be paid overtime after 8 hours. If your employer chooses 10 hour days you will be paid overtime after 10 hours.

Some workers do not get overtime pay. This includes:

  • some kinds of travelling sales people
  • people working for outfitters, fishers or trappers
  • care providers who come into people’s homes

Other workers get some overtime pay but different rules apply. These include live-in care providers or domestic workers, oil truck drivers and ambulance attendants.

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