Averaging agreements

Last updated: August 31, 2020

An employer and an employee can agree to an average of work hours scheduled over one, two, three or four weeks. Employees can agree to work up to 12 hours in a day, averaging no more than 40 hours per week, without being paid overtime.

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What to Include

An averaging agreement must be signed by the employer and employee before the start date. It must also include:

  • A start and end date
  • The number of weeks (one to four) over which hours will be averaged
  • The work schedule for each day covered by the agreement
  • The number of times the agreement may be repeated

The employee must receive a copy before the agreement takes effect. Averaging agreements do not have to be filed with the Employment Standards Branch.

Overtime Pay

Daily overtime

Employees are paid time-and-a-half for hours worked:

  • If they work more than their regularly scheduled hours in a day


  • If they work more than eight hours in a day

They must be paid double-time for extra hours worked past 12 hours in a day.

Example: An employee is scheduled to work a 10-hour shift but ends up working 12 hours. The employee is paid time-and-a half for the two hours added to the work schedule for that day.

Weekly overtime

Employees must be paid time-and-a-half for any hours they work that exceed the average of 40 hours per week for the period covered by the agreement.

Example: An employee who works four 10-hour days per week over a four-week period is asked to work on another day for eight hours. The employee must be paid time-and-a-half for the extra hours worked.

Hours Free From Work

Scheduling hours free from work

An employee must have at least 32 hours in a row free from work. This rest period can be taken in the same week, in different weeks, or consecutively at any time during the term of the schedule.

Example 1: A one-week schedule for an employee who works an average of 40 hours

  Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Scheduled work hours 0 10 10 10 10 0 0

Example 2: A four-week schedule for an employee who works an average of 40 hours per week and is off of work an average of two days per week

  Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Week 1 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
Week 2     8 8 8 8 8
Week 3 8 8 8     8 8
Week 4 8 8 8        

If an employee works during their rest period (e.g. because of an emergency), they must be paid for working overtime. Working through a meal break does not always result in overtime pay.

Changing an averaging agreement

Employees can make a written request to change to their averaging agreement as long as the total hours scheduled in the agreement remain the same.

Getting paid for statutory holidays

An employee qualifies for statutory holiday pay if they have been employed for 30 calendar days and have worked under an averaging agreement within the 30 days before the statutory holiday.

What You Can Do

If you're having issues at work, find out what you can do: