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.
Averaging agreements must be in writing
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.
Employees are paid overtime if they work more hours than their regular schedule
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.
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.
Employers must allow time for rest each week
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.
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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.