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Weekly Hours and Overtime

What is the regular work week?

It's 8 hours a day, and 40 hours a week.

(Note: If you belong to a union, check your collective agreement. You may have better hours of work and overtime provisions than the minimum protections found in the law.)

Are there limits how long my boss can make me work?

There are no defined maximum hours of work.

Can my boss vary the standard work week?

Yes, under certain conditions. Your boss can increase the hours you work in a day and not pay you overtime unless your total weekly hours go over 40 hours. If you're a shift worker, your boss can make you work more than the daily or weekly standard hours of work and not pay you overtime. However, in both these cases, the schedule must first either be approved by the labour board, or, if you are unonized, it must be in your collective agreement.

Are there any exceptions to hours of work?

Yes. Domestic workers can only get a maximum of 4 hours overtime in one day, even if they work longer. They also must get a rest period of 36 hours off in a row per week. (These provisions apply to domestics who work more than 24 hours a week.)

If you're a home or residential care worker who lives in during work periods, you get overtime pay after 8 hours unless your employer gets a variance from the Manitoba Labour Board that allows shifts of more than 8 hours without overtime pay.

Does an employer need to pay an employee when they are on-call?

No. Employees must be paid for time worked.  Being on-call is not considered time worked.

How much are employees paid for reporting to work?

  • If they were scheduled to work more than 3 hours, and work more than 3 hours but not their entire scheduled shift, they must be paid for all hours worked.
  • If they were scheduled to work more than 3 hours, but work less than 3 hours, they must be paid for at least 3 hours.
  • If they were scheduled to work less than 3 hours they must be paid for their entire scheduled shift.

Are there exceptions to the standard hours of work?

There are exceptions, which include:

  • areas of the construction industry
  • companies with collective agreements containing different hours
  • companies with a variance order from the Manitoba Labour Board or the Employment Standards Branch
  • the landscaping business

What are the standard hours of work for the construction or a landscaping business?

The standard hours of work for the construction industry are established in The Construction Industry Wages Act. Information can be found on the Wage Schedule – ICI Constructionand Wage Schedule – Heavy Construction pages.


Am I entitled to a break?

Yes, the employer has to give an employee a 30 minute unpaid break after every 5 hours of work.  Employers may choose to give additional breaks at their discretion.

What is considered a break?

Employees are on their own time during breaks. Employees must be free of all workplace responsibility and be able to leave the workplace during their breaks.

Can employers be excluded from the break requirement?

Yes, employers may apply to the Employment Standards Branch where the Branch will look at the circumstances of the employer and the opinions of the employees when considering a meal break variance. Unionized workplaces may have different provisions for work breaks.


How is overtime calculated?

Overtime is calculated at one and a half (1.5) times your regular wage rate after you work 8 hours in a day or 40 hours in a week. A employer and employee can agree in writing to paid time off instead of overtime. Usually paid time off occurs within three months of when it was earned.

Can I refuse overtime?

Yes. The employer does not have a right to force an employee to work overtime. Except in declared emergencies, overtime is voluntary or by agreement.

Can employees bank overtime and take time off later?

Yes, employers and employees can agree in writing to bank overtime. They can make their own rules regarding how this time is provided or paid out as long as the agreement recognizes these minimum rules:

  • for each hour of overtime worked, employees get 1½ hours off work with regular pay
  • employers must schedule time-off during regular hours
  • employers must provide the time-off within three months of it being earned, unless the Director of Employment Standards authorizes a longer period

If the time is not taken within three months, employers must pay out the overtime wages, at 1 ½ times the regular wage for each hour of overtime worked.

Do employees who are paid by commission receive overtime?

Yes, employees who are paid by an incentive plan, such as commission are entitled to receive overtime pay. Employees earning incentive pay are entitled to at least minimum wage and the correct overtime pay for any overtime hours worked.

As of April 30, 2007, employees who are paid on an incentive plan are entitled to overtime based on their average hourly wage, instead of minimum wage. See the Incentive-based overtime page for more information.

Are there employees who are not entitled to overtime?

As of April 30, 2007 there are some groups of employees who are not entitled to overtime. Employees who perform management functions with the discretion and authority to make business decisions and employees whose employer generally doesn't set the schedule or control their day-to-day activities and earn twice the Manitoba average industrial wage ($81,780.40 per year in 2011) are excluded from standard hours of work and overtime.

Are all workers covered by these rules?

No. Lots of workers are fully excluded from hours of work and overtime provisions. The list includes agricultural workers, fishers, and those who work in fur farming, dairy farming and horticulture; domestic workers who work less than 24 hours a week for the same employer, in-home child care providers, and companions attending primarily to the needs of elderly, infirm or ill people. Also excluded are students in training, many professionals, businesses that only employ family members, commission salespeople whose work is performed outside of their employer's place of business, independent contractors, volunteers, those who are in federal, provincial or school board training or work experience programs and don't get paid, and workers receiving rehabilitation or therapy benefits.

Some workers are partially excluded, including: construction workers, crown employees in a classification with a maximum rate of more than $34,497 a year, some Department of Highways and Transportation workers, some jobs in correctional or mental health camps, summer students working as temporary workers, and temporary workers appointed under the Elections Act.

What if I'm still not sure which rules apply to me?

You can contact the Manitoba Employment Standards Inquiry lines at 1-800-821-4307 outside Winnipeg; (204) 945-3352 inside Winnipeg.

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