Weekly Hours and Overtime
What is the regular work week? It's 40 hours a week for most workers. There are exceptions:
- Sawmill or forestry workers–47 hours
- Live-in domestics–49 hours
- Workers in isolated areas or in the James Bay territory–55 hours
- Security workers who don't work for security service companies–60 hours
(Note: If you belong to a union, check your collective agreement. You might have better hours of work and overtime provisions than the minimum protections found in the law.)
Can my boss vary the standard work week? Your employer can ask the Commission des normes du travail for permission to stagger your working hours other than on a weekly basis. But the average working hours must equal the standards found in the Employment Standards Act or regulations.
Do I get days off? You're entitled to 24 hours off in a row every week.
Am I entitled to a break? After working five hours in a row you're entitled to a ½-hour break. If you aren't allowed to leave your work station, this break must be paid.
Employers don't have to provide coffee breaks, but if they do the break must be paid and included in the number of hours worked.
How is overtime calculated? Any time you work beyond the regular work week must be paid at one and a half times your regular wage. At your request, your employer can pay you overtime in paid time off.
Can I refuse overtime? No. The law does not give workers this right.
Are any workers excluded from hours of work and overtime rules? Not covered are students working in vacation camps or community or social non profit organizations, such as recreational organizations; managers; employees who work off premises and whose working hours can't be controlled; workers who harvest, can, package and freeze fruit and vegetables in harvest time; workers in the fishing industry; farm workers or workers on farms that employ less than three people.
What if I'm still not sure which rules apply to me? You can contact La commission des normes du travail at:
Hall est, 7e étage
400, boul. Jean Lesage
Québec (Québec) G1K 8W1
Telephone : (418) 644 0817
Toll free: 1 800 563 9058
Fax : (418) 643 5132