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 might have better hours of work and overtime provisions than the minimum protections found in the law.)
Are there limits to the number of hours my boss can make me work? No. But if you feel that you are being made to work long hours that are harming your health or safety, you can file a complaint with the Director of Employment Standards. The Director can order your boss to limit your hours of work to not less than 8 per day and 40 per week.
Are there variations to the standard work week? You can work a compressed work week if there's a written agreement between your boss and a majority of the workers, or the union, if one exists. But your boss must pay overtime if the daily hours are more than 12, and the total hours in a two-week period are more than 80.
Employers can also apply to average the hours of work. They may get a permit for any one of these reasons:
- The nature of the work justifies irregular hours of work.
- The employer and the union agree to an averaging arrangement
- The employer and a majority of workers at a non union workplace agree in writing to averaging.
This arrangement allows hours of work to be averaged over a period of 2 or more weeks, so that overtime becomes payable after 80 hours worked in a two week period.
Are all workers covered by these rules? No. Employment standards laws don't cover territorial government workers. Also not covered are:
- People who provide in-home care or supervision for those who can't live independently, such as children, and disabled or elderly people.
- Those working on an Employment Insurance "top up" program.
Domestic workers, guides, outfitters, farm workers, watchmen or security guards (unless working for a security firm), and those who work in mineral exploration aren't covered by the laws on hours of work and overtime.
How is overtime calculated? If you work more than 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week you get overtime at one and a half times your regular rate of pay. If you and your boss agree in writing, you can take time off with pay instead.
Do I get time off? You must get 8 hours in a row off between shifts. The rest period can be reduced to 6 hours if there's an emergency or by order of the Director of Employment Standards.
Wherever possible, a worker is entitled to 2 days off in a week. If you regularly work overtime, you can work 28 or 35 days in a row if the additional 7 days will complete the project you're working on. You then get at least one day off for every 7 days in a row you worked. Your days off must be taken in a block.
If you work a split shift, you have to complete your shift within 12 hours after it started. (This applies to everyone except workers who are employed to serve bus tour passengers in a lodge.) Your boss can apply for authorization to vary this 12-hour limit.
Am I entitled to a meal break? If you work 10 hours a day or less you must get a ½-hour break after working 5 hours in a row. If you work more than 10 hours a day, you must get a meal break after you've worked 6 hours or less.
Can I refuse overtime? No. The law doesn't provide workers with the right to do this.
What if I'm still not sure which rules apply to me? Contact an Employment Standards Officer in the Labour Services Office on the 3rd Floor of the Law Centre,
2130 2nd Avenue,
Yukon Y1A 2C6.
Phone: (867) 667 5944.
Toll free within the Yukon:
1 800 661 0408 extension 5944.
Fax: (867) 393 6317.