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Rest Between Shifts

  • Content last reviewed: January 2012

Employees must, with two exceptions, receive at least eight hours free from work between shifts, whether they are "split shifts," "on call shifts," "back-to-back" shifts or ordinary daily shifts.

Rest between shifts is not required if:

  • the total time worked during both shifts does not exceed 13 hours; or
  • the employer and employee agree in writing to reduce or forego the eight-hour rest period.

Example

Monica works in a restaurant. She is on split shifts, working from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm and then from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm. The total time of her two shifts is 6 hours. Monica does not need to have eight hours off between the shifts because her total hours worked on the shifts do not exceed 13 hours.

Note: The requirement for rest between shifts operates simultaneously with the requirement for daily rest; an employee's schedule must satisfy both requirements. For example, an employee might agree in writing to work two eight-hour shifts in a row without any time free from work between them (the employee’s agreement means there is no violation of the rest between shifts rule), but if that results in the employee receiving less than 11 consecutive hours off in a day, the employer will be in violation of the daily rest rule* and therefore it is not permitted.

* Unlike the case with the rest between shifts requirement, an employee cannot agree to waive the daily rest requirement.

There are exceptional circumstances where an employee may be required to work more than the daily or weekly limits on hours of work, or to work during a required rest period including the eight-hour rest period between shifts.

 
 




 

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