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Daily and Weekly Hours of Work

  • Content last reviewed: January 2012

There are limits to the number of hours an employee can be required or allowed to work. For most employees, the daily limit is eight hours or the employee’s regular work day if that is longer than eight hours. For most employees, the weekly limit is 48 hours. These limits may be exceeded if certain conditions are met. (See below). In addition, some employers and employees are exempt from the hours of work limits or have different limits. Please refer to the Special Rule Tool for more information.

Exceptions to Daily Limits of Work

Generally, an employee can work more than eight hours in a day (or the number of hours in his or her regular work day if that is longer) only if he or she has agreed in writing and was provided with the document entitled “Information for Employees About Hours of Work and Overtime Pay,” published by the Director of Employment Standards, before the agreement was made. Note that a written agreement must meet certain minimum requirements in order to be valid.

Exceptions to Weekly Limits of Work

Generally, an employee can work more than 48 hours in a work week only if he or she has agreed in writing and was provided with the document entitled “Information for Employees About Hours of Work and Overtime Pay,” published by the Director of Employment Standards, before the agreement was made AND the employer has obtained the approval of the Director of Employment Standards. A written agreement must meet certain minimum requirements outlined on the Hours of Work web page. Note: The weekly limit on hours of work may be exceeded while an application for approval is pending, provided certain conditions are met. See pending approval provisions for more information.

Exceptional Circumstances

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. In such cases, the limits on hours of work may be exceeded or the rest period may be reduced, but only to the extent that it is necessary to avoid serious interference with the ordinary working of the employer’s establishment or operations. For more information see exceptional circumstances.

 

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Employment Standards Information Centre
416-326-7160 (Greater Toronto Area) 
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