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Daily Rest Provision Section 18(1)

An employee must have at least 11 consecutive hours free from performing work in each "day". (This requirement does not apply to an employee who is on call and is called in during a period he or she would not otherwise have been expected to work.)

What is a "Day"?

A "day" means a 24-hour period; it does not have to be a calendar day. The Employment Standards Program uses the following interpretation of "day" in the context of section 18(1):

  • The first "day" for an employee starts at the beginning of his or her first shift in the work cycle [ 1 ], and ends 24 hours later.
  • The second day:
    • begins with the first moment of work that is performed after the end of the first day. This may be immediately after the end of the first day (for example, if the employee works a regular 8-hour or 12-hour shift that starts at the same time every working day or, when "day 1" ends partway through a shift), or it may be some time after the end of the first 24 hour day, depending on the type of shift schedule.
    • ends 24 hours after it began.
  • The third and each subsequent day begins and ends in the same manner as described above with respect to the second day.

This interpretation of "day" means that the "days" do not have to be consecutive. That is, there can be gaps of time in between the end of one "day" and the beginning of the next "day", but only if the employee did not work during that time.

This interpretation of "day" also means that "days" cannot overlap with other "days" for that employee. That is, the beginning of a day cannot be any earlier than the end of the previous day.

[ 1 ] A new work cycle begins after every rest period of 24 hours or longer. It is not necessarily the same period as a "work week" as defined in the act.

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