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Provision for Rest in Between Shifts--S. 18(3)

Employees must, with two exceptions, receive at least eight hours free from work in between successive shifts. "Successive shifts" are two shifts following one after another, whether or not there is time off in between the shifts. It includes "split shifts", "on call shifts", "back-to-back" shifts, as well as the ordinary daily shifts.

The first exception to the requirement that an employee receive at least eight hours free from work between successive shifts is that an employee may work successive shifts without the eight hour free period if the total number of hours worked on the successive shifts is 13 or less.

Second, the employer and employee can agree in writing to forego the eight hour period entirely, or to reduce its length.

The requirement for rest in between shifts operates simultaneously with the requirement for daily rest; an employee's schedule must satisfy both requirements. For example, an employee may agree in writing to work two eight -hour shifts in a row without any break in between them (thus complying with s. 18(3)), but if that results in the employee receiving less than 11 consecutive hours off in a day, the schedule will be in violation of s. 18(1) of the Act and, therefore, will not be permitted.

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