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Weekly or Biweekly Free Time

  • Content last reviewed: January 2012

An employee must receive at least:

  • 24 consecutive hours off work in each work week, or
  • 48 consecutive hours off work in every two consecutive work weeks

Meaning of Work Week

A “work week” is a recurring period of seven consecutive days selected by the employer for the purpose of scheduling work, or if the employer has not selected such a period, a recurring period of seven consecutive days beginning on Sunday and ending on Saturday.

How the Weekly or Biweekly Free Time Requirement Works

If an employer does not provide at least 24 consecutive hours off work in a particular work week, the employer must provide at least 48 consecutive hours off work in each two-week period that contains that particular work week.

In the example below, because the employer did not provide 24 consecutive hours off work in week 2, the employer must ensure that it provides at least 48 hours off work in the two-week period consisting of weeks 1 and 2 AND in the two-week period consisting of weeks 2 and 3. The employer in this example has done that, and so there is no violation so far as weeks 1, 2 and 3 are concerned.

The employer provided 24 consecutive hours off work in each of weeks 4 and 5, and so there is no violation so far as those weeks are concerned, either. Note, however, that had the employee not had 24 consecutive hours off work in week 4, the employer would have had to ensure that the employee not only had 48 consecutive hours off in week 3, but also 48 consecutive hours off in week 5.

The example assumes a work week that starts on Sunday and ends on Saturday:

Example of Compliance with the Weekly or Biweekly Free Time Requirement
Week Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
1 Off Off Work Work Work Work Work
2 Work Work Work Work Work Work Work
3 Work Work Work Work Work Off Off
4 Off Work Work Work Work Work Work
5 Off Work Work Work Work Work Work

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 including weekly or biweekly rest periods.

 
 




 

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