Hours of Work and Rest Periods

Alberta’s Employment Standards Code describes the minimum standards of employment to be provided to employees. Under the Code, there are basic rules for hours of work and daily rest periods. These regulations set out the maximum allowable daily working hours and include mandatory rest periods.

On January 1, 2018, Alberta’s updates to the Employment Standards Code under the Fair and Family-friendly Workplaces Act came into effect. This includes new standards for hours of work and rest.

Hours of Work:

The basic rules around hours of work are as follows:

  • An employee can work a maximum of 12 hours per day, unless an exception occurs
  • Employers must provide employees with notice concerning start and end times
  • Employers must provide at least 8 hours of rest between shifts

Employers must pay employees for at least three (3) hours each time they are required to report to work, or for the number of hours actually worked, whichever is greater.

Rest Periods:

Employers must provide employees with at least the following rest periods:

  • A 30-minute break per five-hour work period, or two 15-minute breaks
  • One day of rest per work week

A rest period can be paid or unpaid at the employer’s discretion, but paid breaks are required if the employer places restrictions on an employee’s activities during a break.

Ask an HR expert about managing hours of work and rest periods:

It is important that you understand how to effectively manage your employees’ hours of work and rest. For questions about this or related topics, such as overtime pay and flexible time, call our free advice line: 1 (888) 219-8767. We are an employer resource dedicated to small business owners. Ask an HR expert.