Hours of work

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

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General

Standard hours of work

The standard hours of work for an employee in a federally regulated industry are:

  • eight hours in a day (any period of 24 consecutive hours)
  • 40 hours in a week (the period between midnight on Saturday and midnight on the Saturday that immediately follows)

Federally regulated employees are all entitled to one full day of rest each week, which usually falls on a Sunday.

During a week when one or more holidays occur, the standard hours of work is reduced by eight hours for each holiday.

Regulations allow for different standard hours of work for certain industries and types of work, such as drivers in the trucking industry; employees on ships in the East Coast and Great Lakes shipping industry and the West Coast shipping industry; running trades employees in the railway industry; the commission salespersons in the broadcasting industry; and the commission-paid salespeople in the banking industry.

Overtime hours of work

Any hours worked in excess of the standard hours of work are considered overtime hours.

Overtime pay at a rate of a minimum of 1.5 times the regular hourly wage for those hours would apply, with the following exceptions:

  • Managers and professionals, such as doctors, lawyers, dentists, architects and engineers, are exempt from overtime.

For technical guidance, please consult Clarification on Excluded Employees (IPG-049)

Maximum hours of work

In most cases, the maximum number of hours worked in a week is 48.

This can be exceeded in exceptional circumstances including permits, for emergency work, under an averaging plan or a modified work schedule.

For general information, please consult Hours of Work (Pamphlet 9 - Labour Standards).

For technical guidance, please consult Averaging (IPG-053), Hours of Work (IPG-002) and Reporting Pay (IPG-048).

Trucking

Hours of work for drivers including bus operators, city motor vehicle operators, and highway motor vehicle operators involved in the interprovincial and international transport of goods or passengers and in the transport of mail on contract with Canada Post are modified by the Motor Vehicle Operators Hours of Work Regulations, replacing sections 169 and 171 of Part III of the Canada Labour Code.

Maximum hours of work are defined by the Commercial Vehicle Drivers Hours of Service Regulations administered by Transport Canada.

Hours of work for operators classified in 4 different categories.
Class Industry Standard Hours After Which Overtime is Payable Standard Hours in a Week in Which a Holiday Occurs Averaging Permitted Maximum Hours
Daily Weekly
1. Highway Motor Vehicle Operators Transport of Goods and Mail - 60 50 No As per Commercial Vehicle Drivers Hours of Service Regulations
2. City Motor Vehicle Operators Transport of Goods and Mail 9 45 36 No As per Commercial Vehicle Drivers Hours of Service Regulations
3. Bus Operators Transport of Passengers 8 40 32 Yes As per Commercial Vehicle Drivers Hours of Service Regulations
4. Non-driving Personnel (including maintenance personnel, warehousemen, office staff) All sectors 8 40 32 Yes 48 - Averaging permitted where applicable

All employers must keep complete and accurate records that show the hours an employee has worked each day, and retain these records (such as detailed logs) for 36 months after the work is finished. These records can be used to calculate overtime pay, at a rate of a minimum of 1.5 times the regular hourly wage, and to demonstrate compliance should the need arise. For city and highway motor vehicle operators, certain hours do not need to be counted:

  • authorized meals and rest stops while on route, after the employee has been relieved of duty;
  • en route rest stops due to illness or fatigue;
  • time spent resting as one of two operators when a vehicle has a sleeper berth while en route; and
  • time spent resting in a place where sleeping accommodation is provided while en route.

For bus operators, time spent while the bus is in the garage, or parked if the employee is not required to stay with it, does not need to be counted.

All other time during an operator's shift must be counted.

A highway motor vehicle operator is defined as a motor vehicle operator who is not a bus operator or a city motor vehicle operator.

A city motor vehicle operator is defined as a motor vehicle operator who operates exclusively within a 10-mile (16 km ) radius of his home terminal and is not a bus operator. The definition includes any motor vehicle operator who is classified as a city motor vehicle operator in a collective agreement or who is not classified in any such agreement but is considered to be a city motor vehicle operator according to the prevailing industry practice in the geographical area where he is employed.

The HRSDC - Labour Program conducts motor vehicle operator surveys for drivers employed by a federal jurisdiction employer to establish whether a driver is considered to be a city motor vehicle operator or a highway motor vehicle operator. The surveys also determine the prevailing industry practice in the geographical area where the driver is employed. If a driver is uncertain whether a particular survey applies to them, they should contact their local Labour Program office.

Survey results

The motor vehicle operator survey may yield various results for the prevailing industry practice in a geographical area:

Option 1: City drivers are drivers who operate exclusively within a described zone.

Zone Served by City drivers:

  • Furthest point northwest: ** km **
  • Furthest point north: ** km **
  • Furthest point northeast: ** km **
  • Furthest point east: ** km **
  • Furthest point southeast: ** km **
  • Furthest point south: ** km **
  • Furthest point southeast: ** km **
  • Furthest point west: ** km **

This finding is based on the fact that at least 70 percent of the companies surveyed classify their drivers who operate exclusively within this zone as city drivers. Therefore, this is confirmed as the prevailing industry practice for classifying drivers as city motor vehicle operators.

Option 2: City drivers are drivers who operate exclusively within a 10-mile (16 km ) radius of their home terminal.

Option 3: There is no prevailing industry practice. Therefore, in accordance with section 2 of the Motor Vehicle Operators Hours of Work Regulations, city motor vehicle operators are drivers who operate exclusively within a 10-mile (16 km ) radius of their home terminal.

Application of Survey Result

City motor vehicle operators are entitled to overtime pay at a rate of one and a half times the regular wage rate after working in excess of either 9 hours in a day or 45 hours in a week.

Highway motor vehicle operators are entitled to overtime pay at a rate of one and a half times the regular wage rate after working in excess of 60 hours in a week.

The survey results are valid for five years from the date on which the survey was completed.

For technical guidance concerning the survey procedures used by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada - Labour Program, please consult Survey Procedure for Ascertaining Whether or Not There is a Prevailing Industry Practice in a Geographical Area (IPG-071).

For general information, please consult Hours of Work - Motor Transport (Pamphlet 9A - Labour Standards).

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