Working Hours Act
What exactly is in it. How many hours can you actually work per week? What if you have to work overtime every week? We have listed the most frequently asked questions for you.
An employee may work a maximum of 12 hours per shift. A maximum of 60 hours may be worked per week. This does not apply to longer or structural overtime.
An employee is not allowed to work the maximum number of hours every week. Over a longer period of time, the working hours look like this:
• every 4 weeks: on average 55 hours per week in a period of four weeks; deviating agreements may have been made about this in a collective arrangement (for example, a collective labor agreement). But an employee should never work more than 60 hours a week.
• per 16 weeks: an average of 48 hours per week in a period of 16 weeks. The employee and employer make agreements together on how the employee will fill in the working time per day and per week.
• If an employee works longer than 5 ½ hours, he has a break of at least 30 minutes. It may be split into 2 times a quarter of an hour.
• If an employee works longer than 10 hours, the break is at least 45 minutes. This may be split into more breaks of at least fifteen minutes.
After a working day, an employee is not allowed to work for 11 consecutive hours. However, this rest period may be shortened to 8 hours once every 7 days if the nature of the work or the operating conditions make this necessary.
With a 5-day working week, an employee is not allowed to work for 36 consecutive hours after a working week. A longer working week is also possible, provided the employee does not work for at least 72 consecutive hours in a period of 14 days. This period may be split into two periods of at least 32 hours.
The basic principle is that an employee does not have to work on Sundays, unless an employer has agreed to this with him. Working on Sundays is only allowed if the type of work makes it necessary. For example in healthcare, catering, with the police or fire brigade. But also, for example, in industry where a certain production process may not be interrupted.
An employee is entitled to at least 13 free Sundays per year.
• No more than 10 hours may be worked per night shift.
• An employee may work a maximum of 36 night shifts per 16 weeks.
• An employee may not work more than 7 consecutive shifts if one of those shifts is a night shift.
If work cannot be postponed, work may continue for longer. The main thing here is that this longer working cannot be prevented. The employee may then work a maximum of 14 hours (including at night) once every 2 weeks. No collective agreement is required for the application of this regulation.
Deviating agreements can be made in a collective arrangement (eg collective labor agreement). In addition, a number of deviating rules apply – based on the Working Hours Decree – which may only be applied if the work is performed within a relevant sector.