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Hours of Work

Your employer must schedule your work hours and post the schedule at least a week in advance. A schedule can be changed with less than one week's notice if there is an emergency or something unexpected happens. Your employer cannot schedule you to work more than 44 hours in a week. You are entitled to overtime if you work more than 40 hours.

If you usually work 20 or more hours in a week, you must be given 1 day off every week. If you work in a retail store that has more than 10 employees, you must be given 2 consecutive days off a week. Live-in care providers and people that work in people's homes are also entitled to 2 consecutive days off a week.

Employers who use modified work weeks or apply for a permit from Employment Standards may have different rules that they must follow.

Workers must also be given at least 8 hours off in any 24 hour period, unless there is an emergency. An emergency is where a person, the employer’s property, or the employer’s business is at risk because something unexpected happened.

You must be given a half-hour meal break after 5 hours of work. Your employer does not have to pay you during your meal break. However, if you are required to stay at work and be available during your meal break you must be paid for it, even if you do not end up doing any work. If you are allowed coffee breaks they must be paid. It is up to employers to decide whether they give employees coffee breaks.

Overtime

If you work more than 40 hours in a week your employer must pay you the overtime rate for those extra hours. Overtime is paid at 1.5 times your regular wage.

You also receive overtime pay if you work more than a certain number of hours in any day. Overtime depends on how your employer schedules employees. Employers can choose to use 8 hour shifts 5 days a week, or 10 hour shifts 4 days a week. If your employer chooses 8 hour days you will be paid overtime after 8 hours. If your employer chooses 10 hour days you will be paid overtime after 10 hours.

Part-time employees are always entitled to overtime if they work more than 8 hours in a day. Employers cannot opt for 10 hour workdays for part-time employees.

Overtime Exceptions

Some workers do not get overtime pay. This includes...

  • managerial and professional employees
  • some kinds of travelling sales people
  • car salespeople
  • road crews
  • people working for outfitters, fishers or trappers

Employers who use modified work weeks or apply for a permit from Employment Standards will have different rules about overtime pay.

Special overtime rules apply to some types of employees, including live-in care providers, live-in domestics, ambulance attendants, or firefighters on a platoon system, oil truck drivers delivering fuel to farms, automobile service stations, some hog barn workers, and some city newspaper employees.

Overtime Banks

Employer and employees can agree in writing to set up an overtime bank instead of paid overtime. 1.5 hours are banked for every hour of overtime worked. Employees can then draw on the bank and take paid time off at their regular pay. Banked time must be used or paid out within one year of it being banked.

If an employer or employee wants to stop using an overtime bank they must provide notice of at least one pay-period. If an employee leaves the job or is terminated all their banked time must be paid out within 14 days of their last day of work.

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PLEA gratefully acknowledges our primary core funder the Law Foundation of Saskatchewan for their continuing and generous support of our organization.