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To the right you will find general guidelines on key points regarding overtime, with links to some of the legislation. If you can't find the information you need or are wondering what your next step should be, we encourage you to visit our Get Help page.

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Overtime

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Overtime is based on the principle that employees will be paid an additional sum of money for working extra hours. All Canadian jurisdictions require that an employee be paid overtime for all hours worked beyond their standard work day or week. Overtime is usually calculated at 1.5 times the regular hourly rate of pay. In a few jurisdictions, such as New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador, the overtime rate is based on the minimum wage.

Not all occupations and job classes are covered by overtime regulations. In some cases, “averaging agreements” adjust the standard by which overtime will be paid. An employer that has an averaging agreement must post it in the workplace.

In a number of jurisdictions overtime may be taken as time off at a later date.

Determining your rights regarding overtime can be a difficult task. It requires careful reading of the appropriate section(s) of legislation and corresponding regulations. In addition there are numerous exceptions and exemptions that may need to be considered.

Alberta

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• With some exceptions, employees in Alberta are to receive 1.5 times regular pay for working beyond eight hours in a day or 44 hours in a week.

• Time off may be taken in lieu of overtime pay if there is a written agreement between you and the employer.

• If yours is a compressed work week or you are paid in whole or in part through a commission structure, special rules determine how overtime is calculated.

British Columbia

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• In British Columbia you may be entitled to overtime pay at 1.5 times your regular rate if you work beyond eight hours in a day or 40 hours in a week. You should be paid double your regular rate for every hour over 12 that you work in a day.

• Standard overtime rules do not apply in B.C. if you have an averaging agreement with your employer.

• You may take time off in lieu of overtime pay if you make a written request to your employer.

Federal

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• If your employment is regulated by the Canada Labour Code, you are entitled to 1.5 times your regular wage for all hours worked in excess of eight in a day or 40 in a week.

• Overtime (OT) can be calculated on a daily or weekly basis. If there is a difference in the totals, you must be paid the higher amount.

For example: You work 10 hours on Monday (two hours OT), 12 hours on Tuesday (four hours OT), six hours on Wednesday, seven hours on Thursday and eight hours on Friday. You worked a total of 43 hours, which is three in excess of your 40-hour week. However, you put in six hours of overtime on Monday and Tuesday. You must be paid for six hours of overtime.

As an example of how it would work in your favour to calculate overtime on a weekly basis, say that you went in on Saturday of this same week and did an eight-hour shift. That would bring your total hours worked in the six-day week to 51, yielding 11 hours of overtime (in excess of the 40-hour week).

• Special regulations, averaging agreements or modified work schedules could affect overtime rules. For example, if yours is a compressed work week (four days, 10 hours a day) overtime would apply to any hours in excess of 10 in a day.

Manitoba

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• You are entitled to overtime of 1.5 times your regular rate of pay after eight hours a day or 40 hours a week. 

• Unless an agreement is in place or in the case of emergencies, overtime is on a voluntary basis in Manitoba.

• Your overtime can be taken as time off within three months of earning it.

• Commissioned employees are entitled to overtime based on their average wage rate.

New Brunswick

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• The overtime rate in New Brunswick is based on the minimum wage. Currently, the overtime rate is $15.45 an hour. If your hourly wage is more than that, you are not entitled to receive overtime pay.

• Overtime is paid for each hour worked in excess of 44 a week.

• Not all occupations are covered by overtime.

Newfoundland and Labrador

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• The overtime rate is set at 1.5 times the minimum wage. The minimum overtime wage is $15.38 per hour. ($15.75 effective October 1, 2015)

• Employees in Newfoundland and Labrador are entitled to overtime after 40 hours a week.

• If your employer agrees, you are allowed to bank your overtime and take it as paid time off.

• Overtime is not paid if you switch shifts with a co-worker, resulting in you working more than 40 hours a week.

Nova Scotia

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• Regulations regarding overtime can be contingent upon the type of work you do in Nova Scotia:

• You are entitled to 1.5 times your hourly wage if you work more than 48 hours in a week.

• Employees in certain industries such as gas, oil and fisheries receive overtime based on 1.5 times the minimum wage after 48 hours a week.

• Other groups of employees such as sawmill workers and landscapers are entitled to overtime after 110 hours over a two-week period.

Ontario

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• Ontario's overtime rules cover a wide variety of employees, including full-time, part-time, temporary, casual workers and students.

• Overtime is paid at 1.5 your regular rate of pay for each hour worked over 44 in a week.

• Averaging agreements can change the requirements to pay overtime. You can have a written agreement with your employer — which must be approved by the Director of Employment Standards — to average out your hours over a period of two or more weeks. (If, for instance, you averaged out your hours over a four-week period, you would not be entitled to overtime until after you had worked 176 hours.)

• Piece work and commissioned employees are also entitled to overtime based on their average hourly rate.

Prince Edward Island

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• In Prince Edward Island you are entitled to overtime at 1.5 times your regular hourly wage after having worked 48 hours in a week.

• Workers in certain occupations on P.E.I. are subject to different overtime regulations: For instance, ambulance drivers and community care facility workers are not entitled to overtime until after 60 hours a week. Heavy equipment operators and highway construction workers do not qualify for overtime until after 55 hours worked in a week.

Quebec

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• Employees in Quebec earn overtime after 40 hours in a week, paid at 1.5 times your regular wage.

• You may request that the overtime owed you be taken in equivalent paid time off.

• Statutory holidays and vacation are counted as days worked for the purpose of calculating any overtime owed.

• Your employer may be granted approval from the Commission des norms du travail to stagger working hours over several weeks.

• You can refuse to work overtime in certain circumstances, such as when you have already worked more than 50 hours in a week.

Saskatchewan

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• Overtime, calculated at 1.5 times your regular rate of pay, is owed to you when you have worked more than eight hours (or ten) in a day or in excess of 40 hours in a week.

• Not all workers in Saskatchewan are eligible to receive overtime. Exceptions include professional employees, loggers, fishers or trappers.

• An Averaging of Hours Permit granted by the Director of Labour Standards could affect your right to payment for overtime hours.