Hours of work, overtime and rest day
If you are covered under Part IV of the Employment Act, your hours of work are regulated and you are entitled to breaks, overtime pay and rest day.
Who is covered
The hours of work guidelines apply only to those covered under Part IV of the Employment Act.
Note: Part IV of the Employment Act does not cover managers and executives.
Week – A continuous period of 7 days starting from Monday and ending on Sunday.
Hours of work – The period during which employees are expected to carry out the duties assigned by their employers. It does not include any intervals allowed for rest, tea breaks and meals.
You are generally not required to work more than 6 consecutive hours without a break.
However, if the nature of the work requires continuous work for up to 8 hours, breaks must be provided for meals. The breaks should be at least 45 minutes long.
Normal hours of work
Contractual working hours are the hours that you and your employer have agreed to in the contract of service.
For common work arrangements, your contractual hours of work are as follows:
|If you work||Your contractual hours of work are|
|5 days or less a week||Up to 9 hours per day or 44 hours a week|
|More than 5 days a week||Up to 8 hours a day or 44 hours a week|
For other work arrangements, your contractual hours of work are as follows:
|If you work||Your contractual hours of work are|
|Less than 44 hours every alternate week||
Up to 48 hours a week, but capped at 88 hours in any continuous 2-week period.
If week 1 = 40 hours; week 2 = 48 hours; week 3 = 40 hours:
|Shifts of up to 12 hours a day||
Up to an average of 44 hours over a continuous 3-week period.
If week 1 = 40 hours; week 2 = 44 hours; week 3 = 48 hours; week 4 = 40 hours:
Note: If you are not a shift worker but agree to work up to 12 hours a day, and not exceeding an average of 44 hours over any 3 continuous weeks, you must:
- Give your consent in writing.
- Have the provisions of Sections 38 and 40 of the Employment Act explained to you.
- Be informed of your daily working hours, number of working days in each week and weekly rest day.
Overtime work is all work in excess of the normal hours of work (excluding breaks).
You can claim overtime if you are:
- A non-workman earning up to $2,600.
- A workman earning up to $4,500.
The overtime rate payable for non-workmen is capped at the salary level of $2,600, or an hourly rate of $13.60.
For overtime work, your employer must pay you at least 1.5 times the hourly basic rate of pay. Payment must be made within 14 days after the last day of the salary period.
$13.60 × 1.5 × 2 hours = $40.80
How overtime pay is calculated
Overtime pay is calculated as follows:
- Hourly basic rate of pay × 1.5 × number of hours worked overtime
The hourly basic rate of pay is calculated as follows:
|For this category of employee||Hourly basic rate of pay is|
|Monthly-rated employee||(12 x Monthly basic rate of pay) / (52 x 44)|
|Daily-rated employee||Daily pay at the basic rate / Working hours per day|
|Piece-rated employee||Total weekly pay at the basic rate of pay / Total number of hours worked in the week|
Maximum hours of work
As an employee, you are not allowed to work more than 12 hours a day.
However, your employer can ask you to work more than 12 hours a day in the following circumstances:
- An accident or threat of accident.
- Work that is essential to the life of the community, national defence or security.
- Urgent work to be done to machinery or plant.
- An interruption of work that was impossible to foresee.
Working more than 12 hours a day (overtime exemption)
If an employer requires employees to work more than 12 hours a day (up to a maximum of 14 hours), they must apply for an overtime exemption.
Maximum hours of overtime
An employee can only work up to 72 overtime hours in a month.
Employers can apply for an exemption if they require employees to work more than the 72 hours of overtime in a month.
Note: these work activities will not be granted exemption.
Work on rest day or public holidays is not counted in the 72-hour overtime limit, except for work done beyond the usual daily working hours on those days. Such extra hours are included in the 72-hour limit.
Overtime on a rest day or public holiday is calculated as follows:
- (Hourly basic rate of pay × 1.5 × Number of hours worked overtime) + (Rest day or public holiday pay)
Your employer must provide 1 rest day per week.
A rest day comprises 1 whole day (midnight to midnight). It is not a paid day.
For shift workers, the rest day can be a continuous period of 30 hours. A 30-hour rest period that starts before 6pm on a Sunday is considered as 1 rest day within the week, even if it extends into the Monday of the following week.
A week is continuous period of 7 days starting from Monday and ending on Sunday.
Your employer cannot compel you to work on a rest day, unless under exceptional circumstances.
When rest day can fall
The employer determines the rest day, which can be on a Sunday, or any other day of the week.
Other than the rest day, the other days of the week which you don’t need to work are not considered rest days.
If the rest day is not a Sunday, your employer should prepare a monthly roster and inform you of the rest days before the start of each month.
The maximum interval allowed between 2 rest days is 12 days.
How pay for work on a rest day is calculated
Payment for work on a rest day is calculated as follows:
|If work is done||For up to half your normal daily working hours||For more than half your normal daily working hours||Beyond your normal daily working hours|
|At the employer’s request||1 day’s salary||2 days’ salary||2 days’ salary + overtime pay|
|At the employee’s request||Half day’s salary||1 day’s salary||1 day’s salary + overtime pay|