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How Many Hours In A Week Can You Work Legally In Canada? Photo KnowInsiders

How many hours in a day can you work legally in Canada?

Working hours in Canada: 8 hours in a day (any period of 24 consecutive hours)

How many hours in a week can you work legally in Canada?

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Photo We Global Education

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

Working hours in Canada: 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 1 full day of rest each week, which usually falls on a Sunday.

During a week when 1 or more holidays occur, the standard hours of work is reduced by 8 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

How many hours can foreign students work while studying in Canada?

Before the pandemic, international students are allowed to work a maximum of 20 hours a week. In April, the government changed the rules to let students work more than 20 hours a week, but only if they were employed in essential service sectors.

Universities and employers assumed that the rule change was no longer in effect, as many services were no longer deemed essential.

International students were told by employers that they were no longer allowed to work more than 20 hours a week.

Under the impression that their student visa status would be affected, some international students opted to reduce their work hours. Recently, some were told by universities and employers that they were no longer allowed to work for more than 20 hours a week.

Canada’s essential service sectors have been defined as the following:

Energy and utilities

Information and Communication Technologies








How many hours can you work legally in a week in trucking industry?

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.



Standard hours after which overtime is payable

Standard hours in a week in which a Holiday occurs

Averaging permitted

Maximum hours



1. Highway Motor Vehicle Operators

Transport of Goods and Mail





As per Commercial Vehicle Drivers Hours of Service Regulations

2. City Motor Vehicle Operators

Transport of Goods and Mail





As per Commercial Vehicle Drivers Hours of Service Regulations

3. Bus Operators

Transport of Passengers





As per Commercial Vehicle Drivers Hours of Service Regulations

4. Non-driving Personnel (including maintenance personnel, warehousemen, office staff)

All sectors





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 2 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.

Depending on your industry, working hours may be set by the Canada Labour Code or a Collective Agreement

While maximum working hours are generally governed by the provincial or territorial employment standards legislation, there are exceptions. If you are working in a federally-regulated industry, such as banking, telecommunications, broadcasting, transportation, or in industries where the nature of the work is inter-provincial or nation-wide, your maximum working hours are governed under the Canada Labour Code.

If you are represented by a trade union at your workplace, your employees’ working hours will be governed by a collective agreement. A collective agreement is a detailed agreement outlining various workplace standards and policies that the trade union has negotiated on your employees’ behalf during a process referred to as collective bargaining.

How many overtime hours of work allowed in Canada?

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Photo We Global Education

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)

Can I work a compressed work week? (e.g., work for 10 hours a day, but only for 4 days a week)

No. Previously the legislation allowed this practice which was called a compressed work week. However, as of January 1, 2018, this is no longer permitted.

If you are in a compressed work week arrangement, this arrangement remains valid for a year after January 1, 2018, or the arrangement ends, or if the compressed work week was part of collective agreement, when a subsequent collective agreement is signed.

Is there a limit on how many hours I can work per day for the same employer?

Yes, you are not permitted to work more 12 hours per day (unless your collective agreement says otherwise). Unless your job is exempt from the overtime provisions, the law says that any work time over 8 hours per day, or 44 hours per week (whichever is greater) is overtime and must be paid as such. You can also enter into an averaging arrangement with your employer to average your hours of work over one to 52 weeks to determine your entitlement to overtime pay or time off with pay.

Do I get rest periods at work?

Yes, depending on how many hours you work.

If you work 5 hours or less, you are not entitled to a rest period.

If you work more than 5 hours but less than 10 hours, you should get at least 30 minutes of rest. The 30 minutes can be provided in one unbroken period or in a series of breaks (two 15-minute periods), if you and your employer agree. Your break may be paid or unpaid, depending on your employer’s choice.

If you work 10 hours or more, you should get at least two rest periods of at least 30 minutes each. A 30-minute rest period can be provided in one unbroken period or in a series of breaks (two 15-minute periods), if you and your employer agree. Your breaks may be paid or unpaid, depending on your employer’s choice.

How many hours is considered part-time employment in Canada?

While the Canada Labour Code clearly defines many aspects of legal employment standards across the country, it does not legislate the definition of part-time hours. The Canadian Council on Social Development (CCSD) considers 30 hours per week as part-time, with full-time hours being defined as over 30 hours per week.

This is the federal guideline, as each province and territory has their own labour standards. For example, in Alberta, the definition of part-time hours is anything less than 30 hours worked per week for a single employer. Whereas in Ontario, there are no specified criteria.

Most employers in Canada subscribe to the idea that 30 hours a week or less defines part-time employment. This helps them to create policies and benefit programs for the people they employ.

What are the benefits of working part-time?

The benefits of working a part-time position can make up for any disadvantages, depending on your priorities and expectations. Here are several positive benefits part-time work can provide:

Gain transferable skills and experience

A part-time job offers the opportunity to learn new skills by working in an industry you haven't tried before or by taking on responsibilities you have yet to experience. The work you do in a part-time job is as valuable as a full-time position, especially in perfecting transferable skills. Qualities to develop within part-time work include interpersonal, communication and time management skills. You can proudly hold on to these skills and use them in your next part-time or full-time position.

Entry to new opportunities

A part-time job offers you valuable work experience, crucial to breaking into a new career or industry. For example, if you want to work in the medical field, working part-time in a community health clinic can open up opportunities that your newfound experience provides. It is also common for companies to offer newly available full-time positions to their valuable part-time employees. Working a part-time job provides incredible opportunities not posted or advertised on job boards, whether it's an unfamiliar experience or an entirely new position.

Supplemental income

Working a part-time position earns additional income. Whether you're a full-time student or an established professional looking to make some extra pocket money, having a part-time job can help you achieve your financial goals. Many companies acknowledge that their part-time staff have other commitments, like school, a family or a career and commonly work with flexible schedules. Adding extra income to your financial budget may be the difference between a local vacation or a tropical family holiday.

Opportunity to pursue other interests

Working a part-time role affords you more time to pursue other interests that a full-time position may not accommodate. Perhaps you want to learn a new skill, develop a hobby or work on starting your own business. Having the flexibility of a part-time position allows you to focus more of your attention on the things that matter most to you. Typically, part-time positions also allow for greater flexibility in the hours of work. For example, a full-time position has set standard hours, usually nine to five, Monday to Friday. In contrast, a part-time role may allow you to choose the hours you wish to work or break up your work hours over the course of the week into time blocks that accommodate your schedule.

How much is minimum wage in Canada?

Minimum wage is established across all jurisdictions in Canada and it is variable by jurisdiction. Provincial minimum wage spans $11.06 to $15 per hour, with Alberta the only province offering minimum wage at $15 per hour. Ontario’s minimum wage is frozen at $14 per hour, subject to annual adjustments tied to the Consumer Price Index, which will restart on Oct. 1, 2020.

Territorial minimum wage varies from $12.71 to $13.46. There is no federal minimum wage; instead, employees falling under federal jurisdiction are paid the prevailing minimum wage of the province or territory in which the work is performed. In some jurisdictions, there are exemptions for who must be paid minimum wage.

For example, in Ontario students in training for specified occupations are not protected by the section of the employment standards legislation that requires employers to pay employees minimum wage. In some provinces, workers in specific occupations are entitled to a minimum wage per day, per week or per month rather than per hour.

In Ontario, employees who serve liquor in licensed establishments and students under age 18 employed up to 28 hours in a week or during a school holiday have a lower minimum wage than the general minimum wage rate.

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