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Hours of Work

General

Standard hours

Monday through Friday, from 9 AM to 5 PM with 30 minutes to an hour lunch break. The lunch break is not included in the working time. 40 hours a week is the standard working hours.

Maximum hours

Any work exceeding the agreed working time of 40 hours weekly is considered overtime. Both employer and employee have to agree to perform overtime work. In general, working time cannot exceed 48 hours per week on average over a calculation period of up to four months. 

An employer and employee may agree on longer than the 48 working hours, though that cannot exceed 52 hours on average per week over a reference period of four months. The same regulation establishes that such an agreement must not be detrimental to the employee’s health and safety.

An employee has the right to refuse to work overtime, and this agreement may be terminated at any time by the employee if a two weeks’ notice is given. 

Opt-out option

It is not possible to opt-out of the 52 hours weekly maximum permitted. If parties agree to the 52 hours limit, it must be recorded under a separate agreement.

Overtime compensation

Overtime compensation shall be either in the form of time off equal to the overtime or money (at least 1.5 times of the employee’s regular salary).

Break rights

After 6 hours of work, employees are entitled to a break rest or meal rest of at least 30 minutes. Employees are also entitled to at least 48 consecutive hours rest time per week and at least 11 consecutive hours daily of rest.

Breastfeeding employees are entitled to either additional 30-minute breaks every 3 hours or a reduced working day by the corresponding period of the breaks (i.e. the time is considered as working time).

Night workers

If employees work at night (10 PM to 6 AM), employers should pay employees 1.25 times their wage, unless it has been agreed that the wages include remuneration for working at night (cannot be agreed if the employee is paid minimum salary).

Time Tracking Obligations

Employers must respect agreed work and rest times and time track working time. However, the Employment Contracts Act does not regulate the form and manner in which accounts are to be kept by the employer.

Penalties

Failure to keep account of employees working time individually is punishable by a fine of up to €3,200.

This page was last updated on 9th March, 2021. If you have questions about this page, send us an email.