Canada is one of the United States' most important economic partners. Home to one of the best public education systems in the world, Canada is a booming talent hub across all industries, including tech, financial services, healthcare, and agriculture. Despite being a relatively small country by population, Canada's GDP is approaching $2 trillion. Companies looking to expand globally can hire top Canadian talent by partnering with an EOR service like Via.
The working hours in Canada are fairly standard in comparison to countries like the United States. Companies looking to hire workers in Canada or build a Canadian hub should have an easy time adapting to the working hour practices in Canada.
If you need help with understanding hours of work, a Canada employer-of-record may be your best solution.
Canada Labour Code specifies the standard working hours in Canada are Monday-Friday from 8am or 8:30am-5pm, for a total of either 7.5 hours per day or 8 hours of work per day.
Employees can work a maximum of 48 hours per week. If they work more than 40 hours a week or 8 consecutive hours per day, they are entitled to overtime compensation.
In the province of New Brunswick, the maximum working hours employees are not capped on the amount of overtime or hours they can work.
Depending on the position and employment agreement, employees can opt-out of the maximum hours agreement imposed by the Working Time Regulations.
Remote work hours in Canada are the same number of hours per week as in-person work. Employees work a standard 40-hour work week and must be compensated for overtime pay for any extra hours worked. Employers may not request that their employees exceed these work hours, even though the employee is working remotely. Employers shouldn't contact employees outside of their scheduled work hours.
Remote work employees can request a modified work schedule to offer flexibility, but their schedule must not exceed 8 hours a day, and they must be paid for overtime even in the remote workplace.
The 3-hour work rule states employees are entitled to 3 hours of pay even if they report to work and don't need to perform services.
Many Canadian employees are eligible to work 8 hours maximum overtime each week. For each hour over 40, employees are paid time and a half, or 150% of their hourly rate. The work must be requested or authorized by the employer.
Some positions, however, are not entitled to overtime pay (upper-level management, doctors, lawyers, and other high-salary individuals). This varies depending on the province. In Manitoba for instance, employees who have significant control over their work schedule and earn more than two times the Manitoba Industrial Average Wage do not qualify for overtime pay.
Standard working week
Newfoundland and Labrador
Prince Edwards Island
Federally regulated employees
In weeks that contain holidays, employers must reduce their working hours by 8 hours for each holiday. A week with a holiday includes any overtime above 32 hours.
Under the Federal Employment Standards, employees can substitute their overtime pay for extra time off at a rate of 1.5 hours for every hour of overtime worked.
In Ontario and British Columbia, employees who work in IT are usually excluded from protections in the Employment Standards Act for overtime, break periods, and time off between shifts.
In all provinces besides Newfoundland and Labrador, employees are entitled to a 30 minute break or meal period for every five consecutive hours they work (in Newfoundland and Labrador the period is one hour). Some employers opt to give their employees paid coffee breaks.
All employees are entitled to at least one full day of rest per week (usually Sunday). For British Columbia and Quebec, employees must have at least 32 hours straight free from work.
Employers are required to keep and report 36 months of records for all of the employees' worked hours and overtime pay.
The government of Canada imposes fines for not keeping reports of employees' hours. Fines for not keeping time-tracking records start at $500 CAD. If the offense is repeated, the fine increases to $2,500 CAD for the second offense and $10,000 CAD for any additional offenses.
Via makes hiring talent around the world and building your global team seamless by helping you onboard workers in as little as 2-3 business days. With our easy-to-use platform, Via helps you manage local HR processes for direct employment such as work visas & permits, employee data privacy compliance, benefits, global payroll, background checks, and more. Our team of local labor lawyers and on-the-ground experts provide 24-hour local support and ensure that your company remains compliant while expanding abroad. As your employer-of-record/entity abroad, Via assumes responsibility for employment liability, so that you can focus on what matters: recruiting and managing your team.