The Minister may, after consultation with the Employment Relations Board, prescribe the maximum weekly working hours including overtime, minimum period of daily and weekly rest, annual leave and may make different provisions for different kinds of employees.
The average weekly working hours for each 7-day period including overtime cannot exceed an average of 48 hours over a reference period of 17 weeks except in the case of manufacturing and tourism sector workers including travel and catering establishments where the reference period is 52 weeks.
The daily work time limits are not clearly provided for the daytime workers in the law. The daily average working hours for night workers are 8 hours in a 24 hour period over a reference period as provided in a collective agreement or a 17-week employment period. The working time for young workers also does not exceed eight hours per day. The working time for young workers may not exceed 40 hours per week.
Overtime means time worked in excess of normal hours of work per week. However, since the law says that average weekly working hours including overtime cannot exceed 48 hours (provided that workers have a minimum 24 hours of weekly rest), it can be assumed that performance of overtime work is allowed only for workers whose working hours are less than 48 hours per week and thus they can work up to 48 hours including overtime hours. Nonetheless if a worker has given written consent to work more than an average of 48 hours per week, the above 48-hour limit does not apply to that worker. Moreover, as provided under the Overtime Regulations, the normal working hours are 40 hours a week and eight hours above 40 hours a week are considered overtime hours.
An employee whose overtime rate is not covered by a Wages Council Wage Regulation Order is paid one and a half times (150% of) the normal rate for work carried out in excess of a forty hour week, averaged over a four week period or over the shift cycle at the discretion of the employer. An employer may not have to pay overtime rates if schemes to bank hours are introduced allowing extra hours over and above the normal weekly working hours due to the periods of higher activity and then reducing working hours in periods of lower activity. Law allows 376 hours to be banked over a year and paid at the normal rate of payment.
Sources: §6 of the Employment and Industrial Relations Act; Overtime Regulations (S.L.452.110) as amended by Legal Notice 81 of 2015; §6 & 7 of the Organisation of Working Time Regulations (S.L.452.87)
Night Work Compensation
Night work is the work performed between 20:00 to 06:00, when at least three working hours are performed during this interval of time or that worker works more than 50% of his annual working time or a lower proportion as specified in a collective agreement during nigh time.
The daily working time of a night worker may not exceed an average of eight hours in a 24-hour period. Night workers must enjoy a minimum of 24 consecutive hours of weekly rest. An employer has to ensure that a night worker whose work involves special hazards or heavy physical or mental strain may not work for more than eight hours in a 24-hour period. The night workers are entitled to a medical examination, prior to being assigned to medical work and afterwards at regular intervals. Employer is required to keep record of workers carrying out night work. If a medical practitioner has advised that a worker is suffering from health issues because of night work, an employer may transfer such a worker to day time work.
Neither hours of work are reduced for night worker nor are they given a night work premium.
sources: §9 & 10 of the Organisation of Working Time Regulations (S.L.452.87)
Compensatory Holidays / Rest Days
If a worker is required by his employer to work during a period which otherwise is rest period or rest break (daily or weekly rest), employer is obliged to ensure that the worker is allowed such compensatory rest that is reasonably considered equivalent to the rest period provided under the law (11-hour daily rest and minimum of 24-hour weekly rest). If, due to some objective reasons, it is not possible to grant such a period of rest, employer has to provide such protection as may be appropriate in order to safeguard the worker's health and safety.
sources: §4, 6 & 14 of the Organisation of Working Time Regulations (S.L.452.87)
Weekend / Public Holiday Work Compensation
There is no provision of monetary compensation for working on a weekly rest day or a public holiday in the Act. The law rather requires that an arrangement with regard to the conditions of work (for those working on a weekly rest day) does not include granting of monetary compensation or any other material benefit to the worker other than the provision of such a benefit that can improve the physical conditions under which the worker works or the amenities or services available to the worker while working.
These provisions are found more in the Wages Council Wage Regulation Orders. For example, in the Construction Wages Council Wage Regulation Order, workers who are engaged to work on Saturday, they are paid 150% of their normal wage rate as wage for the day. If workers are engaged on Sunday, they are paid 200% of their normal wage rate as wages for the day. If workers are engaged on a holiday, they are paid 300% of the normal wage rate (double time/200% in addition to a normal hourly wage). On the other hand, under the Professional Offices Wages Council Wage Regulation Order, workers who are engaged on weekly rest day and a public holiday are entitled to 200% of the their normal wage rate as wages for that day.
sources: §14 of the Organisation of Working Time Regulations (S.L.452.87); Professional Offices Wages Council Wage Regulation Order (S.L.452.39); Construction Wages Council Wage Regulation Order (S.L.452.59)
Regulations on Compensation
Employment and Industrial Relations Act (CAP. 452)
Organisation of Working Time Regulations (S.L.452.87)
Overtime Regulations (S.L.452.110)