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Overtime and extra hours

Employees are required to work overtime if the work is necessary. Overtime occurs when working hours exceed the contractual or the company’s normal working hours. Extra hours are overtime that may not exceed the statutory maximum number of working hours.

Overtime

Overtime accrues when working hours exceed the contractual normal working hours or the maximum number of working hours per week (45 to 50 hours depending on the sector). Employees are required to work overtime provided the work:

  • is necessary,
  • is not physically and mentally overwhelming,
  • is reasonable,
  • and working hours and rest periods are respected.

Premiums

  • Overtime must be compensated with a premium of 25%.
  • Premiums may, however, be excluded in writing.
  • Overtime may also be compensated with time off of at least the same duration in lieu of a monetary premium. This solution hinges on approval by the employee and the employer.
  • Working time is generally not specifically defined in terms of hours for management staff. It is assumed that the performance of employees with a greater workload is compensated with higher wages, although this is generally regulated in the employment contract. Compensation of overtime without a premium or at a premium below 25% may also be agreed in writing.

Extra hours

Extra hours accrue when working hours exceed the statutory maximum number of working hours per week (45 to 50 hours depending on the sector). Extra hours:

  • may not exceed two hours per day.
  • may not exceed 170 hours per calendar year (based on a 45-hour week) or 140 hours (based on a 50-hour week).
  • must be compensated with a premium of at least 25% if they are not compensated with time off within a specified period.

Example:
During a specific week, an employee works 52 hours, which amounts to seven hours overtime, since the company has a maximum of 45 working hours per week. If the company had a statutory 40-hour week, an additional five hours would be considered to be overtime.

Apprentices

Daily working time for apprentices may not exceed nine hours and may not exceed twelve hours including breaks. Any extra hours as well as classes that are held during working hours may be added to working time.