Employers in British Columbia may schedule work hours as they see fit. They may draft schedules weeks in advance or on a daily basis. However, employment law prescribes the number of hours workers may work, the number of free hours they should have, and how they will be compensated for extra work hours. Overtime is due whenever work hours exceed the standard 40 hours per week, from Sunday through Saturday.
The 40-hour workweek must be made up of eight-hour shifts per day, with breaks of at least eight hours between the end of one shift and the start of the next shift. Off-duty hours per week must equal at least 32 hours. Workers who work more than the standard 40 hours per week must be paid overtime wages calculated at one-and-a-half or double the normal rate.
Employers must schedule workers for at least two hours per day. In cases in which workers are sent home because there is no work, they must be paid for the number of scheduled hours. However, if employers give workers enough notice, shifts can be changed or cancelled without paying the employees. When it comes to meal breaks, workers are entitled to unpaid 30-minute breaks after working continuously for five hours; otherwise, they must be paid for the extra time.
Being accused of unpaid overtime or regular wages can be a time-consuming, complicated process that could harm the profitability of the business. Having an experienced employment law lawyer on retainer can be an invaluable asset. Many business owners in British Columbia choose to utilize the skills of legal counsel to ensure they deal with all employment law-related issues appropriately.