Working hours are not excessive

How to comply 3

Breaks for all workers

Build in break times

  • In agricultural work you will need to make sure that workers take at least a 30 minute break every 5.5 hours.
  • If workers are not doing agricultural work, compulsory break times are reduced to a minimum of 20 minutes if the worker does more than 6 hours of work each day.
  • These break times can be at pre-determined times or workers can take them when they want. The structure of these will depend on the type of work they do and production demands.
  • You may want to record break times taken as part of your hours’ records.

Be aware of young workers:

  • You need to identify whether you have any young workers on your site.

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  • If you have young workers, they need to have additional breaks. Make sure that the person managing these workers is aware of these special provisions and that their working position can be covered without compromising production.

Overtime - all workers

Record all overtime hours:

  • All overtime should be recorded in the hours records (see above), including those worked by part time workers.

Opt-out agreements:

  • You should have a written opt-out agreement for workers to sign (if they choose). Signing this document allows workers to agree to opt out of the 48-hour week and work more than 48 hours per week.
  • You do NOT force workers to sign this agreement if they do not wish to work more than 48 hours per week.
  • If your work schedules mean that workers are likely to be asked to work more than 48 hours per week, you should ask them to sign an opt-out agreement.
  • If you have some workers who have not signed an opt-out agreement, it is worth keeping a list of these people and making sure in your scheduling, that they are not working in excess of the 48 hours.
  • The opt-out agreement should be a separate document signed by the worker. If the agreement is in the same document as the contract, it must require a separate signature. This ensures that signing an opt-out agreement is not seen as a compulsory obligation in accepting other contractual arrangements.

Young workers - Monitor hours

  • Keep a list of all the young workers you use.
  • Make sure the person who is responsible for allocating and managing their work knows who the young workers are and that they need to limit the number of hours they work in a week to a maximum of 48 hours per week in any week.
  • Make it clear to young workers when you take them on that they will not be allowed to work more than the 8 hour daily or the 40 hour weekly limit. It is worth pointing out to them that this will limit their earning potential which they need to consider in taking the position.
  • You may find it helpful to keep separate time sheet records for these workers so you can easily check how many hours they are working in a day and how these mount up over the week.

Minors - Monitor and cap hours

  • Keep a list of all the minors you use.
  • Make sure the person who is responsible for allocating and managing their work knows who the minors are and that they need to limit the number of hours they work in a week to a maximum of the hours listed in the law column.
  • Make it clear to minors when you take them on that they will not be allowed to work more than the stated hours.
  • Ensure that minors never work overtime and monitor their hours daily to make sure they are not working more hours than they are allowed.
  • You may find it helpful to keep separate time sheet records for these workers so you can easily check how many hours they are working in a day and how these mount up over the week. There should be no situation when a minor is allowed to work more than the hours listed in the law column. Minors are not allowed to work overtime.

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