Living and working conditions

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Working conditions

Working time


The normal statutory working week is 40 hours. Maximum daily working time is set at 10 hours. There is an overtime system in place and overtime remuneration is specified.


In businesses that apply the contractual working week of 40 hours, employees may work five additional hours a week at the employer’s discretion. Those hours (the 41st, 42nd, 43rd, 44th and 45th hours) are treated as extra work and are remunerated at a 20% higher rate than the normal hourly rate and are not counted as part of permissible overtime.


Work in excess of 45 hours a week is treated as overtime. Lawful overtime of up to 120 hours per year is remunerated at 40% above the standard rate and is subject to special authorisation. Lawful overtime in excess of 120 hours is remunerated at 60% above the standard rate. In addition, employees may work 2 hours more per day in busy periods and 2 hours fewer per day in other periods, or take the time cumulatively as a rest day (time off in lieu). Work provided on the sixth day of the week, in infringement of the 5-day working week and regardless of the stipulated sanctions, is remunerated at 30% above the daily wage.


Employees’ maximum weekly working time, including any overtime, may not exceed an average of 48 hours over a period of no more than 4 months. Working time arrangements on a 4-month and annual basis are laid down, in order of priority, by company-based collective labour agreements or agreements between the employer and the trade union or between the employer and the employee council. Periods of paid annual leave and periods of leave and sickness are not included in the calculation of the average or are neutral. A different system for the arrangement of working hours may be laid down by company-based and sectoral collective labour agreements, depending on the particularities of the sector or the company.


For each 24-hour period, the minimum rest period may not be less than 12 consecutive hours. Where the working day is longer than 6 hours, a break of at least 15 minutes must be granted, during which workers must be entitled to leave their workplace.


Employees are entitled to a minimum continuous period of rest of at least 24 hours per week, which in principle includes Sunday, depending on the labour law provisions in force for each category of employees.


Text last edited on: 07/2021