Employment Schedule Shift Notice Laws

Written by michelle hickman
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Employment Schedule Shift Notice Laws
Employees receive notice concerning scheduling changes to work shifts. (an employment image by Ivan Hafizov from Fotolia.com)

Every Canadian business has an allotted time for work and rest for employees. Employees have to provide a balance allowing workers time to mentally and physically recuperate from job demands. Yet businesses need to maintain operations to provide services and make profits. Schedule changes arise where certain work requires a change in schedule shifts to meet deadlines or unexpected situations. Workers may also agree between themselves about switching shifts to accommodate family-related situations, such as doctor's appointments and day care needs. Provisions and clauses state that adequate notice should be made between employees and employers about work schedule shift changes.

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Basic Work Schedules

Business guidelines reflect how employees must produce work schedules. Provisions concerning the scheduling of basic work shifts state that the employee must have a minimum of two consecutive days off and not work split shifts or split days. Laws in Canadian provinces also require, as part of a regular shift schedule, that no employee should work seven consecutive days or rotating first and second shifts.

Yet every business and service provided by that business is different, including the schedules of employees. If the employees' regular work schedule does not follow the normal workweek of five days, employees must provide advance notification concerning the required shift. Employees should receive work schedules 14 days in advance and employers should make every effort for this schedule to remain unchanged. (Reference 1, paragraph 43 through 45)

Allowed Time Off

Businesses have become more willing to give special allowances to recognise an employee's rights to have a family life while still maintaining efficient company operations in providing services and making profits. If a shift change occurs, the employer should give 24 hours to a week's notice. Differing province laws allow for more stringent notices when the employer must change schedule shifts for unionised work crews. Employers must provide two weeks prior notice of major shift changes.

Rest and Work Shifts

To increase worker productivity while keeping job satisfaction, employers schedule time periods of rest for 24-hour work shifts to prevent employees from being overworked. Based on the Canadian province, provisions state employees should have a minimum of eight hours of rest by mutual agreement when working overtime, and time off from regular shifts should not be fewer than 15 hours. Clauses also include that if the employee does work a shift of more than seven and a half hours, the employer needs to make efforts not to schedule another shift until after the completion of the mandated rest time hours. If there is a shift trade, either made by the employer or by mutual agreement between two employees, advance notification needs to be given and with employer approval. Shift trades will be allowed only if there are no added business expenses.

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