All workers have the right to just and favourable conditions of work and to safe conditions of work.
Forcing employees to work excessive overtime may result in an unsafe working environment and negatively impact employees’ health and well-being. Working hours should be agreed upon with employees in accordance with applicable national limits and must not be unilaterally extended by an employer in breach of those limits. Workers must be provided with adequate rest periods and breaks. Any reasonable overtime worked must be recorded and adequately compensated.
Employers must ensure that workers are not forced to undertake excessive working hours for fear of losing their employment. Employees who are required to work excessive hours without provision of adequate rest periods and breaks may suffer from a variety of adverse impacts on productivity in the workplace and physical and mental health. These negative consequences for workers may, in turn, lead to various issues for the employer, such as increased absenteeism and workplace accidents.
Employers should implement practical measures to ensure working hours remain within applicable legal limits and as agreed upon with employees, including ensuring that appropriate resources are allocated to rostering, hiring, training and educating staff on relevant occupational, health and safety standards.