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Scheduling, Breaks & Leaves

Part of our guide to your rights as a worker in B.C.

Can I take a break?

You are entitled to an uninterrupted unpaid 30 minute break after every 5 hours of work. If you are expected to work or be available to work during it, then you must be paid.

? Contact us for support if your employer is breaking the rules, fill in this form.

What if my boss sends me home from work early?

If you go into work for a shift and get sent home early, you must be paid for at least two hours, even if you are sent home without starting work. This is called minimum daily pay.

If you’re scheduled for a shift that’s supposed to last more than 8 hours, you must be paid for at least 4 hours, even if you work less than this or are sent home without working at all.

Split shifts

Split shifts must be completed within 12 hours of when the shift starts. For example: if you’re scheduled to work a breakfast shift at 8am and a dinner shift at 5pm, you must finish work at 8pm.

Your right to rest between shifts

Thanks to the efforts of the labour movement, you must get eight hours off between shifts unless required to work because of an emergency.

You should have at least 32 consecutive hours free from work every 7 days. This is called a rest period. If you work during this rest period, you must be paid time-and-a-half.

Your right to unpaid protected leave

Your employer must give you job protected leave for the following reasons:

Job protected leave related to COVID 19, maternity leave, parental leave, family responsibility leave, 5 days of paid leave (plus 5 additional unpaid days) for leaves relating to domestic or sexual violence, compassionate care leave,  bereavement leave, jury duty leave, leave respecting disappearance or death or a child, critical illness or injury leave, and reservists’ leave for those in the Canadian Forces.