Are There Limits to an Irregular Working Day

Overtime can help an employer save money and get the project completed faster than the deadline, but such a solution has its own nuances. This article tells about the features of working hours and the importance of establishing clear boundaries for working time.

What is the standard working time?

Working time standards are determined weekly. It is usually accepted that the employer has a five-day working week with two days off. 

The government sets the estimated working hours for each calendar year. The standards are for a five-day working week with two days off and a six-day working week with one day off. For 2024, the norms are set accordingly—no more than 2016 and 2022 hours.

Are there limits to an irregular working day in Belarus

What is the normal working time?

The normal standard is the full working time or reduced standard established by the employer and employee agreement. The standard also applies to certain categories of employees. Employees under 18, disabled people, part-time workers, and some other categories of employees do not work irregular working hours.

Irregular and normalized working hours

To deal with irregular working hours, you must understand what standardized working hours are.

Working hours are usually prescribed in an employment contract as the time during which an employee must be at work and perform their work tasks. This is called “standardized working hours.” Over time, he works on weekends and public holidays and works beyond the duration of his working time also referred to as working hours.

The norm of working time is the time based on which the employer plans and takes into account the periods worked by employees. The working week and day norms are determined.

An irregular working day is a particular mode of work in which employees may occasionally work outside the established working hours.

What is the abnormality of working hours?

The condition for an irregular working day is prescribed in the contract, which is concluded with an employee. The irregularity of the working day means:

  1. An employee may perform work outside normal working hours. The employer issues a written or oral order to do this, and the employee’s consent is not required.
  2. On his own initiative, an employee may work outside the working day, notifying the employer or an official of the company in words.

Work in the abnormal mode should:

  • Be performed sporadically, not daily, regularly.
  • Relate to the work tasks and functions of the employee.

Who does not have irregular working hours

  • Irregular working hours are not set for the following categories of employees:
  • Employees under the age of 18.
  • Disabled people of groups 1 and 2.
  • For part-timers.
  • Categories of employees with part-time working hours..
  • Employees who keep a summary record of their working hours.
  • Employees who are paid by the piece.

How to set irregular working hours

The condition of irregular working hours, which individual employees of the company establish, differs from the general rules of the employer prescribed in the employment contract and the contract when hiring an employee.

Irregular working hours can be set for an employee in the course of his work. In this case, it is necessary to follow the procedure for changing essential working conditions: 

  • To justify establishing an irregular working day for reasonable economic and industrial reasons.
  • Notify the employee in writing one month in advance. In the warning, in addition to justifying the change in working hours, specify the date from which the working time will be irregular and the duration of additional leave for an irregular working day.
  • With the employee’s consent, changes are made to his employment contract based on the employer’s order.
  • The timesheet does not display work outside the set working hours.

Compensation for irregular working hours

Employees with irregular working hours prescribed in their employment contract are granted additional leave for an irregular working day. Such a vacation should be set for 1 to 7 calendar days and added to the regular vacation of 24 calendar days.

The employer determines the number of days of additional leave for an irregular working day and the conditions for granting this leave. 

The duration of the irregular working day

Employees with irregular working hours should work outside the normal hours occasionally and when necessary. Belarusian legislation does not limit the working hours of those who work overtime. This is the possibility of working around the clock under the cover of an irregular working day. This mode of work has a harmful effect on the results of work and affects the employee’s health. 

What is helpful for an employer to remember

Employers who set irregular working hours for employees need to remember:

  • About the negative consequences for the business and the employee of daily involvement in work outside the working day.
  • On the proportionality of compensation for the irregularity of the work performed.

Simply put, if an employee with an irregular working day is involved in work outside the normal working day, and to compensate for this with only one day of additional leave, the employee will quickly leave such a workplace. Such employers have a bad reputation, as former employees actively share information in professional communities.

Provide adequate compensation for irregular working hours; it is also not necessary to involve employees in work outside their daily working hours. 

The Labor Code assumes that workers with irregular working hours can be employed sporadically and if necessary. An employee can collect evidence of daily irregular work and apply to regulatory authorities or to the court with a complaint against the company in which such work is allowed, shaking the company’s reputation.

Litigation with government agencies and lawsuits damage the company’s reputation as an employer and can lead to financial losses in fines, legal costs, and employee compensation.

What is important for an employee to remember

Of course, when an employer engages in round-the-clock work every day under the guise of having an irregular working day, you can collect evidence of this and file a complaint with government agencies. You can also think about changing jobs.

It is also not worth working daily beyond the usual hours just because an irregular working day has been established. Compliance with the work and rest regime helps to maintain clarity of thought and mental health, which helps achieve work goals and improves relationships in the family, with colleagues, and with the people around them.


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