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Working Hours and Overtime Regulations

Understand the laws governing work hours and overtime in Albania

Standard working hours

In Albania, the labor law provides a clear framework for standard working hours, ensuring a predictable work schedule for employees.

The standard workweek in Albania is 40 hours, as defined by Article 61 of the Labor Law.

A typical workday is 8 hours long, according to the same article of the Labor Law.

There are exceptions to these standard hours. The duration of work can be reduced for jobs that are deemed difficult or hazardous by the Council of Ministers, as per Article 61 of the Labor Law. Additionally, employees under 18 years old are not allowed to work more than 6 hours per day, as stated in Article 270 of the Labor Law.


In Albania, the labor law outlines specific regulations for overtime work to ensure employees who work beyond standard hours are treated fairly and compensated appropriately.

Work is considered overtime when it exceeds 40 hours per week or 8 hours per day. This is according to Article 91 of the Labor Law.

It's important to note that employers cannot force employees to work overtime. The same Article 91 of the Labor Law states that overtime work requires the employee's consent.

When it comes to compensating for overtime work, employers have two options as per Article 91 of the Labor Law:

  1. Monetary Payment: Overtime work must be compensated at a rate of at least 25% above the regular salaried hourly rate.
  2. Time Off in Lieu: Overtime can be compensated with paid time off at a rate of 1.25 times the hours worked during overtime. This time off must be granted within two months of the overtime being performed.

Rest periods and breaks

Albanian labor law prioritizes worker well-being by mandating rest periods and breaks throughout the workday and workweek.

Daily Rest Break

Albanian workers are entitled to a minimum daily rest break of at least 11 consecutive hours within the same day. In special circumstances, this break can be split into two non-consecutive breaks, with a minimum of one break lasting at least 6 hours.

Exceptions to this rule may be applied more frequently in specific sectors upon approval by the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare.

Weekly Rest Day

All employees must receive at least one full day of rest per week. Sundays are typically designated as the weekly rest day, but exceptions exist.

Exceptions to Sunday Rest Day

Employers can deviate from Sundays for weekly rest under specific circumstances. These include situations where having all staff take Sundays off would disrupt public services, or when it's necessary for the normal functioning of the business.

Alternative arrangements for the weekly rest day include granting the day off on another weekday, providing a rest period from Sunday noon to Monday noon, or implementing a rotating schedule for staff rest days.

Night shift and weekend regulations

In Albania, the labor law recognizes the unique requirements of night and weekend work. Here are the specific regulations for these situations, as per the Albanian Labor Code:

Night Shift Work

  • Definition: The Labor Code does not provide a legal definition of "night shift," but Article 144 refers to work performed during night hours (between 10:00 pm and 5:00 am).

  • Compensation: Night work is compensated at a premium rate of 130% of the regular wage, as stated in Article 144 of the Labor Law.

  • Overtime During Night Shifts: Any overtime work performed during a night shift is subject to a higher premium rate of 200% of the regular wage, according to Article 66 of the Labor Law.

Weekend Work

  • Standard Weekly Rest: All employees are entitled to a minimum of 24 consecutive hours of rest per week, typically on Sundays, as per Article 62 of the Labor Law.

  • Exceptions to Sunday Rest: Deviations from Sundays for the weekly rest day are allowed under specific circumstances with Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training approval, as mentioned in Article 62 of the Labor Law.

  • Weekend Work Compensation: Overtime work performed on weekends and public holidays is compensated at a premium rate of 200% of the regular wage, as per Article 67 of the Labor Law.

Key Points:

  • Night and weekend work necessitate higher compensation due to the disruption to regular routines.
  • Employers must prioritize worker well-being by providing support for night shifts and adhering to regulations for weekend work.
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