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Working Hours and Overtime Regulations

Understand the laws governing work hours and overtime in Angola

Standard working hours

In Angola, the General Labor Law establishes a framework for a standard workweek, setting limitations on daily and weekly working hours.

The Angolan workweek is capped at a maximum of 44 hours on average. This average can be calculated over a contract period of less than a year or on an annual basis.

The daily working schedule is typically limited to 8 hours. However, certain circumstances may allow for an extension. Activities related to specific crops, weather conditions, or cultural needs may necessitate exceeding the 8-hour limit, provided the total weekly limit of 44 hours isn't surpassed.


In Angola, overtime work is regulated by the General Labor Law. It requires a prior agreement between the employer and the employee, and employers cannot force employees to work overtime. The law also establishes limitations on overtime work to prevent employee burnout. These include a maximum of 2 hours per day, 40 hours per month, and 200 hours per year. However, unforeseen circumstances or natural disasters may necessitate exceeding these limits.

Overtime work must be compensated at an increased rate on top of the employee's base salary. Compensation varies depending on the number of overtime hours worked. A minimum increase of 150% is required for the first 30 overtime hours in a month, and 175% for all hours exceeding 30 in a month. Recent changes to the General Labor Law eliminated the differentiation in overtime compensation based on company size. Collective bargaining agreements or individual employment contracts may offer even higher compensation for overtime work.

Rest periods and breaks

Angolan labor law mandates designated rest periods and breaks throughout the workday to ensure employee well-being and prevent fatigue. Here's a breakdown of worker entitlements as per the General Labor Law of Angola:

Daily Rest Period

  • Minimum Break: Angolan law guarantees a minimum rest period of 12 consecutive hours between consecutive workdays. This ensures sufficient recovery time for employees before returning to work.

Breaks During the Workday

  • Meal Break Entitlement: Workers are entitled to a rest break for meals during extended workdays. The specific duration of this break depends on the total working hours:
    • Workday Exceeding 6 Hours: Employees working for at least 6 hours uninterrupted are entitled to a paid break of at least 30 minutes for meals.
    • Split Workday: For workdays exceeding 6 hours with interruptions, the rest period should be a minimum of 1 hour, although it may be unpaid.

Note: Collective bargaining agreements or individual employment contracts may specify break durations exceeding the minimum legal requirements.

Night shift and weekend regulations

Angolan labor law recognizes the potential challenges associated with night and weekend work. Here's an overview of the regulations governing these work schedules:

Night Shift Work

  • Night Shift Definition: The General Labor Law of Angola doesn't provide a specific legal definition of "night shift." However, Angolan legislation typically considers work hours falling between 7 pm and 7 am as night shifts.
  • Compensation: Night shift work warrants increased compensation on top of the base salary. The minimum increase is 120% of the base salary for each hour worked during the night shift.

Note: Collective bargaining agreements or individual employment contracts may offer even higher compensation for night shifts.

Weekend Work

  • General Rule: Weekends are designated rest periods for employees in Angola. This typically includes both Saturday and Sunday.
  • Weekend Work Allowance: Working on weekends may be permitted under specific circumstances, but such work must be compensated appropriately. The General Labor Law allows for two compensation methods for weekend work:
    • Increased Pay: Employees who work weekends receive overtime compensation.
    • Compensatory Rest: Employees may be offered paid time off in lieu of working on the weekend.

Important Note: Weekend work regulations might be subject to change based on industry or sector. It's advisable to consult with the Angolan Ministry of Labor or relevant industry associations for the latest regulations concerning weekend work in your specific field.

Additional Considerations for Night and Weekend Work:

  • Restrictions for Pregnant Women: Pregnant women are generally prohibited from working night shifts or weekends during their pregnancy (specific limitations may vary depending on the stage of pregnancy).
  • Shift Work Agreements: For jobs with rotating or fixed night and weekend schedules, a written agreement between the employer and employee outlining the work schedule and compensation is recommended.
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