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Antigua and Barbuda

Working Hours and Overtime Regulations

Understand the laws governing work hours and overtime in Antigua and Barbuda

Standard working hours

In Antigua and Barbuda, labor laws have been established to provide a framework for standard working hours, aiming to ensure a balanced work-life experience for employees.

The legal maximum for a standard workday is 8 hours, as outlined in Section 38(1) of the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Code. The maximum for a standard workweek is 48 hours, established by Section 38(2) of the Labour Code.

These limitations apply to most employment sectors. However, exceptions may exist for specific industries or occupations under ministerial regulations authorized by Section 38(4) of the Labour Code.

It's also important to note that Section 38(3) of the Labour Code specifies a 36-hour workweek for civil servants.


In Antigua and Barbuda, labor laws provide clear guidelines for overtime work, ensuring fair treatment and compensation for employees who work beyond standard hours.

Work is considered overtime when it exceeds 8 hours in a single day or 48 hours in a week, as per Section 39(1) of the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Code. Employers cannot force employees to work overtime. According to Section 39(2) of the Labour Code, overtime work requires the employee's consent.

Overtime work must be compensated at a premium rate. The minimum compensation is 150% of the employee's regular wage for overtime on a regular workday or workweek, as stated in Section 39(3) of the Labour Code.

It's important to note that the Labour Code doesn't specify separate overtime rates for public holidays or rest days. However, some employment contracts or collective bargaining agreements may address this. Employers are encouraged to consult with the Ministry of Labour for any clarifications regarding overtime regulations.

There are certain exemptions from these regulations under ministerial orders authorized by Section 39(4) of the Labour Code. These exceptions may apply to specific industries or occupations.

Rest periods and breaks

Antigua and Barbuda prioritize the well-being of workers by mandating rest periods and breaks throughout the workday and workweek.

In terms of daily rest breaks, the Labour Code doesn't explicitly mandate a set duration. However, it requires employers to provide a written statement outlining "regular hours of work, and rest periods". This implies that employers have the discretion to determine break lengths, but they must be documented and communicated to employees.

As for the weekly rest period, workers are entitled to a 24-consecutive-hour rest period every seven days. This mandatory rest period ensures sufficient time for recovery and prevents burnout.

Night shift and weekend regulations

In Antigua and Barbuda, the Labour Code establishes specific regulations for night and weekend work, recognizing the unique demands these schedules place on employees.

Regarding night shift work, the Labour Code itself doesn't define "night shift" or establish separate regulations for night work. However, some industries may have established practices or sectoral agreements that address night shift work. Additionally, employers might include night shift stipulations within individual employment contracts.

As for weekend work, the Labour Code guarantees a mandatory 24-hour rest period every seven days. This rest period can fall on a weekend day, typically Sunday. There's no legal requirement for premium pay for weekend work within the Labour Code. Similar to night shifts, compensation for weekend work might be addressed through sectoral agreements for specific industries or individual employment contracts negotiated between employer and employee.

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