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Working Hours and Overtime Regulations

Understand the laws governing work hours and overtime in Argentina

Standard working hours

In Argentina, the Employment Law outlines the regulations regarding standard working hours. The legal maximum working time is eight hours per day and forty-eight hours per week. This translates to a standard workweek of 48 hours.

There are exceptions for specific circumstances. The regular working week can be shorter for certain situations. For instance, working hours for those between 14 and 18 years old are further restricted. Standard working hours are not permitted unless authorized, with maximum working hours being 6 hours per day and 36 hours per week.

The 48-hour maximum can be distributed unevenly throughout the week, as long as it doesn't exceed 9 hours on any given day. For shift work exceeding 8 hours per day, the total working hours must average out to 8 hours per day or 48 hours per week over a three-week period.


In Argentina, overtime work is regulated to prevent employee burnout and ensure fair compensation.

There are limitations on the amount of overtime work permitted. Overtime shouldn't exceed 30 hours per month and the maximum annual overtime is capped at 200 hours. However, certain collective bargaining agreements may allow for higher overtime limits, so it's crucial to review any applicable agreements for your specific situation.

The compensation rate for overtime work varies depending on the day and time. Overtime worked from Monday to 1:00 PM on Saturdays is compensated at a rate of 1.5 times the regular salary. Overtime worked after 1:00 PM on Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays is compensated at double the regular salary.

It's important to note that employers cannot require employees to work overtime, and employees have the right to refuse.

Rest periods and breaks

Argentine labor law prioritizes worker well-being by mandating minimum rest periods and breaks. Here's a breakdown of these entitlements:

Daily Rest Period

Workers are entitled to a minimum uninterrupted rest period of 12 hours between the end of one workday and the beginning of the next.

Weekly Rest Period

All workers have the right to a weekly rest period of at least 35 consecutive hours. This rest period typically starts at 1:00 PM on Saturdays and extends until midnight on Sunday. Local authorities can authorize exceptions to working on Saturdays, but working on Sundays is generally not permitted.

Breaks During the Workday

Legislation doesn't mandate specific break times during the workday. However, specific worker categories have legislated break entitlements:

  • Female Workers & Minors: Women and workers under 18 who work both morning and afternoon shifts are entitled to a 2-hour unpaid break in the middle of the workday. This break can be reduced or waived under specific circumstances outlined in the legislation.
  • Nursing Mothers: Mothers with breastfeeding babies have the right to take nursing breaks throughout the workday. The specific details regarding frequency and duration are typically determined through collective bargaining agreements or company policies.

Even in the absence of mandated breaks, employers should still provide reasonable breaks for workers to rest, use the restroom, and have meals to ensure worker well-being and productivity.

It's always recommended to consult the specific terms of your employment contract or relevant collective bargaining agreements for any variations to these general guidelines.

Night shift and weekend regulations

In Argentina, the potential challenges associated with night and weekend work are recognized and there are specific regulations in place to protect worker well-being during these times.

Night work is defined as work performed between 9:00 PM and 6:00 AM of the following day. Night shift workers are entitled to a reduced workweek compared to standard day workers. The maximum working hours for night shifts are capped at 7 hours per night. Every hour worked during a night shift automatically includes 8 minutes of overtime compensated at the standard overtime rate. If a night shift overlaps with regular working hours, the total working hours are proportionally reduced by 8 minutes for each hour worked at night, or the extra 8 minutes are paid as standard overtime. There's no mandated pay increase for working night shifts alone. However, the reduced hours and additional overtime compensation can provide some financial advantage.

Working on Sundays is generally not permitted in Argentina. Local authorities can authorize exceptions for specific industries or emergencies. The standard workweek extends until 1:00 PM on Saturdays. Working past this time typically incurs a premium overtime rate of double the regular salary. All workers are entitled to a minimum uninterrupted 35-hour weekly rest period, which usually starts at 1:00 PM on Saturdays and extends until midnight on Sunday. Employers cannot require employees to work overtime or weekends, and employees have the right to refuse.

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