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Working Hours and Overtime Regulations

Understand the laws governing work hours and overtime in Bangladesh

Standard working hours

In Bangladesh, the Labour Act of 2006 outlines the standard working hours for adult workers, those who are above 18 years old. The key points are as follows:

  • The maximum daily working hours are set at eight hours.
  • The maximum weekly working hours are capped at 48 hours.


In Bangladesh, the Labour Act, 2006 sets the regulations and minimum compensation requirements for overtime work. Employers can request overtime work from employees under certain circumstances such as meeting production demands, preventing loss or serious damage to property, or completing unfinished urgent work.

The maximum daily overtime allowed is two hours on top of the standard eight-hour workday, making a maximum of ten total working hours per day, including overtime. The maximum weekly overtime allowed is twelve hours. This, combined with the standard workweek, restricts the total workweek to a maximum of 60 hours, including overtime. However, it's important to note that the average working hours for an adult worker, including overtime, should not surpass 56 hours per week throughout the year. This acts as a safeguard against excessive overtime.

As for the compensation, the Labour Act mandates that overtime work must be compensated at a rate higher than the regular wage. The minimum overtime pay rate is set at double the regular wage for every hour of overtime worked.

Rest periods and breaks

The Bangladeshi Labour Act, 2006 ensures rest periods and breaks for workers to promote their well-being and productivity.

Mandatory Breaks

The Act mandates rest breaks based on the duration of the work shift:

  • For a shift duration of 5 hours, a break of at least 30 minutes must be provided.
  • For a shift duration exceeding 6 hours, a break of at least one hour must be provided.

These breaks are not considered part of working hours and should not be deducted from an employee's wages.

Flexibility in Break Structure

The Act allows some flexibility in structuring breaks for longer shifts exceeding eight hours. Employers can offer either:

  • One break of one hour
  • Two breaks of 30 minutes each

This provision allows employers to tailor break schedules to specific work requirements while still meeting the minimum rest period requirement.

Night shift and weekend regulations

The Bangladeshi Labour Act, 2006, recognizes the necessity for night shifts and weekend work in certain sectors. However, it also prioritizes worker well-being by setting limitations and requiring additional compensation for these work arrangements.

Night Shift Work

  • Definition: The Labour Act doesn't provide a specific legal definition of night shift. However, night shift typically refers to working hours that fall predominantly during the night.
  • Compensation: The Act doesn't specify night shift allowances. However, since night work disrupts sleep patterns, employers are encouraged to offer fair compensation through higher wages or alternative benefits to incentivize night work.

Weekend Work

  • Weekend Definition: The Act doesn't explicitly define the weekend. However, Friday and Saturday are the customary weekend days in Bangladesh, and these regulations aim to provide workers with at least one full day of rest per week.
  • Restrictions: Employers generally cannot require employees to work on their designated weekly rest days unless there's an exceptional situation, such as an accident, natural calamity, or urgent work to prevent loss.
  • Weekend Work Compensation: When weekend work becomes necessary, the Act offers two options for compensating employees:
    • Double wages for the entire rest day worked.
    • Paid leave in lieu of the rest day worked, along with their regular wages for the substitute day.
  • Employee Consent: While employers can request weekend work under special circumstances, they cannot force employees to work on their rest day without their consent (Section 110).
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