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Working Hours and Overtime Regulations

Understand the laws governing work hours and overtime in Belize

Standard working hours

The Labour Act of Belize Chapter 297 Revised Edition 2011 provides the guidelines for standard working hours in Belize. According to the Act, an employee cannot be required to work for more than 9 hours in a day or 45 hours in a week. The workweek can be spread across six days.

However, there are exceptions to these limits. These exceptions can be made through an agreement between the employer and the employee. The agreed workweek cannot be less than 48 hours and there's no restriction on exceeding 48 hours as long as daily hours don't surpass 10 hours and weekly hours stay below 56 hours.


The Labour Act of Belize outlines the regulations and compensation for overtime work in the country. An employee is eligible for overtime pay when their work hours exceed the standard limits set by the Labour Act. This includes working more than 9 hours in a single day or more than 45 hours in a workweek.

Employers are legally required to compensate employees for overtime work at a rate of one and a half times their regular pay rate. For instance, if an employee's regular hourly rate is $10 Belizean dollars, their overtime pay would be $15 Belizean dollars per hour ($10 x 1.5). It's important to note that the Labour Act does not mention a maximum number of overtime hours permitted.

If an employee works on a Sunday or other designated rest day, at the employer's request, they are entitled to overtime pay at the standard rate of one and a half times. The same rate applies to overtime work on public holidays.

Rest periods and breaks

Belizean law mandates rest periods and breaks for employees, ensuring they have time for recuperation during the workday. Here are the specifics outlined in the Labour Act.

Every worker is entitled to at least one rest day per week. This rest day can be customary or agreed upon between the employer and employee.

Employers must provide a break of no less than one hour to employees whose daily working hours exceed six hours. This break is not counted as working time. It's important to note that there's no legal requirement for a break during a workday that falls under six hours.

Night shift and weekend regulations

Belizean labor laws recognize the challenging nature of night shifts and weekend work. These regulations are outlined in the Labour Act (Chapter 297 Revised Edition 2011) to ensure worker well-being during these times.

In terms of night shift work, workers who operate during the period between 8:00 pm and 6:00 am are defined as night shift workers. The Labour Act doesn't mandate a higher pay rate for night shifts. However, overtime worked during night hours still qualifies for overtime compensation at a rate of one and a half times the regular pay.

As for weekend work, every worker is entitled to at least one rest day per week, which can include Sundays. There's flexibility in choosing the rest day, allowing for agreement between employer and employee. Working on a designated rest day, which can include Sundays, triggers overtime pay at the standard rate of one and a half times the regular wage.

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