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Burkina Faso

Working Hours and Overtime Regulations

Understand the laws governing work hours and overtime in Burkina Faso

Standard working hours

In Burkina Faso, the Labor Code sets the standard workweek at 40 hours. This typically translates to an average of 8 hours per day for a 5-day workweek.

The regulations do allow for some flexibility in work hour arrangements. For instance, the 40-hour workweek can be distributed unevenly across the week, as long as daily working hours don't exceed 8 hours. This allows for potentially shorter workdays on specific days, provided a minimum half-day rest period is granted each week.

By mutual agreement between employer and employee, the average weekly working hours can be extended to a maximum of 45 hours over a two-month period. However, this agreement cannot exceed daily working hours beyond 11 hours. Additionally, collective bargaining agreements can further extend this two-month period to a maximum of four months.

If an employee's working hours aren't explicitly defined in their contract, the standard is set at 20 hours per week. However, the employee is entitled to full wages regardless of actively working for the entire duration. This is likely applicable to roles with on-call responsibilities or unpredictable work schedules.


In Burkina Faso, overtime work is regulated to ensure employee rights and fair compensation. Overtime is defined as any work performed that exceeds the standard working hours as outlined in your employment contract or collective agreement. This can apply to weekly hours, where work exceeding the 40-hour weekly limit is considered overtime, and daily hours, where working beyond the daily limit established in your contract can also be considered overtime, even if the total weekly hours remain within the 40-hour limit.

The compensation for overtime work varies depending on the day and time worked. The first eight hours of overtime worked after the standard hours are compensated at a rate of 15% above the normal hourly wage. Any hours worked beyond the first eight hours of overtime are compensated at a rate of 35% above the normal hourly wage.

Working during nighttime hours also qualifies for additional compensation. Overtime work performed during the night on weekdays attracts a 50% increase on top of the normal hourly wage. Overtime work on Sundays and public holidays receives the highest compensation rate, at 60% above the normal hourly wage. Working during the night on Sundays and holidays attracts an even steeper increase, with compensation set at 120% above the normal hourly wage.

Rest periods and breaks

In Burkina Faso, the law mandates minimum rest periods and breaks for employees. The legislation requires a minimum uninterrupted rest period of at least 11 hours within a 24-hour timeframe following the beginning of a shift.

Furthermore, employees are entitled to a paid weekly rest period of at least 24 consecutive hours within every seven-day period, provided they have completed the full weekly working hours. This rest period should ideally fall on Sundays, but exceptions can be granted by the Ministry of Labour for specific industries.

However, it's important to note that the legal framework doesn't prescribe specific regulations regarding daily rest breaks.

Night shift and weekend regulations

In Burkina Faso, specific regulations are in place regarding night shifts and weekend work to ensure the well-being of employees.

When it comes to night shifts, the Labour Act outlines several limitations:

  • Night work cannot exceed 7.5 hours per day.
  • Total night work cannot surpass 11 hours in any given week.
  • Shift rotations must ensure workers are not assigned night shifts for more than one consecutive week, followed by a week on day shifts. Alternatively, a two-week rotation plan can be implemented.
  • An uninterrupted rest period of at least 11 hours is mandatory before switching between day and night shifts.
  • Employee suitability for night work necessitates a medical certification before commencing such duties, with follow-up examinations required at least every two years.
  • If a worker provides documented proof of health issues arising from night work, the employer must, whenever possible, transfer them to a suitable day job.
  • Young workers under the age of eighteen are prohibited from night work in industrial settings.

As for weekend work, Burkina Faso mandates a 24-hour weekly rest period. However, exceptions for weekend work can be authorized under specific circumstances. The details pertaining to these exceptions are not explicitly outlined in the readily available legal resources. Therefore, it's recommended to consult the Ministry of Labour for comprehensive regulations and to acquire the necessary permits for weekend work if required.

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