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French Polynesia

Working Hours and Overtime Regulations

Understand the laws governing work hours and overtime in French Polynesia

Standard working hours

In French Polynesia, the legal framework establishes standard work hours. The standard workweek is 39 hours, which translates to roughly 169 hours per month. These hours are typically spread across Monday to Saturday.

There is also a legal ceiling on total work hours. Employees cannot be compelled to work more than 48 hours per week or 10 hours per day. This regulation allows for some flexibility in scheduling within the legal limits.

It's essential to note that specific industries or sectors may have collective bargaining agreements that supersede or supplement these general provisions. These agreements can establish different working hour norms. Employers are legally obligated to provide employees with one rest day per week, typically on Sunday.


In French Polynesia, the law outlines clear regulations regarding overtime work, including compensation requirements.

Overtime pay applies when an employee surpasses the standard 39-hour workweek. Any hours worked beyond this threshold qualify as overtime.

Employers are mandated to compensate overtime work at a premium rate. The specific rate depends on the number of overtime hours worked. For the regular overtime, which is from the 40th to the 47th hour, employees receive a 25% wage increase for each hour worked during this period. For high overtime, which is from the 48th hour and above, the wage premium jumps to 50%.

There are limited scenarios where employees can be required to work beyond the standard 48-hour limit. However, such instances require exceptional circumstances and prior authorization. It's important to remember that collective bargaining agreements in certain sectors may establish different overtime rules and compensation rates. These agreements can supersede or modify the general legal framework.

Working on Sundays generally requires employee consent and carries a mandatory 15% wage premium on top of the regular pay or applicable overtime rate.

Following these regulations ensures fair compensation for overtime work in French Polynesia and protects employee rights.

Rest periods and breaks

French Polynesian labor laws ensure the well-being of workers by mandating rest periods and breaks throughout the workday.

Employees working for more than 6 consecutive hours are legally entitled to a daily rest break. The minimum duration of this break is 20 minutes. This time is not considered working hours and must be free from any work-related tasks.

There's no explicitly mandated duration for a meal break in French Polynesian labor law. However, the work schedule should be designed to allow for a reasonable break for lunch or other meals.

Industry customs and collective bargaining agreements in specific sectors may establish customary meal break durations. These can vary depending on the industry and the agreement's stipulations.

Employers cannot deduct rest or meal breaks from an employee's working hours. These breaks are considered an integral part of the workday and are not compensated separately.

The specific timing of rest and meal breaks can be determined through consultation between employers and employees, as long as the minimum requirements are met.

Understanding these regulations guarantees that employees have designated periods for rest and meal breaks, promoting better work-life balance and worker well-being.

Night shift and weekend regulations

In French Polynesia, labor laws provide a structure for night shifts and weekend work, taking into account the potential effects on employee well-being. Here are the main regulations:

Night work is generally defined as work carried out during specific night hours, usually between 9 pm and 6 am. However, the exact timeframe can be modified through collective bargaining agreements in certain sectors.

Night work usually warrants a wage premium to compensate for the disruption to normal sleep patterns. The specific increase can be negotiated within the confines of collective agreements, but there's no universally mandated minimum increase established by national law.

Night work should ideally be performed on a volunteer basis whenever possible. Employers cannot force employees to work night shifts without their consent unless exceptional circumstances exist and prior authorization is obtained.

Sundays are typically considered rest days for employees in French Polynesia. Working on Sundays requires the employee's consent and mandates a wage premium of at least 15% on top of the regular pay or applicable overtime rate.

Certain sectors, like tourism or hospitality, may have specific regulations regarding weekend work outlined in collective bargaining agreements. These agreements can establish exceptions for specific categories of workers or roles within those industries.

By adhering to these regulations, employers can ensure fair treatment of employees working night shifts or weekends while respecting their right to rest and leisure time.

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