Rivermate | Guinea-Bissau flag


Working Hours and Overtime Regulations

Understand the laws governing work hours and overtime in Guinea-Bissau

Standard working hours

In Guinea-Bissau, there are discrepancies between sources regarding the exact number of standard working hours per week. However, the country's labor law provides a framework for understanding standard workweek expectations.

The labor law in Guinea-Bissau restricts the maximum daily work hours to 10 hours. This information is consistent across various legal revisions, with the limit being set at 10 hours per day since at least 1995.

Overtime work is defined as any hours exceeding the standard workday. In Guinea-Bissau, it is mandated that overtime be compensated at a rate at least 50% higher than the regular hourly rate. Additionally, total overtime hours are capped at 10 hours per week and 100 hours per year.


In Guinea-Bissau, overtime work is regulated to ensure employee well-being and fair compensation.

Overtime work is defined as any hours exceeding the standard workday. However, the labor code of Guinea-Bissau doesn't explicitly define a standard workweek, making the exact threshold for overtime unclear.

Despite the lack of a definitive weekly standard, regulations do cap the total allowable overtime hours. A maximum of 10 hours per week can be worked as overtime and the total overtime hours cannot surpass 100 hours in a year.

Guinea-Bissau mandates that overtime work be compensated at a premium rate. Employees must be paid at least 50% higher than their regular hourly rate for overtime work. This ensures that employees are adequately compensated for the additional hours they contribute.

Rest periods and breaks

In Guinea-Bissau, rest periods and breaks for workers are mandated to ensure they have time to recuperate and maintain productivity.

Rest Breaks During the Workday

For workers who are not engaged in continuous work, they are entitled to a rest break of at least 30 minutes. This ensures they have a dedicated period for rest and refreshment within a workday that doesn't involve continuous activity.

Continuous Work

Exceptions exist for jobs with a continuous nature, where taking breaks might disrupt the workflow. However, even in these scenarios, workers cannot be required to work for more than 11 consecutive hours without a break. In such cases, they are entitled to a minimum rest break of at least one hour.

Key Point

Lunch breaks are considered separate from these mandated rest periods.

Weekly Rest Day

In addition to daily breaks, all workers in Guinea-Bissau are entitled to a weekly rest period of at least half a day. This rest period typically falls on Sundays, but some work arrangements might offer alternative rest days alongside Sundays.

Two Common Work Week Structures

  • 5.5 Day Workweek: Employees work for five and a half days with a weekly rest period of half a day and the entire Sunday off.
  • 5 Day Workweek: This structure provides a full additional rest day alongside Sundays, resulting in a five-day workweek.

These regulations ensure that workers have sufficient time for rest and recovery, promoting overall well-being and preventing burnout.

Night shift and weekend regulations

In Guinea-Bissau, specific regulations have been implemented to safeguard the well-being of workers during night and weekend shifts, acknowledging the potential challenges associated with such work schedules.

Night Shift Work

  • Night Shift Definition: While a legal definition for "night shift" isn't explicitly provided, stipulations come into effect for work done at night.

  • Reduced Hours: Night shift workers are legally entitled to a shortened workday compared to the standard workday hours. However, the specific amount of reduction isn't defined within the referenced legislation.

  • Health and Safety Measures: Employers are obligated to implement health and safety measures to protect night shift workers. The nature of these measures is not explicitly outlined, but they likely encompass aspects like ergonomic considerations, appropriate lighting, and potential medical checkups.

Weekend Work

  • General Weekly Rest: All workers are entitled to a minimum rest period of half a day per week. This rest typically falls on Sundays.

  • Weekend Work Compensation: Weekend work is not explicitly prohibited. In instances where work is required on a designated rest day, workers must be compensated accordingly. The specific compensation terms might be established through individual employment contracts or collective bargaining agreements.

These regulations acknowledge the disruptive nature of night and weekend work and aim to ensure worker rights are protected during these non-standard work hours.

Rivermate | A 3d rendering of earth

Hire your employees globally with confidence

We're here to help you on your global hiring journey.