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Working Hours and Overtime Regulations

Understand the laws governing work hours and overtime in Iran

Standard working hours

In Iran, the labor law dictates regulations concerning standard working hours. The country follows a 44-hour workweek. While the law doesn't explicitly state daily working hours, a customary practice prevails where employees typically work eight hours a day from Saturday to Wednesday. Thursdays differ from the rest of the week, with employees typically working a half day, amounting to four hours.


In Iran, labor law establishes clear regulations regarding overtime work, ensuring employee rights and fair compensation.

Overtime is defined as any work performed beyond the standard working hours. Employers cannot compel employees to work overtime. The law mandates obtaining employee consent before assigning overtime work.

Employers are legally obligated to compensate employees for overtime work. The mandated compensation is a 40% increase on top of the employee's regular hourly wage for every overtime hour worked.

There are restrictions on the amount of overtime an employee can be assigned. Under normal circumstances, the maximum daily overtime is four hours. Exceptions exist, allowing for exceeding this limit with mutual consent between the employer and employee. However, the specific details surrounding these exceptions are not explicitly outlined in the legislation.

It's advisable to consult with a legal professional specializing in Iranian labor law for comprehensive guidance on navigating exceptional situations or complexities regarding overtime work.

Rest periods and breaks

Iranian labor law prioritizes worker well-being by mandating designated rest periods and breaks. Here's a breakdown of these entitlements:

Weekly Rest Day

Iranian law guarantees workers a mandatory one-day rest period each week with full pay.

Designated Day of Rest

Friday is specifically designated as the weekly rest day for all workers in Iran.

Rest Breaks During Continuous Work Schedules

For workers engaged in continuous work schedules, the law mandates a minimum rest break of at least 45 minutes. This break is intended for meal consumption and is not considered working time.

Exceptions to Break Regulations

Collective bargaining agreements may establish exceptions to the standard 45-minute break rule. It's crucial to consult the relevant collective agreement for any variations in break duration or regulations specific to the workplace.

While the legislation outlines minimum requirements, some employers might offer more generous break policies. It's recommended to check your employment contract or company handbook for specific details regarding breaks at your workplace.

Night shift and weekend regulations

Iranian labor law recognizes the unique challenges associated with night and weekend work. Here are the specific regulations governing these work schedules:

Night work is defined as any work performed between 10 pm and 6 am. Workers performing night shifts are entitled to a wage supplement for the night hours worked. This supplement is mandated to be a minimum of 35% on top of the employee's regular hourly wage for every hour of night work performed.

Friday, the designated weekly rest day, is generally off-limits for regular work activities. However, there are limited exceptions permitting work on Fridays. These exceptions apply to industries that cannot halt operations due to their nature, such as continuous process industries, and situations deemed emergencies by the Ministry of Labor.

Workers required to work on Fridays must be compensated accordingly. The law mandates substitute rest days or a wage increase of at least 40% on top of the regular wage for any work performed on Fridays.

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