Labour law

Night work: What you need to know

Night work is highly regulated by the Labor Code. It is subject to term limits, causes counterparties and is highly regulated for minors and pregnant employees.

night work

Night work: maximum duration

Daily maximum duration: 8 hours. It may be waived by a collective agreement term or permission of the labor inspector but within the maximum limit of 12h;

Weekly maximum duration: 40 hours in any period of 12 consecutive weeks with a possible exception to 44 hours for certain sectors by decree or by a collective agreement, company agreement or settlement.

Mandatory counterparties
A night for an employee work shall result in the employer to assign consideration: rest to which may be added a financial compensation. Such compensation is provided for by a collective agreement or by the employer when the introduction of night work is authorized by the labor inspectorate. If no collective agreement, only the compensatory rest is mandatory. Wage compensation, as provided for by collective agreement, is optional. It can never replace the award of compensatory rest.

Thus, under the terms of implementation of the night work in the company, night worker recognized employee will benefit from:

  • rest only;
  • rest + night shift differential;
  • but never in premium only.

Other counterparts

The employees recognized ‘night workers’ must also benefit from:

  • organized time breaks;
  • measures to improve their working conditions;
  • measures to make it compatible on night work with family obligations and the exercise of social responsibility.

Medical supervision
Employees are subject to a special medical supervision:

  • before the introduction of night work;
  • at least every 6 months thereafter.

Passing a day schedule to a night schedule
The transition from day to night hour’s schedules is a modification of the contract of employment which must be accepted by the employee. Similarly the passage of a schedule previously partially at night to a schedule totally night requires the consent of the employee. It is important to know that when night work is incompatible with pressing family obligations such as custody of a child or a dependent, the employee may refuse the modification of its labor contract. This refusal can not be a ground for dismissal, or a fault.

Night work for pregnant employees
The employee working at night in medically confirmed pregnancy or childbirth must be assigned to a day job:

  • if requested by the employee: during pregnancy and during the postnatal leave;
  • when the medical officer determines that the position is incompatible with her condition.

If the employer is unable to offer other work to the employee, the employment contract is deemed to be suspended until the date of statutory leave. The employer must confirm in writing to the employee, the reasons that motivate this impossibility. During the suspension of the employment contract, the employee will receive:

  • daily allowances paid by social security;
  • an additional allowance payable by the employer, which is calculated as in the case of a judgment of ordinary illness, whatever the age of the employee concerned.
  • The employer may assign the employee to another institution, but in no case shall this change lead to a reduction of her earnings.