Working hours

Working hours

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Do not exceed local limits on working hours. In accordance with the ILO do not require workers to exceed 48 hours of work per week on a regular basis and we encourage reducing work hours to 40 hours per week and a maximum of 8 hours per day. Workers should be provided with at least one day off for every seven-day period. Overtime is voluntary and should not exceed 12 hours per week. Overtime is not demanded on a regular basis and is always compensated at a premium rate of wages. Keep work hour records for at least two years.

Long working hours and overtime are a huge challenge in the manufacturing industry, where problems with quality, late delivery of raw materials or last minute alterations often minimise the time left for production. The amount of working hours has a direct impact on the workers’ health and safety situation—too much work imposes more injuries and accidents as well as a lower overall productivity—therefore NICE recommends working proactively on reducing overtime. Furthermore, reduction of overtime can lead to reduced worker turnover.


  • Have a work schedule that limits overtime and encourages workers not to work on their days off
  • Keep work hour records containing overtime and lunch breaks or other statutory breaks during the day for at least two years
  • Keep work hour records for temporary and subcontracted workers
  • Make work hour records that are accessible to workers and comparable with payroll records
  • Have a system for assessing the skills of new workers and provide the necessary introduction or training soon after their employment
  • Have a well-developed production plan that includes information about critical paths and standard roduction times
  • Continuously work to improve communication between merchandisers, factory management and production to minimise problems of e.g. late delivery and tight deadlines

More topics

Human rights
Freedom of association
Forced labour
Child labour
Working hours
Labour contracts
Sick leave
Grievance system
Occupational health and safety
Corruption and bribery
Monitoring and evaluation