Fact Sheet

Averaging Permits

Employers may apply to change the standard hours of work from the minimum (8 hours per day and 40 hours per week) to a schedule that better fits their business needs. The new schedule may cycle over several weeks but must always average back to 40 hours per week.

What is the Averaging Permit Application process?

There are two ways to apply for an Averaging Permit:

  • Employers may use the Simplified Averaging Permit Application if their application meets certain pre-approved standards;
  • If the employer’s application does not fall within the pre-approved standards, they may use the Averaging/Breaks/Rest Permits Application

What pre-approved standards must be met to be eligible for the Simplified Averaging Permit Application process?

The Simplified Averaging Permit Application has a faster processing time, and is for applications that fall within pre-approved standards for safety and health. 

Employers are eligible for the Simplified Averaging Permit Application process if: 

  • 75% of the affected employees agree with the proposed terms and conditions through an Employee Survey
  • There is a set schedule (must provide an example) over a specific period of time that averages back to 40 hours per week
  • The affected employees regularly work more than 35 hours per week (does not apply to workers under the age of 16)
  • The affected employees will not be working more than 12 hours per day without overtime pay
  • The affected employees will not be working more than 60 hours per week without overtime pay
  • The affected employees get no less than an average of 2 days off from work per week, per averaging cycle
  • Employees get a 30 minute break after 5 hours of work or, for shifts of more than 10 hours per day, break times totalling 1 hour per day
  • Employees are paid overtime wages after 8 hours if they are scheduled to work a shift that is different from the shift approved on the permit
  • There is no history of employment standards violations

What is the Employee Survey?

Employers must use the Employees’ Survey to survey each worker who will be affected by the new schedule.

The employer must specify the proposed terms and conditions for the new schedule at the top of the form, and have all affected employees complete a form. At least 75% of the employees must agree to the proposed schedule for the permit to be granted. Employers must send the originals of the completed surveys to Employment Standards. The employer must provide an explanation for any employees unavailable to sign, such as those on leave.

Download the Employees’ Survey from www.manitoba.ca/labour/standards/forms.html or calling Employment Standards. The completed application can be dropped off, mailed, or faxed to the nearest Employment Standards office.

What is an averaging cycle?

Employers can set their new schedule over several weeks as long as the total hours average back to no more than 40 hours per week. The total number of weeks is considered one cycle. 

For example: a permit might allow employees to work 12 hours per day, 60 hours per week and 200 hours in a 5 week cycle. 

When submitting their application, the employer must provide a sample schedule for the entire cycle

What if employers do not meet the Simplified Averaging Permit Application criteria?

Employers with proposals falling outside the criteria for a Simplified Averaging Permit Application may still apply for an Averaging Permit using the Averaging/Breaks/Rest Permits Application.                                               

When considering the application, Employment Standards will look closely at whether the employer has followed employment standards in the past, as well as their policies around breaks and days of rest, and the safety and health risks to the public and employees.  A higher percentage of consent from employees may also be required.

Do employees working under a permit get overtime pay?

Yes. Employers who ask or allow employees to work longer than the hours set out in the permit must pay these employees 1 ½ times their regular hourly wage for each overtime hour worked.

For example: a permit allows an employee to work a maximum of 10 hours per day, 50 hours per week and 80 hours in a two-week period. If employees are asked or allowed to work more than 10 hours in a day they are owed overtime pay. Employees who work more than 50 hours in a week or more than 80 hours in two weeks, are also owed overtime pay. 

Are there restrictions on who can apply?

No. Averaging Permits are not issued for individual employee schedules or to accommodate "flextime". Permits/orders are not approved for workplaces where the majority of employees disagree with the proposal. 

Some industries have different standard hours of work.  See the Overtime fact sheet for more information.

What is flextime?

Flextime is when employers allow individual employees to take time off and make up that time on another day. Unless the employee and employer have a written Flextime Agreement, employees are entitled to be paid overtime wages for any hours worked over 8 hours a day.

What if I disagree with the proposed schedule?

Employees with questions about their rights should call Employment Standards. If a permit/order is issued, the employer can require the minority of employees who did not agree to work the new schedule.

How do employees know if there is a permit/order in the workplace?

Permits/orders must be posted at the workplace at all times, in a place where employees can see it. Employers who do not post the permit/order or restrict access to it risk having it cancelled.

When can the employer start the new schedule?

New schedules can begin once a permit/order is received by the employer and posted in the workplace. Until the permit is received, minimum standards remain in place. The new schedule will be in effect until the permit expires.

Does the permit expire?

The permit/order will show the date it expires.  The employer must reapply before the expiry date to avoid any disruptions in their operation. Once the permit has expired, scheduling must go back to minimum standards until a new permit is approved.  Each application needs the written support of the affected employees.

How do I apply?

Download applications forms from www.manitoba.ca/labour/standards/forms.html or by calling Employment Standards. The completed application can be dropped off, mailed, or faxed to the nearest Employment Standards office.

For more information contact Employment Standards:

Phone:     204-945-3352 or toll free in Canada 1-800-821-4307

Fax:           204-948-3046

E-mail:     employmentstandards@gov.mb.ca

Website:  www.manitoba.ca/labour/standards

This is a general overview and the information used is subject to change. For detailed information, please refer to current legislation including The Employment Standards Code, The Construction Industry Wages Act , The Worker Recruitment and Protection Act, or contact Employment Standards.

Available in alternate formats
upon request.


Date Published: February 21, 2017