Daylight Saving Time and Employee Pay: What Employers Need to Know

  • Employer advice
turning back the clock for daylight saving
Kiljon Shukullari

Kiljon Shukullari, HR Advisory Manager

(Last updated )

Daylight Saving Time is the practice of setting clocks forward by an hour during summer months to make optimum use of daylight. The clocks are set back again in Fall. In 2023 Daylight Saving Time began on Sunday, March 12 at 2 am. It ends on Sunday, November 5 at 2 am.

For most people this means an extra hour of sleep, however, night shift workers and their managers might be wondering how this will affect work hours and pay.

Will workers have to work an extra hour or just their usual number of hours?

This depends on workers’ contracts. If their contract specifies a start and end time, the worker will have to work the additional hour to finish at their usual time.

Other contracts might not give specific start and end times but might state how many hours the employee is expected to work. In this case, the employee will work their usual number of hours regardless of the time change.

Do workers lose an hour of pay due to Daylight Saving Time?

Workers who are paid hourly must still be paid for all hours worked. Employees on a salary might be entitled to additional compensation depending on the language of their contract and whether the overtime threshold is exceeded. Employers must ensure salaried workers are at least paid the minimum wage for all hours worked

What things should employers keep in mind?

Employers should be cautious of how an extra hour of work might influence employees’ daily and weekly limit of work hours. If they require staff to work an additional hour, employers must consult their provincial legislation to ensure work-hour limits are not exceeded.

Businesses can decide how to manage the extra hour, but they must consider workers’ contractual entitlements. As an example, employers may allow workers to leave an hour earlier when Daylight Saving begins in the Spring if they work an extra hour this Fall. Regardless of the approach, employers should be consistent, and the same rules should apply to all workers.

To ensure that the workplace adjusts to Daylight Saving Time ending smoothly, employees should also be reminded of the time change and how this will affect their starting times on Sunday morning.

Do you need advice on scheduling shifts and paying employees during Daylight Saving Time?

Our HR experts can help. Speak with one of our knowledgeable advisors today to find out your employer obligations and to ensure your business is operating in compliance with your provincial Employment Standards legislation. Call us today: 1 (833) 247-3652

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