Does an employee need to recover hours of work that they were unable to perform?

Verified 26 October 2023 - Legal and Administrative Information Directorate (Prime Minister)

Yes, certain events may prevent you from working during your scheduled company hours (e.g., bad weather or inventory). You must then perform these uncompleted hours of work. We're doing an update on the regulations.

A particular event may prevent provisionally and collectively employees of the company to work for certain hours.

This is the case for the following situations following an interruption collective of the resulting work only  :

  • In the event of an accident, bad weather or force majeure
  • In the case of an inventory of the company
  • In the case of a period of 1 or 2 not worked working days between a public holiday and a weekly day of rest or a day preceding annual leave

These hours of work not performed are referred to as lost hours.

These lost hours can then be recovered at the request of your employer.

The hours of work not performed due to strike, absence due to public holiday, sick leave, leave or delay of the employee cannot be the subject of an arrangement for the hours of work lost to be carried out.

No, you cannot refuse to work lost hours if your employer asks you to work them and as soon as those hours are included in the lost hours scheme.

Please note

If the employee refuses to work these lost hours of work, he or she may be exposed to a disciplinary sanction from the employer. However, the employer may not penalize an employee whose refusal to make the recovery is motivated by medical reasons.

Your employer must immediately inform the labor inspector of the establishment in the company of a system of lost hours to be carried out in case of collective interruption of work due to an unforeseen event.

The realization of lost hours can be fixed by collective company agreement.

In the absence of an agreement, working hours may not be increased:

  • more than1 hour per day
  • more than 8 hours per week

Lost hours should be made within 12 months before or after their loss.

Please note

The recovery of lost hours cannot be evenly distributed throughout the year.

No, the hours of work lost to be carried out shall not be considered as overtime.

They are made to compensate for unworked hours and are not subject to an increased hourly rate.

Please note

As only deferred normal hours, lost working hours to be recovered are not taken into account in determining the right to compensatory rest.

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