Impact of 40-hour law on 24×7 shifts

Impact of 40-hour law on 24×7 shifts


Review the impact of the 40-hour law on the distribution of working hours for 24x7 shifts.

In April of this year (2023), the 40-hour law was approved, applying a gradual reduction from 45 to 40 hours per week. The implementation of the law will be gradual:

  • One year after the law becomes effective: the working week will be reduced from 45 to 44 hours per week.
  • Three years after the law comes into force: working hours will be reduced to 42 hours per week.
  • 5 years after the effective date of the law: working hours will be reduced to 40 hours per week.

In this article, we will discuss the impact of the law on the implementation of 24×7 shifts. Previously, we delivered an implementation strategy considering 45 hours per week, where the day is divided into 3 blocks, with overlaps of 30 minutes each:

  • Morning: 07:45 to 16:15.
  • Afternoon: 15:45 to 00:15
  • Night: 23:45 to 08:15

Impact of law 40 hours

In the proposed design, the truth is that there is no considerable impact on the company’s side in having to apply the reduction in working hours. It is only necessary to adjust the schedules of each block, eliminating overlaps as follows:

  • Morning: 08:00 to 16:00.
  • Afternoon: 16:00 to 00:00
  • Night: 00:00 to 08:00

The main impact is having to set up a shift handover process that allows the person coming in to do their job without having to receive verbal feedback from the person going out. It is recommended to use event management platforms that allow to keep a record with status and history for each incident/request so that the person who enters the shift can easily review the information.

The distribution of the working day can be kept the same as that used in the 45-hour scheme, simply by reducing the duration of each block:

40-hour law - Distribution of working hours


In our analysis, there is no real impact when applying the reduction in working hours. Whether you have an operations center, NOC, SOC or other, you can maintain the same proposed scheme that allows you to comply with all applicable labor laws:

  1. Working hours of 40 hours per week maximum.
  2. Do not work more than 6 consecutive days.
  3. Do not work more than 10 hours in a day.
  4. Rest of at least the same amount of hours worked.
  5. That at least 2 Sundays a month be Sundays off.

We recall that this type of work is very strenuous and has several negative health implications, therefore, we hope to be able to complement the legal requirements with additional benefits. One of the main problems is to make family schedules compatible with work schedules, so we consider it important that the design of the 24×7 shifts contemplates a rotation of night shifts, making the distribution in the team more equitable and facilitating family life as much as possible.

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