Are you an employer or employee who wants to know your normal hours of work? Here is an important note for you in this regard.

The issue of Normal hours of work is one of the important information an employer or an employee should know about. Because such hours are the basis of the apportionment of working time, according to the needs of an employer organization. When we come to the subject matter of normal hours of work we find the Ethiopian Labour Law Provisions of Normal Hours of work, weekly Rest and public Holidays in part four of the proclamation.

The Ethiopian Labour proclamation, in its article which determines the Maximum Daily or weekly Hours of Work, states the Normal hours of work shall not exceed eight hours(8) a day or forty-eighth( 48) hours a week. It further defines the phrase "Normal hours of work" as the time during which a worker actually performs work or avails himself for work in accordance with law, collective agreement or work rules.

Though it has never been previously exercised by the Ministry of Work and Social Affairs, where there are special conditions of work, the ministry may issue directives reducing this normal hours of work based on the economic sectors, industries or occupations. However such reduction will not cause a reduction in the wages of the worker.

According to the Ethiopian law Labour proclamation working hours could be arranged according to the needs of an employer organization, provided it doesn’t exceed the minimum expectation of the Ethiopian labour Law Proclamation. Accordingly the forty-eighth (48) hours a week can be spread equally over the working days of a week, provided, however, where the nature of the work so requires hours of work in anyone of the working days may be shortened and the differences be distributed over the remaining days of the week without extending the daily limits of eight hours by more than two hours.

Besides the above provisions, the rules of averaging can also be used where the circumstances in which the work has to be carried on are such that normal hours of work cannot be distributed evenly over the individual week.  Accordingly where the circumstances in which the work has to be carried on are such that normal hours of work cannot be distributed evenly over the individual week, normal hours of work may be calculated as an average over a period longer than one week, provided, however that the average number of hours over a period shall not exceed eight hours per day or forty eight hours per week.

One should also note the fact that any work done in the above circumstances shall not be deemed to be over-time.

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