The trucking industry is heavily relied on when it comes to the success and growth of the Canadian economy. Large quantities of raw materials, works in progress, and finished goods are transported over land, ensuring that trade and production remain on schedule. Organizations in possession of a fleet either carry their own goods or are available for hire, allowing smaller companies and industries to access further places.
One of the most important elements of the trucking industry is the workers. Drivers are the backbone of any fleet, and without them, the products and goods requiring transport literally would not make it to their final destination. Being a truck driver can be quite strenuous, and the profession isn’t for everyone. The role requires dedication and commitment, and often comes with long hours and days. But are trucking companies required to pay their drivers overtime? Let’s take a look.
The Basic Rules For Overtime
In a traditional corporate job, you may expect to be eligible for overtime pay once you work an excess of eight hours a day or 44 hours a week, whichever is greater. However, this rule does not apply to truck drivers. Instead, truck drivers receive overtime pay if they have worked an excess of ten hours a day or 50 hours a week, whichever is greater.
Despite the differences in hours required to qualify for overtime pay, the regular rules for overtime pay rates and banked overtime apply. This means that drivers can expect to be paid 1.5 times their regular wage for any overtime hours they have worked, or opt to bank their overtime hours and earn an hour of vacation time for every hour of overtime they worked. As a note, not every company is required to offer banked hours as an option, but some employers choose to offer it regardless.
Additionally, employees are considered working from the time they report to work until the time they are relieved from work and their responsibilities. This means that their entire shift will not be spent on the road, and employers need to consider this when building their work schedule.
Limits To Overtime
Typically, there is a limitation on how long an employee is permitted to work within a time period. Within the trucking industry, employees cannot work for more than 12 consecutive hours in a workday. This means that while drivers can work over their ten-hour day, they are generally capped at two hours of overtime. However, this regulation does not apply to an employee who is subject to the Drivers’ Hours of Service Regulation, which aims to enhance road safety around fleet trucks that carry a gross weight of 11 794 kg or more.
After an employee completes their shift, their employer is legally prohibited from calling them back to work until the employee has had at least the longer of the following two options:
- A consecutive period of rest that has been determined by the Drivers’ Hours of Service Regulation, if applicable
- Eight consecutive hours of rest
Road safety is incredibly important within the trucking industry, and overworking their employees has proven to have detrimental effects. Ensuring employees are well rested for their shift enables overall company success, improves worker morale, and sets the standard for the industry’s reputation.
Interprovincial or International Trucking
As a note, different rules and regulations often apply to trucking that involves crossing borders. The above information directly relates to employees working for an Alberta-based trucking company. Ensure you have all the information related to job pay to confirm Alberta regulations are being followed within your organization.