Working weeks in Chile are 45 hours (some of the longest in the world), commonly Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m., for a total of 9 hours daily, excluding one hour for lunch.
Working six days a week, including Saturday, but never Sunday, can also be imposed by employers.
Employers have the right to extend the employee’s workday by a maximum of two hours, capped at ten additional hours weekly.
Maximum working hours are not applicable to managers, employees with power to manage, administrators, directors, and those who work without direct supervision, such as from home or another location.
However, if the employee and employer agree on a working day subject to a timetable, with attendance control, they must comply with the general rule: 45 hours per week, renouncing this “free working day” modality. The law presumes that these workers work a workday subject to a schedule when
(a) the employer makes discounts for “tardiness” of the worker;
(b) the worker is required to register his attendance, entry, and exit from work; or
(c) when the employer, through a hierarchical superior, exercises functional and direct supervision or control over the worker.
Any work beyond the standard 9 hours daily (excluding lunch break) or 45 hours weekly is seen as overtime and must be paid at 150% of the employee’s regular pay. However, managers, administrators, directors, and those working from home are not entitled to overtime.
Overtime must be agreed on in writing and can be implemented as only a temporary measure, never exceeding a total of three continuous months. Overtime should be requested of employees in only specific circumstances such as avoiding damages to the company’s normal operations, force majeure, or preventing accidents.
Employees who are made to work on Sundays are entitled to receive a pay rate of 130% of their regular pay (if their industry allows work on Sundays) or to be granted another day off in compensation within the following week (if the industry does not allow work on Sundays, but there is an emergency).
On national holidays, employees are not entitled to any premiums if work is within the 45 hours of a standard workweek. Instead, employers must grant employees with another day off within the following week. If working during the holiday is performed beyond the 45 hours, the employee is entitled to a pay rate of 150% of their regular wage.
Employees are entitled to at least half an hour break during their workday, and to 11 hours between workdays. Work is not allowed on Sundays and national holidays (except in certain sectors, such as retail), and employees should have at least one rest day weekly.
Night work is any work performed between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. of the next day. The Chilean Labour Code does not stipulate any limitations or premium pay for those who work during the night. Pregnant employees are not allowed to work night shifts.
It is mandatory that employers track and keep records of the worked hours of their employees — both the regular working hours and any overtime worked. Working hours of each employee must be calculated and recorded daily, using any means (e.g., recording the starting and finishing hours of each working period or the number of hours worked).
Employers do not need to track and record the attendance of managers and remote or telecommuting workers, because they are not subject to the 45-hour workweek “Standard Hours”.
The penalty for not registering attendance varies depending on the seriousness of the infraction and the size of the company. It ranges from 3 UTM to 60 UTM.
In addition, there are other problems associated with not keeping track of working hours:
(a) It is not possible to calculate the overtime that must be paid to workers.
(b) The employer cannot prove workers’ absenteeism or tardiness.
(c) The employer cannot dismiss the worker for tardiness, absenteeism, or abandonment of work.