According to Article 158 of the Colombian Labor Code, the working shift may be agreed by the employer and the employee. In absence of such agreement, the working shift will be the maximum determined by law.


The maximum working schedule is of eight daily hours and forty-eight (48) weekly hours. The daytime working shift goes from 6:00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m. Work done between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. is considered night work and has a 35% surcharge.


The following employees are excluded from the daily working shift hours (i) executive, management or trust employees; and (ii) security guards that live in the place of work.


Bear in mind that in the event that working hours exceed the abovementioned limits, the employer must request a special authorization from the Colombian Ministry of Labor. According to Decree 1072, 2015, recently issuedby the Ministry of Labor, the employer must post a copy of the requested authorization, as of the issuance of it. Whether the authorization is granted or denied, the employer shall post the copy of the resolution issued by the Ministry of Labor.


This legal provision has also stated that the record of extra hours that the employer must keep shall include the following (i) name of the employee; (ii) age (iii) gender, (iv) the activity performed, (v) number of authorized extra hours indicating if they are daily hours or night hours and (vi) salary. It also establishes the obligation to deliver a duplicate of such record daily to the employee who must execute such document in sign of receipt and acceptance. If the employer does not comply with this obligation, the authorization granted by he Ministry of Labor to perform over time work, will be revoked.

Based on the record, the employer is obliged to compensate the overtime work. If the overtime occurs during daytime, each extra hour of work must be compensated at a 25% surcharge. If the extra work is at night, the extra hours are paid as night work, at a 75% surcharge, just as work performed on rest days and holidays. Overtime may not exceed 2 hours per day 12 hours per week.


Below a chart describing the applicable surcharges for overtime:

Overtime pay
Night work

35% surcharge over daytime hour


Day overtime


25% surcharge over daytime hour

Night overtime


75% surcharge over daytime hour


Day overtime on Sunday or holidays 100% surcharge over daytime hour
Night overtime on Sundays or holidays 150% surcharge over daytime hour


In regards with the faculty of the parties to agree a flexible working shift, the Colombian Labor laws, allow the parties of the employment agreement to organize successive work shifts every day of the week, not exceeding 6 hours per day or 36 hours per week.


Likewise, they may agree on a flexible work schedule, with 48 hours of work per week, distributed along no more than 6 days. Under this system the number of hours worked daily will be no less that 4 and no more than 10, and no overtime will apply if work does not exceed 48 hours per week.


It is important to mention that employee and employer can agree to make Saturday mandatory rest day instead of Sunday, and then, for all legal purposes, Saturday will be recognized as if it were a Sunday.


During the following years the Colombian Congress, will discuss the law proposal 38 of 2014, intended to modify certain provisions of the Labor Code related with extra hours and work on Sundays and holidays. Specifically, the law proposal determines that the daytime working shift may go from 6:00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m., therefore work done between 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. is considered night work and it must be compensated at a 35% surcharge.

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