Change to winter time: how should shift workers be paid?

Author: Alexia Buyl (Legal Expert)
Read time: 3min
Publication date: 19/10/2023 - 10:13
Latest update: 19/10/2023 - 10:15

On Sunday, October 29, 2023, we will be switching to winter time, which means setting our clocks back an hour (at 3 a.m. it will actually be 2 a.m.).

This change to winter time can pose difficulties for calculating the remuneration of certain categories of workers.

A CBA concluded in the National Labour Council settles the problem of calculating the remuneration of shift workers, who are not paid a lump sum per month.

What must you do when you employ shift workers?

There are two solutions:

  • If the work organization allows it, arrange the shifts so that the team that worked the fewest hours during the change to summer time is the one that works the most during the change to winter time (i.e. on the night of October 28 to 29).

In fact, when summer started, these workers worked less but kept their normal daily remuneration. As a result, when winter time starts, these workers will work more without receiving any additional remuneration, as this additional service has already been paid for when we switched to summer time.

  • If it is not possible for you to carry out this rotation, please observe the following procedure:
    • workers who were employed for 7 hours (or less) during the change to summer time (last spring) must receive (and should have received) a remuneration corresponding to that of a normal day;
    • workers who are employed during the change to winter time (i.e. on the night of October 28 to 29) for longer than a normal day must be paid for the hours actually worked.


In a company, working time is divided into 3 successive shifts (A, B and C), each lasting 8 hours.

The B shift worked during the change to summer time. This means the workers have worked 7 hours. They were paid for 8 hours of work.

When winter time starts (on the night of October 28 to 29), there are two possible scenarios:

  • Either the B shift also works during the night break: the workers will work for 9 hours, but will receive remuneration for 8 hours of work (the 9th hour was paid in advance when the summer time changeover took place);
  • Or the A or C shifts work during the night break: the workers will work for 9 hours and will be paid for 9 hours of work.

In short

Night shift during the two “time changes”

Number of hours paid during the change to summer time (for 7 hours of actual work)

Number of hours paid during the change to winter time (for 9 hours of actual work)

Identical team



Different teams




Source: Collective bargaining agreement no. 30 of March 28, 1977 concerning remuneration problems for certain workers during the change to summer and winter time, made compulsory by the Royal Decree of July 16, 1998, Belgian Official Gazette of August 11, 1998.



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