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Authority for Justice and Consumer Protection

Request higher daily working hours

Under certain conditions, as an employer, you can have rest periods for employees in your company that deviate from the legal working time regulations approved.

Important notes


You can apply for an extension of the daily working hours of your employees under the following conditions:

  • For continuous shift operation when additional free shifts are achieved. Additional free shifts exist if the employees concerned have more free consecutive days available than before due to the extension of working hours.
  • For construction and assembly sites if the place of work is far away from the employee's place of residence and the employees are guaranteed a correspondingly longer rest period at their place of residence for the longer working hours on the construction or assembly site.
  • For your seasonal or campaign operations, if there is an extraordinary workload that cannot be offset by other organizational measures

Documents required

For all companies:

  • Disclosures relating to the activities
  • Number of employees for whom a permit is to be issued
  • Contact person in the company with contact details
  • Risk assessment (especially with regard to psychological stress due to longer working hours)
  • Opinion of the company doctor
  • Opinion of the works council (if any)
Additionally for continuous shift operations:
  • Service/shift rosters that show that additional free shifts result from the extension of working hours
  • Schedules for day and night services/shifts, from which the break options in particular are evident
Additionally at construction and assembly sites:
  • Information on the nature and difficulty of the work
  • organization of working hours
  • Distance between place of work and place of residence
  • Duration of the rest period at the place of residence
Additionally for seasonal and campaign operations:
  • Information about the season or campaign
  • organization of working hours
  • Period in which working hours are reduced

Please note



There is no legal deadline for submitting an application.

However, the application should be submitted in good time, at least four weeks before the start of the desired deviation from the regulations on working hours.

The permits are usually limited.

Procedure & Fees


You can apply for an exceptional permit to deviate from rest periods using the online service provided for this purpose.

An online application for the declaration of admissibility is done as follows:

  • You submit all the documents required for a decision on your application.
  • The documents you submit will be checked for completeness and additional documents may be requested.
  • If you meet all the requirements, the permit can be granted.
  • You will receive a corresponding notification of approval.
  • If the requirements are not met, a rejection notice will be issued.
  • You will be sent a fee notice.
If you want to apply for the declaration of admissibility in writing, the following steps must be carried out:
  • You fill out the relevant application form completely
  • You send it to the Office for Occupational Safety and Health, including the documents listed in the application.
  • If the documents or information required for processing are incomplete, you will be contacted by the administrative department.
  • If the requirements for approval are met, you will receive a notification of approval, otherwise a notification of rejection.
  • The decision will be sent to you by e-mail or by post.
  • The notice of fees will usually be sent to you later.
The decision of the Office for Occupational Safety and Health is based on due discretion.
Within the framework of this decision, the interests of protecting the safety and health of employees and the operational interests of the employer are weighed up.

Processing time

Depending on the examination effort (usually a few weeks after submission of the complete documents)


  • Costs (variable) depending on the time required from 150 to 2,500 euros

  • Delivery expenses may apply

  • The exact costs will be determined after the approval.

Legal notes

Legal remedies

  • contradiction

  • The decision can be appealed to the Office for Occupational Safety and Health within one month of notification.

  • An unsuccessful objection procedure is subject to a fee.

Legal basis

Downloads & Links

Service description

Under certain conditions, you as an employer can obtain an exceptional permit for longer daily working hours for employees in your company.
You must submit an application for this.

A deviation from the regulations on working hours is possible for:

  • continuous shift operations
  • Construction and assembly sites
  • Seasonal and campaign operations.

For continuous shift work, you may be granted longer daily working hours in order to achieve additional free shifts.
In the case of seasonal and campaign operations, longer daily working hours can be granted for the time of the season or campaign. The increase in working hours is offset by a corresponding reduction in other times.

For reasons of health protection, daily working times of more than 12 hours are generally not permitted in continuous shift operations as well as in seasonal and campaign operations.

For construction and assembly sites, longer daily working hours of more than 8 hours can be approved without special requirements.
You are not entitled to an exemption

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Address and contact information


Authority for Justice and Consumer Protection
Employee Protection
Billstraße 80 20539 Hamburg

Opening hours

Mon-Wed 10am-1pm, Thurs 10am-1pm, 2pm-4pm, Fri 10am-1pm, telephone advice only

Facility info

Public transport

S2 / S21 Rothenburgsort, buses 120/122/124/130/160/224/530 Rothenburgsort

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