The Working Time Regulations (1998) are the regulations by which the UK puts into place its obligations under the EU’s Working Time Directive (see Working Time Directive).  The Working Time Regulations are in place to protect workers from excessive hours. They also allow for paid annual leave and include employees’ rights to rest breaks and uninterrupted periods of rest.

In summary, the Working Time Regulations state that a worker should not work for more than 48 hours per week. In the UK it is possible to opt out of the 48 hour working week and to work longer hours. However, if a worker does choose to claim their right not to work more than 48 hours per week, they should not suffer any disadvantage as a result (e.g. being passed over for a promotion for example).

There are also protections in the area of night work which must not exceed eight hours on average.

Workers also have rights to paid annual leave of at least four weeks per annum; to rest breaks during work time and to a period of rest of at least 11 consecutive hours in any 24 hour period.

There are further special provisions for young workers and for night workers involved in work which has “special hazards” such as heavy physical work or mental strain.

Peninsula Business Services can provide advice and assistance if you need help to ensure you are complying with the Working Time Regulations. Contact us today – call 0800 0282 420, or use our callback form to arrange for us to get in touch at a time that is convenient for you.