Working Time Regulations 1998

What are the Working Time Regulations?

The Working Time Regulations 1998 set out that you can’t work more than 48 hours a week on average, normally averaged over 17 weeks. They were amended in 2007 to be inclusive of workers within other industries, such as the transport industry, that were previously excluded.

However you can choose to work more by opting out of the 48 hour week. Some employees may choose to do so, in order to ensure they are paid for any overtime work they complete.

Additional regulations also apply to certain categories of workers, such as young workers and night workers. Although within some job roles the limits on night working are not applicable; for example roles in the emergency services.

Why do the Working Time Regulations Matter?

Working time regulations are important as employers are responsible for ensuring they are implemented within the workplace and should usually be communicated in an employment contract.

A lack of implementation of these regulations, inevitably leading to excessively long hours, could lead to prosecution and an unlimited fine for the company.

Ensuring that working time regulations may also be a crucial part of positively impact the wider issue of health and safety within a company, as apart of the regulations employers must offer free health assessments to night workers with the penalty of this being an unlimited fine.

How Loates HR Consultancy Can Help

• Advise you on your role as an employer to reinforce the regulations
• Ensure your employee contracts are compliant with the working time regulations
• Advise you in claims made against you in relation to work time regulations

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