Working Time Regulations

The Working Time Regulations 1998 impose limits on workers' hours of work. Workers cannot lawfully be required to work more than an average of 48 hours a week.

However, a worker may agree to opt out of this weekly working time limit and work more than an average of 48 hours a week as long as he or she does so voluntarily and in writing.

The Working Time Regulations 1998 also give workers the right to a minimum daily rest period between each working day or shift, and to a minimum weekly rest period.


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Most of the the UK has eight permanent bank holidays per year: New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, May...

Court of Appeal: Junior doctor wins rest break test case

31 Jul 2019

The NHS faces a bill of millions of pounds after a junior doctor won a test case yesterday about the...

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Pregnant worker who challenged working hours wins unfair dismissal claim

2 Jul 2019

A care assistant who was dismissed has been awarded more than £35,000.

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When does keeping tabs on working time overstep the line?

2 Jul 2019

A recent ECJ case means employers will need to more closely track employee time at work. But when does concern over employees' wellbeing turn into spying on them?

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Top 10 HR questions June 2019: Ex-employee grievances

2 Jul 2019

Can an employer ignore a grievance if the employee no longer works for the organisation?
The most popular FAQ on...

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‘Overtime culture’ is causing employees to drive while tired, insurer claims

15 May 2019

Almost one in 10 staff who drive for work have fallen asleep or nearly fallen asleep at the wheel as...

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ECJ: Employers must ensure staff are not overworking

14 May 2019

The European Court of Justice has ruled that employers must take steps to make sure their staff are not exceeding...

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‘People wouldn’t admit they worked here’: Transforming Morecambe NHS trust

3 Apr 2019

Furness General Hospital hit the headlines in 2013 following a number of tragic baby deaths in its maternity unit. Ashleigh...

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Top 10 HR questions March 2019: Anonymous witness rights

2 Apr 2019

If a witness in a disciplinary procedure wishes to remain anonymous, how can the employer balance their privacy against the...

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working time

Working when the clocks go forward: how should employers handle losing an hour?

22 Mar 2019

The clocks go forward an hour at 1:00am GMT on Sunday 31 March 2019. But what does this mean for...

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Working time: Rest breaks need not be continuous

6 Mar 2019

The Court of Appeal has ruled that there is no reason why a rest break should be uninterrupted in certain...

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Workers did 2 billion hours of unpaid overtime last year

1 Mar 2019

Employees in the UK did more than £32 billion worth of unpaid overtime last year, according to analysis by the...

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Sleep problems

‘Work dramas’ deprive employees of sleep

10 Dec 2018

Work dramas and project deadlines are the two aspects of the daily grind most likely to keep employees up at...

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Ryanair sacks stranded cabin crew for ‘breach of trust’

7 Nov 2018

Six Ryanair cabin crew were dismissed by the airline this week for “breach of trust” after a photograph was circulated...

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Working when the clocks go back: how should employers handle extra hour?

26 Oct 2018

The clocks go back an hour at 2:00am on Sunday 28 October 2018. But what does this mean for night workers?

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