How to comply with Working Time Regulations, and protect your employees
As an employer you must ensure that you know your responsibilities regarding working hours. You need to make sure that you comply with Working Time Regulations, and protect the health, safety and wellbeing of your employees.
Use the links below to find out more.
There are basic limits on working time and your employees’ entitlement to in-work breaks, periods of rest between shifts and the legal minimum paid annual leave.
On this page you will find information on what is considered working hours. You will also find information to help you calculate your employees’ working hours.
You have a responsibility to ensure that you provide the basic rights and protections that the law requires. These include
Employees have a right to a minimum of 5.6 weeks paid annual leave, inclusive of bank holidays.
They also have the right to paid annual leave from their first day of employment. This accrues at one-twelfth of the annual entitlement per month worked.
A pro-rata entitlement is given to seasonal or casual employees and others who do not work for a full year, as well as to part time workers.
Working hours can include
If the worker is a home worker or carries out work at home with prior agreement, then working lunches, travel and training are likely to be counted as working time.
You also need to consider the time employees spend
When an employee is on call at the workplace, this will constitute working time. Only the time spent during the actual provision of services when on call but away from the workplace will count as working time, for example at home on Saturday but ‘on call’.
Working hours does not include
Average working hours are calculated over a 17 week period. Employees can work more than 48 hours a week as long as the working time does not exceed 48 hours per week when it is averaged out over the 17 week period. If your employee has more than one job then their working hours shouldn't exceed more than 48 hours a week on average.
Employees can offer their employee the following options
Where an employee is under 18, their hours cannot be averaged and they cannot work more than 8 hours per day or 40 hours a week.
Night workers whose work involves special hazards or heavy physical or mental strain is regulated by absolute limit of 8 hours in any 24 hour period working each day. This is not an average.
There are a number of roles that are exempt.
You can use the Government’s working hours calculator to help you work out your employee’s working hours.
Visit the GOV.UK site to calculate working hours
You can find out more information on working hours on the
Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) website.
For information on workplace health, safety and wellbeing, contact your local health board team