Working Time Regulations

The Working Time Regulations set out the limits on how long most workers can work in a week, rights to rest periods, days off, annual leave.

Working Time Limits

The Working Time Regulations 1998, implemented the 1993 EC Working Time Directive into English law, with subsequent amending legislation.

The Working Time Regulations apply to most workers, but there are certain exceptions.

The Working Time Regulations set out the limits on how long most workers can work in a week, their right to rest periods, days off and annual leave.

The main provisions are:

The 48 Hour Week

A limit on average weekly working time to 48 hours. Individual workers can choose to agree to work more than the 48-hour average weekly limit, but the agreement has to be in writing and it must allow the worker to end it. An agreement can have a notice period of up to three months, but if no notice period is specified, only seven days’ written notice will be required. The agreement may be included in the written contract of employment or form a separate written agreement.

Night Workers

A limit on night workers’ average normal daily working time to 8 hours, and a requirement to offer health assessments to night workers.

Rest Periods

Minimum daily and weekly rest periods of 11 hours rest a day and a right to a day off a week. Rest breaks at work of at least 20 minutes if the working day is longer than six hours.

Annual Leave

In the UK there is a right to 5.6 weeks of paid annual leave capped at 28 days.


The Working Time Regulations 1998

The Working time Regulations 1999

All Working Time legislation


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Last Updated on December 15, 2020 by Admin