Working Time Regulations

The Working Time Regulations 1998 put a limit on the number of hours that workers can work each week. 

The basic provisions of the Working Time Regulations state that employees are: 

  • Required to work an average of / no more than 48 hours a week, unless they specifically opt-out. 
  • Entitled to 5.6 weeks' paid time off per year. 
  • Allowed 1 consecutive hours' rest per 24-hour period. 
  • Entitled to a 20-minute rest break (for working days longer than six hours). Meant to have 11 hours of rest between working days. 
  • Given a minimum of one day off per week. 
  • Not allowed to work more than eight hours - for night shifts - in any 24-hour period.
  • Restricted to 8-hours per day and 40-hours per week if they are aged 16-18.

What do the Working Time Regulations cover?  

The Regulations apply to all part-time and full-time workers, including most agency workers and freelancers. However, there are exceptions: 

  • The armed forces and police are exempt from the regulations. This also includes emergency services staff when dealing with an emergency. 
  • Workers whose "working time is not measured or pre-determined" are exempt. This can include senior managers and people employed by family members 
  • Young workers - classified as under 18 - are entitled to more generous rest break allowances

Contact us if you have a working time query

Call us

What our clients say