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The Working Time Regulations 1998

Country:
United Kingdom

Maximum weekly working time
4.—(1) Subject to regulation 5, a worker’s working time, including overtime, in any reference period which is applicable in his case shall not exceed an average of 48 hours for each seven days.

(2) An employer shall take all reasonable steps, in keeping with the need to protect the health and safety of workers, to ensure that the limit specified in paragraph (1) is complied with in the case of each worker employed by him in relation to whom it applies.

(3) Subject to paragraphs (4) and (5) and any agreement under regulation 23(b), the reference periods which apply in the case of a worker are—

(a)where a relevant agreement provides for the application of this regulation in relation to successive periods of 17 weeks, each such period, or
(b)in any other case, any period of 17 weeks in the course of his employment.
(4) Where a worker has worked for his employer for less than 17 weeks, the reference period applicable in his case is the period that has elapsed since he started work for his employer.

(5) Paragraphs (3) and (4) shall apply to a worker who is excluded from the scope of certain provisions of these Regulations by regulation 21 as if for each reference to 17 weeks there were substituted a reference to 26 weeks.

(6) For the purposes of this regulation, a worker’s average working time for each seven days during a reference period shall be determined according to the formula—

where—

A is the aggregate number of hours comprised in the worker’s working time during the course of the reference period;
B is the aggregate number of hours comprised in his working time during the course of the period beginning immediately after the end of the reference period and ending when the number of days in that subsequent period on which he has worked equals the number of excluded days during the reference period; and
C is the number of weeks in the reference period.
(7) In paragraph (6), “excluded days” means days comprised in—

(a)any period of annual leave taken by the worker in exercise of his entitlement under regulation 13;
(b)any period of sick leave taken by the worker;
(c)any period of maternity leave taken by the worker; and
(d)any period in respect of which the limit specified in paragraph (1) did not apply in relation to the worker by virtue of regulation 5.
Agreement to exclude the maximum
5.—(1) The limit specified in regulation 4(1) shall not apply in relation to a worker who has agreed with his employer in writing that it should not apply in his case, provided that the employer complies with the requirements of paragraph (4).

(2) An agreement for the purposes of paragraph (1)—

(a)may either relate to a specified period or apply indefinitely; and
(b)subject to any provision in the agreement for a different period of notice, shall be terminable by the worker by giving not less than seven days' notice to his employer in writing.
(3) Where an agreement for the purposes of paragraph (1) makes provision for the termination of the agreement after a period of notice, the notice period provided for shall not exceed three months.

(4) The requirements referred to in paragraph (1) are that the employer—

(a)maintains up-to-date records which—
(i)identify each of the workers whom he employs who has agreed that the limit specified in regulation 4(1) should not apply in his case;
(ii)set out any terms on which the worker agreed that the limit should not apply; and
(iii)specify the number of hours worked by him for the employer during each reference period since the agreement came into effect (excluding any period which ended more than two years before the most recent entry in the records);
(b)permits any inspector appointed by the Health and Safety Executive or any other authority which is responsible under regulation 28 for the enforcement of these Regulations to inspect those records on request; and
(c)provides any such inspector with such information as he may request regarding any case in which a worker has agreed that the limit specified in regulation 4(1) should not apply in his case.
Length of night work
6.—(1) A night worker’s normal hours of work in any reference period which is applicable in his case shall not exceed an average of eight hours for each 24 hours.

(2) An employer shall take all reasonable steps, in keeping with the need to protect the health and safety or workers, to ensure that the limit specified in paragraph (1) is complied with in the case of each night worker employed by him.

(3) The reference periods which apply in the case of a night worker are—

(a)where a relevant agreement provides for the application of this regulation in relation to successive periods of 17 weeks, each such period, or
(b)in any other case, any period of 17 weeks in the course of his employment.
(4) Where a worker has worked for his employer for less than 17 weeks, the reference period applicable in his case is the period that has elapsed since he started work for his employer.

(5) For the purposes of this regulation, a night worker’s average normal hours of work for each 24 hours during a reference period shall be determined according to the formula—

where—

A is the number of hours during the reference period which are normal working hours for that worker;
B is the number of days during the reference period, and
C is the total number of hours during the reference period comprised in rest periods spent by the worker in pursuance of his entitlement under regulation 11, divided by 24.
(6) A night worker’s normal hours of work for the purposes of this regulation are his normal working hours for the purposes of the 1996 Act in a case where section 234 of that Act (which provides for the interpretation of normal working hours in the case of certain employees) applies to him.

(7) An employer shall ensure that no night worker employed by him whose work involves special hazards or heavy physical or mental strain works for more than eight hours in any 24-hour period during which the night worker performs night work.

(8) For the purposes of paragraph (7), the work of a night worker shall be regarded as involving special hazards or heavy physical or mental strain if—

(a)it is identified as such in—
(i)a collective agreement, or
(ii)a workforce agreement,which takes account of the specific effects and hazards of night work, or
(b)it is recognised in a risk assessment made by the employer under regulation 3 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1992(1) as involving a significant risk to the health or safety of workers employed by him.
Health assessment and transfer of night workers to day work
7.—(1) An employer—

(a)shall not assign an adult worker to work which is to be undertaken during periods such that the worker will become a night worker unless—
(i)the employer has ensured that the worker will have the opportunity of a free health assessment before he takes up the assignment; or
(ii)the worker had a health assessment before being assigned to work to be undertaken during such periods on an earlier occasion, and the employer has no reason to believe that that assessment is no longer valid, and
(b)shall ensure that each night worker employed by him has the opportunity of a free health assessment at regular intervals of whatever duration may be appropriate in his case.
(2) Subject to paragraph (4), an employer—

(a)shall not assign a young worker to work during the period between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. (“the restricted period”) unless—
(i)the employer has ensured that the young worker will have the opportunity of a free assessment of his health and capacities before he takes up the assignment; or
(ii)the young worker had an assessment of his health and capacities before being assigned to work during the restricted period on an earlier occasion, and the employer has no reason to believe that that assessment is no longer valid; and
(b)shall ensure that each young worker employed by him and assigned to work during the restricted period has the opportunity of a free assessment of his health and capacities at regular intervals of whatever duration may be appropriate in his case.
(3) For the purposes of paragraphs (1) and (2), an assessment is free if it is at no cost to the worker to whom it relates.

(4) The requirements in paragraph (2) do not apply in a case where the work a young worker is assigned to do is of an exceptional nature.