Essential points

  • The Working Time Regulations 1998 govern working hours in the UK. The regulations set a maximum of 48 hours for the working week (although workers can opt out of this restriction) and limit the working day to an average of eight hours and the right to paid leave. 
  • The Working Time Regulations were built on the back of the European Working Time Directive. Even though the UK is no longer a member of the EU, the Working Time Regulations remain in the UK. 
  • Working time is any period when the employee or worker is working at the employer’s disposal and carrying out their duties. 
  • Working time does not include time resting at the end of the day, lunch breaks, or on call time away from the workplace and not carrying out duties. 
  • A worker or employee may make a tribunal claim if they are denied their entitlements under the regulations. Compensation, based on loss, is potentially unlimited. 

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‚ÄčPlease note: While every care has been taken in compiling this content, CIPD cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. These notes are not intended to be a substitute for specific legal advice. 

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