Essential points

  • The Working Time Regulations 1998 govern working hours in the UK, setting a maximum of 48 hours for the working week (although workers can opt out of this restriction) and limiting the working day to an average of eight hours. 
  • The regulations also give workers and employees the right to 5.6 weeks’ paid leave a year (pro-rated for part-timers) and to specified rest breaks. 
  • Working time is any period when the employee or worker is working at the employer’s disposal and carrying out their duties, including travel time during the working day, time spent working away from home and time on call at the workplace. 
  • Working time does not include time resting at the end of the day even if the worker is required to stay away from home overnight, 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 and 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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