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Working Time Regulations

The European Union, Working Time Directive became law in the UK on 1st October 1998 when the Working Time Regulations became effective. The law protects workers health and helps promotes work life balance with regulatory control over working hours, rest breaks, annual leave and night working.

Here is a summary of the regulations;-

Working Hours
- Maximum 48 hour week, to be calculated as an average over a period of 17 weeks and includes any work training the worker is required to attend as part of their job , work travel (but not between home and work) and working lunches (but not lunch breaks).

Rest Breaks
- Minimum 20 minute break, if working a shift of 6 hours or more.
- Minimum 11 hours between shifts.
- Minimum 1 day off per 7 days or 2 days of per 14 days.

Annual Leave
- Minimum of 4 weeks paid annual leave.

Night Working
- Maximum 8 hours in every 24 hour period to be calculated as an average over a period of 17 weeks.
- A free health assessment before starting working nights and on a regular basis after.
- Adequate reward for working unsociable hours.

Please note there may be special conditions for certain groups of individuals such as young workers, people with disabilities and pregnant women or where groups are covered by specific legislation.

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