Legislation overview

The main regulations are:

  • The Working Time Regulations 1998 (SI 1998/1833) (WTR) and
  • The Working Time (Amendment) Regulations 2007 (SI 2007/1079).

The above Regulations came into force on 1 October 1998 and 1 October 2007 respectively and implement the provisions of the EC Working Time Directive (93/104/EC).

The WTR have been subsequently amended or supplemented on an almost annual basis by domestic regulations including the following:

  • The Working Time Regulations 1999 (SI 1999/3372)
  • The Working Time (Amendment) Regulations 2001 (SI 2001/3256)
  • The Working Time (Amendment) Regulations 2002 (SI 2002/3128)
  • The Working Time (Amendment) Regulations 2003 (SI 2003/1684)
  • The Working Time (Amendment) Regulations 2006 (SI 2006/99)
  • The Civil Aviation (Working Time) Regulations 2004 (SI 2004/756)*
  • The Merchant Shipping (Hours of Work) Regulations 2002 (SI 2002/2125)*
  • The Merchant Shipping (Working Time: Inland Waterways) Regulations 2003 (SI 2003/3049)*. These Regulations amend the Merchant Shipping Act 1995*
  • The Road Transport (Working Time) Regulations 2005 (SI 2005/639)*
  • The Work and Families Act 2006 (for example Section 13)
  • The Road Transport (Working Time) (Amendment) Regulations 2007 (SI 2007/853)
  • The Working Time (Amendment) Regulations 2009 (SI 2009/1567)
  • The Working Time (Amendment) (No 2) Regulations 2009 (SI 2009/2766)
  • The Civil Aviation (Working Time) (Amendment) Regulations 2010 (SI 2010/1226
  • The Deduction from Wages (Limitation) Regulations 2014 (SI 2014/3322.)

The original EC Working Time Directive has been supplemented by further EC Directives including:

  • part of the Young Workers Directive (994/33/EC)
  • Horizontal Amending Directive (2000/34/EC)
  • Working Time Consolidation Directive (2003/88/EC)
  • EC Drivers' Hours Regulation 1985 (3820/85/EC)
  • The Road Transport Directive (2002/15/EC)*
  • The Aviation Directive (2000/79/EC)*
  • The Seafarers' Directive (1999/63/EC)*
  • The Seafarers' Enforcement Directive (1999/95/EC)*
  • EC Drivers' Hours Rules, Regulation (3820/95/EC)*

Note: the regulations and directives marked with an asterisk * are specific to certain previously excluded sectors and do not apply to all employers.

Q: Who do the Working Time Regulations apply to?

Q: How is 'working time' and 'on-call' time currently defined by the Working Time Regulations?

Q: Can travelling time count as working time for the purposes of the Working Time Regulations?

Q: How is 48 hours working time per week calculated under the Working Time Regulations?

Q: Who is responsible for enforcing the 48 hour week if an employee has more than one job?

Q: Can we insist that all workers opt out of the average weekly working time provisions at the same time as signing their initial employment contract/agreement with us?

Q: Under the Working Time Regulations do we have to record the actual numbers of hours worked by each opted-out employee in the relevant reference period?

Q: Which workers are exempt from the Working Time Regulations?

Q: Does the statutory paid annual leave provided by the Working Time Regulations include bank holidays?

Q: Is an element of 'rolled up' holiday pay a breach of the Working Time Regulations?

Q: If a worker resigns having taken more than their proportion of annual leave can the employer deduct this from their final salary without breaching the Working Time Regulations?

Q: If a worker resigns having taken less than their proportion of annual leave is the employer bound to provide payment in lieu under the Working Time Regulations?

Q: Is it a breach of the Working Time Regulations to provide in the contract that an employee can swap holidays for cash payments?

Q: How much notice of holiday do employees have to give in accordance with the provisions of the Working Time Regulations?

Q: Can an employer refuse a request for annual leave under the Working Time Regulations?

Q: What are the daily break provisions under the Working Time Regulations?

Q: What are the minimum daily and weekly rest periods under the Working Time Regulations and does an employer have to force their employees to take rest breaks?

Q: What are the restrictions under the Working Time Regulations on the employment of young workers and children?

Q: How can an employee enforce the Working Time Regulations?

Q: Are there any future developments expected relating to the Working Time Regulations?

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