UK Employment Solicitors -

Working Time Regulations Solicitors Compensation Claims

Regulations ensure that a worker cannot be compelled to work over the average of 48 hours in any week. An employer must not terminate an employee that refuses to work over 48 hours per week. The Working Time Regulations 1998 provides other rights for workers including the right to paid leave, time off and rest breaks. Night workers have specific provisions built-in to the regulations.

The Working Time Regulations 1998 afford rights to employees from the first day of employment. The legislation outlines employer responsibilities that apply to rest breaks, annual leave and maximum hours in a week that an employee can be made to work. The regulations indicate that casual workers, contract and agency workers and full or part time employees are all protected. The right to instruct a working time regulations solicitor to apply to the Employment Tribunal for compensation applies to all workers with no minimum employment period.

Only workers who agreed can be given a work schedule that includes more than the 48 hour average in a week; that average is generally spread over a 17 week time-frame which is known as the "reference period". The reference period can, by agreement, be extended to 26 or 52 weeks. Working lunches, work-related travel, on-call time and training are counted and included in 48 hour period.

Written "opt-out" agreements record the arrangement between the worker and the employer who wishes to work in excess of the maximum hours. When a worker decides to discontinue the arrangement they must give the employer "timely notice"; however, the employer's consent is not required to terminate the arrangement.

Other stipulations outlined in the legislation include:

  • one day off per week
  • 20 minutes of rest for each 6 consecutive hours of work
  • 11 unbroken hours of rest during every 24-hour period
  • a one-month paid annual leave

The regulations provide safeguards to individuals primarily working during what are considered to be night hours. A night worker must not exceed an eight hour work schedule out of any 24 hour period. Night workers are also guaranteed regular health assessments at no cost to themselves paid for by the employer.

Unfair Dismissal

The regulations were enacted to protect employees from employers that would take advantage of their workers; it makes it unlawful to dismiss those who refuse additional hours as well as those who take authorised breaks and leave.

Terminations that take place under these circumstances reveal what is probably an unfair dismissal. An individual who is chosen for redundancy solely based on refusal to waive any portion of the Working Time Regulations 1998 can be judged to have been the victim of unfair dismissal.

Workers denied training opportunities, promotions, benefits or bonuses given to other workers in comparable positions, who didn't refuse extra hours may also apply to the Employment Tribunal for compensation.

Working Time Regulations Solicitors

Our working time regulations Solicitors can give you the guidance necessary to preserve your rights under the Working Time Regulations 1998. For advice at no cost and with no further obligation just call the helpline or email our offices.