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Working Time Regulations policy

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Use this if you require a robust and practical working time regulations policy.

Reading time
How long to understand and implement this policy?
5 mins
Word count
How many words in this policy?
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What is a Working Time Regulations policy?

The purpose of this Working Time Regulations policy is to provide you with a flexible and customisable document to serve as a robust and effective starting point for you.

By using our Working Time Regulations policy, you can streamline your process, maintain consistency and accuracy, and save time, and it can be easily adapted to fit your specific scenario.

Best practice timescale for this to be issued
When should this policy be issued?
During onboarding / after changes / planned refresher
Issued by who, to whom
Who should issue this policy, and to whom?
Internally issued to appropriate recipients in your Company
Applicable legal jurisdiction
In which jurisdiction can this policy be used?
Great Britain & NI (United Kingdom)

What legislation and best practice guidelines have been taken into account in the development of this template?

  1. Working Time Regulations 1998: This is the primary legislation that governs working time in the UK. It sets out rules related to maximum weekly working hours, rest breaks, annual leave entitlement, and night work.

  2. Health and Safety at Work Act 1974: This Act imposes a duty on employers to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of their employees, including the management of working hours to prevent fatigue and work-related health issues.

  3. Employment Rights Act 1996: Part II of this Act contains provisions related to working time, including rest breaks, rest periods, and limits on working hours.

  4. European Working Time Directive: Although not a UK law, the European Working Time Directive forms the basis for the Working Time Regulations in the UK. The regulations aim to protect the health and safety of workers by setting limits on working hours and ensuring adequate rest periods.

  5. National Minimum Wage Act 1998 (NMWA): The NMWA can be related to the Working Time Regulations, as it sets the minimum wage rates that employers must pay for each hour worked. The regulations ensure that employees are not underpaid for their working hours.

  6. Equality Act 2010: This Act ensures that working time arrangements do not discriminate against employees based on protected characteristics, such as gender, age, race, disability, religion, or sexual orientation.

  7. Part-Time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000: These regulations protect part-time workers' rights, including their working time arrangements, to ensure they are not treated less favorably than full-time workers.

  8. Agency Workers Regulations 2010: These regulations apply to agency workers and provide them with similar working time rights as direct employees after a qualifying period.

Working Time Regulations Policy

The Working Time Regulations 1998 provide that an employee’s average working time, including overtime, must not exceed 48 hours for each seven-day period, to be averaged over a reference period of 17 weeks. If your working hours are likely to exceed this amount, you must discuss this immediately with your line manager.

If you are happy to agree that this provision will not apply to your employment with the Company, you must sign an agreement to opt out of it. A copy of the relevant opt-out agreement can be obtained from your line manager.

If you change your mind and decide at a later date during your employment that you want to withdraw your agreement to opt out, you must give the Company three months’ prior written notice.

If you are not willing to agree that this provision will not apply to your employment, your line manager will take steps to ensure that your average working hours do not breach the Working Time Regulations 1998. Where this involves a necessary reduction in your working hours, you should be aware that you will not be paid for any hours that you do not work.

This policy [does not] form[s] part of your terms and conditions of employment.

Version: [1.0]

Issue date: [date]

Author: [name, job title]

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Working Time Regulations policy
working time regulations policy