Working hours are not excessive

What you must do - law 2

Maximum hours - these apply to all workers


Working Time Regulations

  • The standard working week is 48 hours per week averaged over a 17 week reference period (The term reference period is the number of weeks that the hours worked each week should be averaged out over.).

  • In agriculture, the limit to night work, rest periods and rest breaks can be calculated over a reference period of 26 weeks at busy times. (Where workers activities require continuity of service or there is a foreseeable surge of activity. This should not occur on a regular basis.) If this is done, workers are entitled to additional “compensatory rest”.

  • If all rest periods are taken into account, a worker should not work more than 76 hours per week

Image: Field workers

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  • Pregnant and breast feeding women have the option of not working nights if there is a risk to the child or mother.

  • Workers who have not signed an opt-out agreement cannot work more than 48 hours per week.

  • Hours records should be kept for at least 6 years, in Scotland records must be kept for 3 years.


 

Agricultural Wages Order

  • For agricultural workers the standard working day is 8 hours per day, and 39 hours per week.

  • A worker can work more than this, but hours over the above limits are classified as overtime and must be paid at a premium.

  • This includes time when a worker is required to be available for work even if work activities are delayed for any reason.

  • In Scotland, Hours records need to be kept for 3 years.

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