Working hours are not excessive

What you must do - law 1

These are the legal requirements that you MUST DO


In the UK (including Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland), the Working Time Regulations (WTR) set the legal framework for working hours, covering workers over the minimum school leaving age, and include the provision of rest breaks and night work restrictions.

Workers involved in agricultural work are also covered by the Agricultural Wages Order 2006. The order specifies that any time worked over 39 hours a week or 8 hours a day is classified as overtime. Restrictions for young workers and minors are provided for by The Children's and Young Persons Act 1998 and the WTR.

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Working hours are not excessive

Key elements include:

  • four weeks paid annual leave per year
  • a limit of an average 48-hour week, unless worker has voluntarily opted out of this limit
  • a limit of an average of 8 hours work in 24 for night workers
  • free health assessments for night workers
  • 11 consecutive hours rest per day
  • 24 consecutive hours rest per week
  • rest breaks for those who work more than six consecutive hours

The Agricultural Wages Order (AWO) applies to workers who work in agriculture and related duties, including workers on the SAWS scheme. This includes dairy farming, the production of consumable produce (grown for sale or consumption), the use of land for grazing, meadow or pasture land and nurseries. In practice this means any field work such as cutting, picking and rig packing would be included. Work carried out in pack houses is included if produce being packed is grown on land owned by the same commercial entity.

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