In 1998 the UK adopted The Working Time Regulations 1998
Statutory Instrument 1998 No.1833
The Working Time Regulations of 1998 took on all the constraints of the 1993 and 1994 Directives.
Whilst the directives included provision to exempt small and medium-sized undertakings, it only exempted the self-employed and senior managers that had some control on their working time. Some wholesale categories of employees were also exempt, such as anyone that works at sea, the armed forces, etc and these are detailed in various sections in the 1998 Act.
It is also possible to have derogations on some of the limits and entitlements
The 1998 Act contains the following constraints:
- Maximum limit of an average 48 hour working week. This can often be difficult to calculate accurately, especially when it is suspected that it will be close to this limit. T&A systems cannot do this at all well, instead we create a special spreadsheet file for our clients.
- Length of night work is an average of 8 hours per 24 hour period. Subject to the type of work, it usually works out to be a maximum of an average of 48 hours work per week. There are several types of work that cause the limit to be 8 hours in a 24 hour period.
- Night workers have the right to a free health assessment.
- Type of work must be agreed.
- Records of compliance must be kept for at least two years
- Minimum 11 hours rest between shifts. This can require a little care when there is a tendency to vary the start and finish times of shifts.
- Minimum weekly rest entitlement is 24 hours + 11 hours daily rest each week or two 24 hour rest periods in two weeks or one 48 hour rest period in two weeks.
- A 20 minute rest break after 6 hours of work and is entitled to spend it away from the workstation.
- Minimum Annual leave of 5.6 weeks
Payment for annual leave is controlled by the Employment Rights Act 1996 sections 221 to 224. For an organisation granting the minimum holiday entitlement of 5.6 weeks, this is a very diffficult calculation to make, if not impossible.