The Working Time Regulations

The Working Time Regulations (1998) implement the European Working Time Directive into GB law.

The Regulations were amended, with effect from 1 August 2003, to extend working time measures in full to all non-mobile workers in road, sea, inland waterways and lake transport, to all workers in the railway and offshore sectors, and to all workers in aviation who are not covered by the Civil Aviation (Working Time) Regulations 2004. The Regulations  apply to junior doctors from 1 August 2004.

Useful Documents

HSE is responsible for the enforcement of:

  • the maximum weekly working time limit;
  • night work limits; and
  • health assessments for night work.

HSE does not however, enforce:

  • time off;
  • rest break entitlements; or
  • paid annual leave entitlements.

All initial enquiries should be dealt with by Acas, (the Arbitration, Conciliation and Advisory Service). ACAS will be able to help employers and employees who are seeking information on time off, rest breaks, paid annual leave and other general employment information.

For all queries about employment rights, best practice and policies, and resolving workplace conflict, use the Acas Helpline Online or contact the Acas Helpline:
Telephone: 0300 123 1100
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

More formal enforcement responsibilities are split between HSE, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) and Office of Rail and Road (ORR). Contact details for these and other organisations can be found by clicking on the links below.

Useful Links

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Updated 2022-08-10