Working Time Regulations

The Working Time Regulations are primarily a health and safety measure.

The Regulations provide for:

  • A maximum 48-hour week averaged over 17 weeks excluding weeks when work was not carried out, for example, holidays or sick leave
  • Regular breaks
  • Paid annual leave
  • Health checks for regular night workers
  • Special provisions for young people aged less than 18.

When the regulations were introduced there was a facility for workers to exempt themselves from the 48-hour limit by signing a waiver agreement.  Employers cannot exempt themselves from responsibility for providing a healthy and safe working environment even if an employee signs such a waiver.

It is unlikely that church employees will be required to work more than 48 hours on a regular basis.  However, the regulation applies to all work and so care should be taken with employees who may have more than one job.  Please contact the local DLES should any queries arise regarding this.

All workers are entitled to have periods without work as follows:

  • 20 minutes after 6 hours
  • 11 hours in each period of 24 hours
  • 24 hours in a period of 7 days (or 48 hours in a period of 14 days)
  • 4 weeks in every year

Please note that these are the minimum periods allowed by employment law.

There is no facility for waiving the regulation relating to breaks.

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