Working Time Regulations Solicitors - UK Employment Compensation Claim Lawyers


Our specialist employment law solicitors deal with disputes under the Working Time Regulations before the Employment Tribunal. Our solicitors offer free advice with no further obligation. If you would like to speak to a Working Time Regulations solicitor just call the helpline or complete the contact form or email our offices.

The Working Time Regulations 1998

The Working Time Regulations 1998 limited the number of hours which a worker can be required to work and they also gave a worker rights in relation to night working, rest periods and paid annual holiday. The regulations are in fact a mixture of health and safety duties- which are enforceable in the criminal courts and employment rights- which are enforceable in employment tribunals.

The definition of "worker" in the regulations includes someone who provides personal work for another party to the contract. Thus the class of people who can rely on the regulations is wider than the traditional employee and all agency workers are specifically included as being protected by the regulations.

Workers cannot be forced to work on average for more than 48 hours per week, although a worker and an employer can agree to exclude this limit on the maximum weekly working time. In fact, it is common to see an opt out clause in employment contracts but even then, a worker can opt back in by giving his employer notice of his intention to do so. The worker has to give 7 days notice to his employer although again it is common to see in employment contracts that the worker has to give 3 months notice to opt back in; 3 months is the maximum notice period an employer can require.

The regulations give every worker the right to enjoy 4 weeks paid annual holiday. In calculating this entitlement to 4 weeks annual paid holiday, bank holidays are included – in other words the 4 weeks entitlement is not additional to bank holidays so that if a worker is entitled to 8 bank holidays he is entitled under the regulations to take 12 days plus the 8 bank holidays. Part-time as well as full-time workers are covered by the regulations and a week's holiday leave should be the same amount of time as makes up the working week- if a worker works 5 days a week he is entitled to take 20 days annual holiday; if he works 4 days a week his entitled to take 16 days annual holiday. Unless the employment contract specifies otherwise, the holiday year for a worker who started after 1st October 1998 is the 12 month period beginning on his start date and each anniversary of the start date.

It is possible to avoid the provisions in the regulations as to the taking of holidays by setting out specific holiday provisions within the employment contract which can of course reflect the particular needs of the employer's business.

Under the The Working Time Regulations 1998, a worker must give his employer notice of his intention to take a holiday, equivalent to twice the period of holiday which he proposes to take. If the employee objects to the holiday which the worker proposes to take, he must give a counter notice equivalent to the holiday period. Thus if a worker wanted to take 4 days holiday, he must give the employer 8 days notice and the employer must object within 4 days of receiving that notice.

Employers should note that if they dismiss an employee because the employee claims that his employer has infringed his rights under the regulations, then this will be regarded as being automatically unfair (regulation 32 of the Working Time Regulations 1998). This means that the employee can bring an unfair dismissal claim even though he has not been employed for a continuous period of 12 months which is the normal period an employee has to have worked before he can being an unfair dismissal claim.

Employment Law Solicitors

Our Working Time Regulations solicitors operate exclusively in all areas of dispute between employees and employers and they do nothing else which enables them to achieve your goals in the most efficient and practical way possible. They are able to pursue or negotiate a claim on your behalf and can provide representation anywhere in the United Kingdom. If you would like an initial free consultation for advice to find out whether you have a good case, how to go about claiming and how much your compensation might be worth you can call the helpline or complete the contact form or email our offices. If after talking to a specialist lawyer you decide not to take matters further you are under no obligation to do so and you will not be charged for our initial advice session.

*legal information