Regulations surrounding working time are one of the easiest areas of business management to trip up on, which makes it crucial that employers are aware of the basic principles. In industries where night shifts, working overtime or remaining on-call are a matter of course, keeping a close watch on working hours is essential.
Working time regulations: guidance for employers
In most cases, the maximum working week cannot exceed an average of 48 hours unless there was an agreed opt out. Furthermore, staff are entitled to 48 hours of rest per fortnight (or per week for young workers – aged 16-17) and 11 hours rest each day (12 for younger workers).
Employees are also entitled to a 20 minute unpaid rest break for shifts of over 6 hours, and 30 minutes for a shift of over 4.5 hours for young workers. This 48 hour maximum must take into account any working lunches, overtime or travelling as part of work. There are some sectors where the 48 hour rule is not applicable or the rest period can be applied differently. These instances normally have their own separate rules on working time, detailed in employment contracts.
Working hours and absenteeism management
Absenteeism is another major problem for employers, in some cases more so than overstretching working hours.
Our clients get access to the BusinessWise online resource centre, which contains the useful Absence Management System as well as detailed guidance and tips on dealing with both working time regulations and staff absences.
Peninsula also provides round-the-clock employment law advice, ensuring employers will always have a place to go for guidance. Should a client ever need it, our employment law experts give support and representation.
Employers advice on various topics
Other aspects of employment law covered by Peninsula Business Services include redundancy consultations and selection, sick pay and holiday pay entitlement, the Equality Act and TUPE regulations – not forgetting a wide range of health and safety and tax services.
Although some of these aspects are included in the law, others may be subject to change depending on the employee's contract and the industry they work in. It's clear why so many businesses have enlisted Peninsula to assist with the complexities of employment law; with so many things to bear in mind, a helping hand from the experts will surely be welcome.
If you're a member of the media and require any further information, would like to discuss case studies for a particular feature, or be included on our media contact list, please contact Sammual-James McLoughlin, Head of Media, Press and Public Relations at Peninsula Business Services.