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The Working Time Regulations 1998 (SI 1998/1833) is the United Kingdom statutory instrument which implements the EU Working Time Directive 93/104/EC.[1] It does not extend to Northern Ireland.

Working Time Regulations 1998
Long title...
CitationSI 1998/1833
Territorial extentEngland and Wales; Scotland
Royal assent1998
Status: Current legislation
Text of statute as originally enacted

These Regulations govern the time that people in the UK may work. The Regulations apply to all workers (not just employees) and stipulate minimum rest breaks, daily rest, weekly rest and the maximum average working week. First, it sets a default rule that workers may work no more than 48 hours per week (although one may opt out of it). Secondly, it granted a mandatory right to paid annual leave of at least 4 weeks (including bank holidays and public holidays).[2][3] Thirdly, it creates the right to a minimum period of rest of 20 minutes in any shift lasting over 6 hours.

It was amended by The Working Time (Amendment) Regulations 2007 to add a further entitlement of 1.6 weeks annual leave.[4] The maximum statutory annual leave entitlement is specified as 28 days - the amount a worker working a five day week would be entitled to. Part-time workers have a lower, pro-rated entitlement of leave days.

ECJ case law has confirmed that statutory holiday will continue to accrue during career breaks or sabbaticals.[5]


Case lawEdit

"It is impossible to establish universal uniformity of hours without inflicting very serious injury to workers."

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "The Working Time Regulations 1998: Guidance on the legislation". Health and Safety Executive. Retrieved 19 November 2017.
  2. ^ "The Working Time Regulations 1998 - Entitlement to annual leave". UK Government. Retrieved 19 November 2017.
  3. ^ "Statutory holiday entitlement". Personnel Today. Retrieved 19 November 2017.
  4. ^ "The Working Time (Amendment) Regulations 2007". UK Government. Retrieved 19 November 2017.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Judgment of the Court of 12 November 1996. - United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland v Council of the European Union. - Council Directive 93/104/EC concerning certain aspects of the organization of working time - Action for annulment. - Case C-84/94.
  7. ^ Judgment of the Court of 3 October 2000. - Sindicato de Médicos de Asistencia Pública (Simap) v Conselleria de Sanidad y Consumo de la Generalidad Valenciana. - Reference for a preliminary ruling: Tribunal Superior de Justicia de la Comunidad Valenciana - Spain. - Social policy - Protection of the safety and health of workers - Directives 89/391/EEC and 93/104/EC - Scope - Doctors in primary health care teams - Average period of work - Inclusion of time on call - Night workers and shift workers. - Case C-303/98.
  8. ^ Judgment of the Court (Sixth Chamber) of 26 June 2001. - The Queen v Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, ex parte Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematographic and Theatre Union (BECTU). - Reference for a preliminary ruling: High Court of Justice (England & Wales), Queen's Bench Division (Crown Office) - United Kingdom. - Social policy - Protection of the health and safety of workers - Directive 93/104/EC - Entitlement to paid annual leave - Condition imposed by national legislation - Completion of a qualifying period of employment with the same employer. - Case C-173/99.
  9. ^ Judgment of the Court of 9 September 2003. - Landeshauptstadt Kiel v Norbert Jaeger. - Reference for a preliminary ruling: Landesarbeitsgericht Schleswig-Holstein - Germany. - Social policy - Protection of the safety and health of workers - Directive 93/104/EC - Concepts of working time and rest period - On-call service (Bereitschaftsdienst) provided by doctors in hospitals. - Case C-151/02.


External linksEdit