The Working Time Regulations 1998 apply across the UK. They affect the number of hours an employee can work per week as well as the rest breaks the employee is entitled to - including breaks between shifts, annual leave and days off. The key aim of the regulations is to ensure standards of health and safety in the workplace.
The regulations apply to most ‘workers’. 'Workers' is a wider category than ‘employees’ (employees work under a contract of employment) so the regulations will apply to most agency workers.
There are certain exceptions to the application of the regulations, for example active membership of the armed forces. This area is complex and if you are in dispute with your employer over whether the regulations apply to you, please contact us for advice.
RCN Nursing Workforce Standards
The RCN Nursing Workforce Standards are designed to support a safe and effective nursing workforce alongside each nation’s legislation. They include guidance on workforce planning and rostering, as well as staff health, safety and wellbeing.
If you have concerns
If you have concerns about your working time speak to your line manager in the first instance. This may also include working under unsustainable pressures meaning that you cannot take your breaks or annual leave. You can raise your concerns in writing, following our raising concerns guidance. If your concerns are not addressed, please contact us.