Tips for dealing with working time regulations

Dealing with the complexities of the UK’s working time rules can be a mind-boggling task for any manager but things will be a lot simpler if you keep certain basics in mind.

Get your collective or workforce agreement right: A collective agreement (between employer and trade union) or workforce agreement (between employer and workforce representatives) will determine issues like night work limits and the reference period that will apply for calculating average hours. Make sure you understand what’s in it and maintain regular communication with the workforce about it.

Calculate carefully: Whatever reference period is agreed, when calculating working time you must add up the total hours worked but leave out breaks, rest periods and periods of availability. Then add up the total number of hours of absence within the reference period (include statutory holiday, sick leave or paternity/maternity leave). Add together the two totals and then divide by the number of weeks in your reference period.

Keep accurate records: You must keep working time records for at least two years for mobile workers, starting from the end of the reference period. You will need to keep a daily record of working time, breaks and availability, night work duration, sickness or absence, holidays and work undertaken for another transport employer.

Develop your understanding: Make sure your team is familiar with the working time regulations. Make time to discuss them on a one-to-one basis with staff, incorporate working time rules into your in-house training courses and place posters up around the workplace to remind everyone involved about them.

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