Where an employee has two jobs which employer is responsible for ensuring that the employee's total weekly hours do not exceed the working time limits?
Employers are obliged under reg.4 of the Working Time Regulations 1998 (SI 1998/1833) to take all reasonable steps to ensure that the 48-hour limit on weekly working hours is complied with. This means that, in this situation, both employers will be obliged to ensure that the employee's total working hours in the two jobs combined do not exceed this limit unless the individual has chosen voluntarily to sign an opt-out agreement.
If an employer knows or suspects that one of its employees has another job, it should make reasonable enquiries of the employee to ascertain how many hours a week in total he or she is working. If, following such enquiries, it transpires that the employee is working more than an average of 48 hours a week in total, the employer should, in order to comply with the Working Time Regulations 1998, ask the employee whether he or she wishes to sign an opt-out agreement. The employer should point out that, if the employee declines to do so, action will have to be taken to ensure that he or she does not work in excess of 48 hours a week on average. More importantly, if in the employer's view the number of hours being worked might threaten the health or safety of the employee (or of others), the employer must take all reasonable steps to remove the health or safety risk. This might mean instructing the employee to give up the other job, or reduce the number of hours being worked there (if that is reasonable). The priority should be to protect the health and safety of all workers by ensuring that no individual works such long hours as to be a danger to him- or herself or to others.