How to obtain a worker's agreement to opt out of the 48-hour maximum working week
Author: Victoria Lamont
Click on any of the hyperlinks to go to more detailed guidance below.
- Be aware of the rules under the Working Time Regulations 1998 that require employers to ensure that workers do not work longer than an average of 48 hours a week.
- Consider whether or not the workers in question are excluded from the 48-hour week or subject to different rules on maximum working hours.
- Be aware that workers can voluntarily opt out of the maximum 48-hour week by agreeing to do so in writing.
- Do not put workers under pressure to opt out and do not put those who do not agree to opt out at any disadvantage.
- Explain to workers the reason for asking them to opt out and how opting out will affect their working hours.
- Consider the form and terms of the opt-out agreement, including how much notice must be given to terminate the agreement.
- Obtain the agreement of workers to any changes to their contractual terms and conditions in addition to their agreement to opt out of the 48-hour week.
- Monitor the health and safety of all workers and take steps to ensure that workers who have opted out of the 48-hour week have adequate time to rest and that their workload is not excessive.
- Keep an up-to-date record of the workers who have opted out of the maximum working week.