Obtain a worker's agreement to opt out of the 48-hour working week

Key points

  • The Working Time Regulations 1998 provide for a maximum working week of 48 hours. Unless they opt out, adult workers must not work more than an average of 48 hours per week over a specified reference period.
  • A worker can opt out of the 48-hour working week by entering into an agreement with his or her employer.
  • Workers may wish to opt out so that they can earn more money by working longer hours. Alternatively, the employer might want workers to opt out so that it can require them to work longer, for example to cover periods of high demand from customers.
  • Workers have protection from being forced by their employer to agree to opt out.

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