Do the rest break and rest period provisions of the Working Time Regulations 1998 apply to all workers?

No, the Working Time Regulations 1998 (SI 1998/1833) do not apply at all to: workers to whom the Seafarers Directive (1999/63/EC), the Fishing Vessels (Working Time: Sea-fishermen) Regulations 2004 (SI 2004/1713), or the Merchant Shipping (Working Time: Inland Waterways) Regulations 2003 (SI 2003/3049) apply.

The weekly and daily rest breaks and rest periods provisions do not apply where characteristics peculiar to specific services such as the armed forces or the police, or to certain specific activities in the civil protection services, inevitably conflict with them. In addition, they do not apply to mobile workers in the civil aviation sector to whom the Civil Aviation Directive (2000/79/EC) applies, mobile workers to whom the Road Transport Directive (2002/15/EC) applies, or other mobile workers not covered by any of the foregoing exclusions. A mobile worker is any worker employed as a member of travelling or flying personnel by an undertaking that operates transport services for passengers or goods by road or air.

Further exclusions include workers with autonomous decision-making powers, and those who are engaged in security and surveillance activities requiring a permanent presence.