What are the limits on working time for workers to whom the Merchant Shipping (Working Time: Inland Waterways) Regulations 2003 apply?

The Merchant Shipping (Working Time: Inland Waterways) Regulations 2003 (SI 2003/3049) apply to all workers on a ship employed in the transport of goods or passengers on inland waterways. These workers are not covered by the Working Time Regulations 1998 (SI 1998/1833).

The Regulations provide that working time shall not exceed:

  • 14 hours in any 24-hour period;
  • 84 hours in any seven-day period; and
  • 2,304 hours within 12 months.

There is a maximum average weekly working time of 48 hours averaged over a reference period of 52 weeks.

Employers must not require a worker to work more than 31 days consecutively and workers are entitled to take a certain number of rest days after working a number of consecutive days. They are entitled to:

  • 0.2 rest days per consecutive working day after working one to 10 days;
  • 0.3 rest days per consecutive working day after working 11 to 20 days; and
  • 0.4 rest days per consecutive working day after working 21 to 31 days.

Workers are entitled to adequate rest, which must not be less than 10 hours in each 24-hour period (of which at least six hours must be uninterrupted) and 84 hours in any seven-day period.

A worker whose daily working time exceeds six hours is entitled to a rest break of not less than 20 minutes, or of a duration as determined by a collective or workforce agreement.

Workers are entitled to 5.6 weeks' (subject to a maximum of 28 days) paid annual leave.

Different limits on working time can apply for seasonal work on passenger ships.