Maximum working week

Under the Working Time Regulations 1998 there is a limit on the number of hours that workers can be required to work. There are different rules for adults and young workers1.

Worker Limit on working hours
Adult worker 48 hours a week calculated over a 17-week reference period2
Young worker Eight hours a day or 40 hours a week

1 Adult workers may opt out of the limit as long as they do so voluntarily and in writing.

2 The reference period may be extended to a maximum of 52 weeks under a workforce or collective agreement or to 26 weeks in the case of certain workers.

Related quick reference items

What is included in working time