Working Time Directive breaches on the increase


The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has received 19 reports of breaches of the Working Time Directive in the first six weeks of 2024. This follows a total of 45 reports relating to alleged breaches between 2022 and 2023. 

The Working Time Directive (WTD) governs how many hours UK workers should work, what breaks they should have and their holiday entitlements. Typically, individuals are permitted to work 48 hours a week, unless they have opted out of WTD.

It was reported that alleged breaches have been steadily increasing since the beginning of the Covid-19 with the HSE continuing to conduct its own investigations into the concerns raised.  It has been claimed that employers have become complacent and are forgetting about the Working Time Directive or think, because they are not challenged, that it does not apply to them. It is recommended that employers should maintain an open dialogue with their employees about working hours expectations and how any concerns may be raised internally.

It is hoped that this data will be a reminder of the importance of publicising to employees the internal channels by which employees may raise concerns or share feedback. This affords employers and employees the opportunity to resolve any concerns at an early stage internally, and hopefully avoid escalation to external regulators.

Should you have any concerns about your employees’ working hours, please contact one of our CIPD accredited Consultants to discuss further on 0800 9995 121.

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