Q&As

Can a night worker be required to work more than eight hours on average in a 24-hour period, and is it possible for such a worker to opt out of their working time rights?

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Published on LexisPSL on 14/12/2018

The following Employment Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Can a night worker be required to work more than eight hours on average in a 24-hour period, and is it possible for such a worker to opt out of their working time rights?

Under the Working Time Regulations 1998, SI 1998/1833 (WTR 1998), a 'night worker' is one who:

  1. 'as a normal course' works at least three hours of their daily working time during night time, or

  2. is specified as a night worker in a collective agreement or workforce agreement

‘Night time' is, by default, the period between 11pm and 6am. This can be varied by a relevant agreement (eg a contract of employment) to be any period which:

  1. is a period of not less than seven hours, and

  2. includes the period between midnight and 5am

A person works hours 'as a normal course' (without prejudice to the generality of that expression) if they work such hours on the majority of days on which they work. This has been interpreted as involving nothing more than the requirement that it

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