Eligibility for working time rights
Eligibility for working time rights

The following Employment guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Eligibility for working time rights
  • Workers
  • Exclusions
  • Partial exclusions
  • Work outside Great Britain

UPDATE: On 18 September 2019 the Watford Employment Tribunal made a request to the ECJ for a preliminary ruling on various questions which challenge the existing boundaries set by UK law on whether people engaged in the so-called ‘gig economy’ should qualify for worker status for the purposes of Directive 2003/88/EC, the Working Time Directive, as implemented into UK law by the Working Time Regulations 1998, SI 1998/1833. In particular, the questions look at (a) the right of substitution and the impact of whether or not it is exercised, (b) mutuality of obligation to offer and accept work, (c) the lack of obligation to work exclusively for the putative employer, and (d) the calculation of working time when there is flexibility on when the individual carries out the tasks assigned to them. For further information, see our report: Employment tribunal asks ECJ whether right of substitution prevents worker status (B v Yodel Delivery Network).

This Practice Note examines the criteria that must be fulfilled in order for an individual to benefit from the protection of the Working Time Regulations 1998 (WTR), SI 1998/1833.

The rights given by the WTR apply to most workers, but a number of groups are excluded from some or all of the provisions.


The definition of