Working Time Regulations

Employment Law and Holidays: What are Workers’ Rights to Time Off?

Employment Law and Holidays: What are Workers’ Rights to Time Off?

Working Time Regulations give all workers the right to paid holidays, irrespective of the hours they work. However, the definition of worker is wider than ‘employees’ and may in fact cover more people than you think. Casual, part-time and even agency workers are included in this description, including people you may label self-employed, for example if they perform work personally and the relationship isn’t a client/customer one (i.e. if they are not genuinely self-employed). Some sectors aren’t covered by Working Time Regulations, but unless you’re a seafaring business or work in civil aviation, I’m afraid you’re going to have to keep reading. So let’s start with entitlements. Each employee is entitled to 5.6 weeks’ paid holiday pro-rata (that’s 28... »

UK stands firm on working time regulations opt-out

Brussels talks on the EU Working Time Directive broke up in the early hours of this morning without agreement, with the UK successfully resisting pressure to accept the removal of the right to opt-out of the maximum 48-hours week. A meeting of the EU’s Conciliation Committee was unable to resolve differences between the European Parliament and member states over whether to retain the opt-out or not. The UK and other countries held firm against a European Parliament amendment to the Working Time Regulations that would have phased out the opt-out in three years. Employment Relations Minister Pat McFadden said: “We have said consistently that we would not give up the opt-out and that continues to be the case.” “We argued that everyone has the right to basic protections... »

Holiday Annual Leave

Long-term sick entitled to Holiday Pay

Employees on long–term sick leave are entitled to take the holiday pay they have accrued when they return to work, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled. In a decision that clarifies the law after years of uncertainty, the ECJ ruling states that employees must be compensated for annual leave not taken, and will be entitled to four weeks’ holiday pay for each year they are absent from work. Additionally, employees who have been sacked or have left an employer could be entitled to pay equal to any time they could not take as leave while off sick, on top of any redundancy or termination payment. The ruling comes as a result of a case brought by a group of HM Revenue & Customs employees who were denied holiday pay after returning from sick leave. According to employment... »


Record amount of unpaid overtime recorded last year

More than five million UK employees worked unpaid overtime last year – the highest amount since 2001, according to the Trades Union Congress (TUC). TUC research revealed that the total value of unpaid labour in the UK in 2008 was £26.9 billion – equivalent to an average of approximately seven hours per employee. According to TUC secretary Brendan Barber, while some staff will inevitably be working longer hours to protect themselves against the risk of redundancy, or to help keep their employer in business, employers should be wary of the potentially harmful side–effects of working long hours. “Long hours are bad for people’s health, and employers should never forget that each extra hour worked makes people less productive once they are over a sensible wo... »

Working Hours

Stressed Entrepreneurs Working 50 Hour Week

Small–business owners are being forced to work longer hours and scrap holiday plans to counteract the effects of the slowing economy, according to the Bank of Scotland (BoS). The survey of 1,000 UK small firms revealed that business owners are now working an average 50 hour week – an increase of almost three hours per week compared to this time last year. In addition, it found that 24% of entrepreneurs are not planning to take a full week’s holiday this year. However, the research also highlighted that the extra working hours are paying dividends. The survey found that small–business owners who had worked an average of 52 hours per week saw their business grow 10% or more a year in size, while those who worked an average of 46 hours per week only saw their firm grow... »

Salaries: Knowing what to Pay

A Good Starting Point When working as a small business, sometimes as a sole employee and the time comes to take on staff as business and workload increases. But how do you know what to pay your potential to employees? How do you stay competitive? A good starting point. Setting a salary at the right figure is something that needs to be thought through. It is important to bear in mind the current national minimum wage, and working time regulations. If you set a positions salary too low, you could end up with an empty reception room as no–one with the appropriate skills and experience would want to work for you. On the other hand, if you set the figure too high, you could see your new employee’s wages reducing your profit margin. There are a few things that you may have to take in... »

Man on phone

Firms Risk Productivity as Staff Skip Fresh Air Breaks

Employment law firm Croner Consulting has warned employers are risking a slump in morale and productivity, as three quarters of office workers get less than one hour of fresh air during their working day. The research from T–Mobile also revealed that more than half of office workers resent working inside all day during the summer. Commenting on the T–Mobile research, Croner’s employment technical consultant, Gillian Dowling, said: “Employers should encourage staff to have fresh air breaks at lunchtime. Not having a break is bad for employees’ concentration and productivity. “While in some cases there might be very good reasons for missing out on a lunch break, employers have to make sure that workers are having a rest break under the Working Time Regulat... »

Lack of Lunch Breaks Causes Productivity Slump, Warns CIPD

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has warned businesses they are losing productivity by not encouraging employees to have a proper lunch break. Research for Bisodol health group found that that only 21 per cent of staff take a full lunch hour, and 26 per cent take a 15 minute break or less. “Managers should be aware that if people aren’t taking full breaks it can be a sign that they are suffering from excessive pressure or stress,” said CIPD spokesman Ben Wilmott. “This certainly isn’t good for their productivity and it might mean that over the long term they’ll suffer from ill health and be off work. “Employers have a duty to ensure that employees are taking at least their statutory breaks under the Working Time Regulatio... »

A Small Business Guide to Working Time Regulations

A Small Business Guide to Working Time Regulations

Designed to protect the health and well-being of employees, working time regulations almost certainly apply to you if you run a business with staff. It’s important you stay within the law here, as a failure to comply could leave you with an unlimited fine and even jail time. Luckily, working time regulations are fairly simple – as long as you get to grips with the formula involved. This article should provide all the basic information you need to know as a small business – from explaining the current maximum working week and how this applies to night work, to how much break time you need to give your staff; in addition to this we also look at how to deal with holidays and leave, and your paperwork obligations. As long as you understand all the info in this article, there’s no reason ... »