The Working Time Directive provides basic rights and protections to workers regarding the number of hours they are required to work. These include:

  • An employer can not require an employee to work more than 48 hours in one week unless the employee signs a waiver agreeing to work in excess of the 48-hour week. *
  • Employees are limited to working an average of 8 hours in a 24-hour period.
  • An employee has a right to 11 hours of rest per day
  • An employee has the right to a break if the working day is longer than 6 hours.
  • An employee has the right to paid leave, see Holiday Entitlement
  • Night workers must receive a free health assessment.

*If an employer has employees who have agreed to contract out of the 48 hour week then they have to keep detailed records of time worked, etc.

Any employee who does contract out can give his/her employer 7 days' notice that he/she no longer agrees to work more than 48 hours but the employer can insist on up to three months' notice if the employee agrees to the longer notice period in writing.

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