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Working Time & Breaks

Working Time can be a complex area. To help, we have provided some brief guidelines below.

Most workers cannot work for more than 48 hours per week but if you wish to work more than 48 hours a week, you can volunteer to sign an ‘Opt-out’ Agreement.

If you are interested in finding out more about how to opt-out, or if your employer is forcing you to sign one, UFS can advise and represent you.

As well as normal working duties, your working week may also include hours spent in:

> Job-related training;

> Job-related travelling time;

> Working lunches.

However, it may not include:

> Lunch breaks;

> Normal travel to work;

> Staying late voluntarily;

> Holidays.

The Working Time Regulations entitle you to a 20 minute break within your day, if your working day is more than 6 hours long.

All Workers are entitled to a legal minimum of 5.6 weeks annual leave.

How can UFS help me?

If you are unclear about your entitlements or you are worried that your employer is not adhering to the guidelines above, contact UFS for advice and support.  

Your local UFS Reps may be available to discuss in confidence any concerns you have regarding working time or break periods.  They may be able to investigate this and reach a quick resolution on your behalf.

Our Regional Secretaries are legally qualified and can give you advice and support on your entitlements and how to enforce the law if necessary.  You can contact the Regional Secretaries in confidence on the UFS helpline.

Working Time is an important aspect of Health & Safety and so failing to adhere to these rules can have serious consequences, not least to the health and wellbeing of employees.  UFS can make contact with an employer if instructed and challenge them should they not be giving staff their entitlements.


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