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Working time directive opt out form download (employee working time regulations)

4-minute read

Josh Hall

26 October 2020

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A working time directive opt out form is important for any small business with employees who agree to waiver the working time regulations. We’ve teamed up with Farillio to give you a customisable working time directive opt out form, to keep you in line with your legal responsibilities.

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Workforce agreement template – Word download

Choose to download your template now, or get it directly from Farillio’s site where you’ll also get access to their full suite of customisable legal templates.

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Why use a Farillio template?

All small businesses need legal advice, but most can't afford the in-house legal support that big firms rely on. Farillio templates were made with small businesses in mind. Their documents are customisable so you can use them to make sure that you have the legal frameworks that you need.

What is a workforce agreement?

Employers need to have a workforce agreement that sets out the deal between an employer and employees regarding working hours, such as night time working and rest periods. It helps to structure the arrangement between employer and workforce.

You should publish the workforce agreement for your business in writing and make it available to all employees. It’ll apply either to all employees, or to employees in a certain group.

However, it won’t apply to employees whose terms and conditions are covered by an existing ‘collective agreement’ (for example an agreement negotiated with a trade union, which can also adjust these working time matters).

What’s more, employees can choose to opt out of the statutory regulations regarding working time.

What are the working time regulations?

Your workforce agreement should say how rules called the working time regulations will be applied in your business. These include working time regulations for breaks and annual leave.

The working time regulations set out important rights for workers, including:

  • a limit of an average 48 hour work week, except in cases where the worker opts out
  • 5.6 weeks’ paid annual leave
  • 11 consecutive rest hours per 24 hour period
  • 20 minute rest breaks for working days longer than six hours
  • at least one day off per week

Your workforce agreement must abide by the rules set out in the working time regulations. Those that don’t won’t be legally valid – that being said, workers can choose to opt out of the working time regulations, with the exception of annual leave.

Some businesses draft a separate workforce agreement for night workers.

Working time regulations for mobile workers

In some cases, different rules may apply for mobile workers. For those in certain sectors, for example road transport, the working time regulations only apply to an extent – there are specific road transport regulations, which include extra restrictions on what may be varied by agreement.

For mobile workers generally, the main issue is whether travel time counts – unlike workers with a fixed place of work, travel to and from the first appointment for a worker with no fixed place of work counts as travel time.

Working time directive for HGV drivers

As mentioned, there are specific road transport regulations. HGV and PCV drivers need to adhere to set working time regulations, as well as drivers hours rules (that govern the time drivers can spend behind the wheel).

The working time regulations mean that HGV and PCV drivers can’t:

  • exceed an average of 48 hour working time hours a week, usually over a 17 or 26 period (there’s no opting out of this)
  • exceed 60 working time hours in one week
  • exceed more than 10 working hours at a time, if working at night
  • work for more than six hours without a break (breaks should be at least 15 minutes, with a 30 minute break if working between six and nine hours in total and a 45 minute break if working more than nine hours in total)

Drivers also have specific obligations for resting. Read about the legal obligations at gov.uk.

Opt out of working time regulations

If your employee is over 18, you can ask them to work more than 48 hours per week and opt out of working time regulations.

This has to be voluntary and you can’t dismiss your employee or treat them unfairly if they refuse.

Working time refers to time spent performing a role. This can include training and travelling, if it’s visiting clients or related to performing the job – but not travelling to and from the office.

Employees can choose what elements of the working time regulations they’re opting out of, with the exception of annual leave entitlement.

The working time regulations and the statutory 48 hour work limit have been put in place for workers’ health and safety. So it’s important that if an employee agrees to work more hours, you have a copy of this agreement in writing.

You and your employee can terminate the agreement at any time by each giving sufficient notice – gov.uk says that employees need to give you seven days notice, but with written agreements they might need to give you more notice (up to three months).

Our working time directive opt out form gives you a template you can use, making sure you get a signed agreement from your employee.

It’s important to keep a record of all workers who have opted out of the statutory regime.

Working time directive opt out form – free Microsoft Word document for download

Download our workforce agreement template in Word format.

This document has been produced by Farillio so we can’t take responsibility for its contents. We'd recommend you take professional advice before making any important decisions based on its contents.

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