A working time directive opt out form is used when a business has employees who want to work longer than the government’s maximum weekly working hours. This agreement to waiver the working time regulations must be in writing and specify how long the employee wants to opt out for.
Download our working time directive opt out agreement and tailor it for your business. Read on to find out more about the working time regulations in the UK and make sure you’re complying with the law.
Download your opt out form now, or get it directly from Farillio’s site where you’ll also get access to their full suite of customisable legal templates.
This template 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.
The working time directive (also known as working time regulations) relates to the maximum weekly working hours an employee can work on average during a 17-week period. This includes regulations for breaks and annual leave, and is set out in the Working Time Regulations Act 1998.
These regulations set out statutory rights for workers around how long they can work, including:
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.
The working time regulations and the statutory 48-hour work limit exist to protect the health and safety of workers. That’s why it’s important that, if an employee agrees to work more hours, you have a copy of this agreement in writing to make sure you’re compliant with the law.
If you’ve agreed any variation to these statutory rights with your employees then this will be detailed in a workforce agreement, for example when it comes to night time working and rest periods.
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).
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. Our working time directive opt out template gives you a basis for creating your own agreement.
It’s important to remember, though:
Employers can ask employees to work more than 48 hours in a week but this is a voluntary agreement, so you can’t dismiss your employee or treat them unfairly if they refuse.
You and your employee can terminate the opt out agreement at any time by each giving sufficient notice – the government website 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).
It’s important to keep a record of all workers who have opted out of the statutory working hours.
That said, some staff aren’t allowed to opt out of working time regulations because of the job they do. This includes:
Additional rules apply for mobile workers under the Road Transport (Working Time) Regulations 2005. In particular, there are restrictions on what can and can’t be varied when it comes to working hours.
It's more complex because travel time counts towards working time for mobile workers. Unlike for workers with a fixed place of work, the time to travel to and from the first appointment for a worker with no fixed place of work is included in the weekly hours of work.
The working time regulations for road transport also apply to heavy goods vehicle (HGV) and passenger carrying vehicle (PCV) drivers. In addition, they need to follow the drivers’ hours rules that relate to how long you can spend behind the wheel.
The drivers' working time directive says that HGV and PCV drivers can’t:
HGV drivers can’t work for more than six hours without a break, and the minimum break period depends on how long they've been working:
Drivers also have specific obligations for resting. Read about working time directive breaks for HGV drivers and PCV drivers.
However, please note, there are temporary relaxations to the drivers’ hours rules because of coronavirus. You can sign up to email alerts to get the latest updates from the government.
Farillio provides legal tools and templates designed with small businesses and the self-employed in mind. Using their template that allows employees to opt out of the working time regulations will help you meet your legal responsibilities and take ownership of your company’s journey.
Our partnership with them lets us bring you quality, relevant legal documentation for your small business. Here are some other templates from Farillio that you might find useful:
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