Employing People

Working hours-what you need to know

There are certain laws which you need to be aware of as an employer, if you have any specific queries we would recommend seeking specialist advice from a HR specialist or solicitor.

Weekly Maximum Working Hours

As a general rule adults working hours should not exceed 48 hours averaged over a 17 week period. There are exceptions to the rule including management executives and areas where 24 hour staffing is required. Working hours should always be specified in the written statement of employment. You can ask an employee if they’re willing to opt out of the maximum working hours but must not discriminate against them if they refuse.

Night-time working

If you are going to employ someone on night-time working, which is usually between 11pm and 6am, you must offer them a free health assessment. You must also keep records for at least 2 years of their hours to prove you have followed the night-time regulations. An employee must not exceed eight hours work within a twenty four hour period.

Sunday Working

If you need staff to work on Sundays you must make sure this is specified in the written statement of employment, there are special rules of people working in shops and betting 

Rest Breaks

If an employee is working over 6 hours in any day they are entitled to a 20 minute uninterrupted break within that 6 hours.

They have the right to an 11 hour break between work days or shifts and also a complete 24 hours off work in each week. As an employer you should consider whether you need to build in extra breaks for health and safety reasons, for example if someone is doing very monotonous or very physical work you may decide they need an additional break in the day to keep them alert.


If you need an employee to work beyond their normal hours set out in their contract this constitutes overtime. it’s a good idea to set out in the contract what the payment terms are for any overtime. If the overtime is unpaid you must make sure their average wage doesn’t fall below the National Minimum Wage.

Get in Touch

Contact us today for help and advice on starting or growing your business.

Tel: 0844 257 8450

Email: info@cumbriagrowthhub.co.uk