This Act was submitted by the Rt Hon. Dame Ashley K. Fletcher OOBC MP as a Private Member's Bill.
Working Time Improvement Act 2019
2019 CHAPTER 22An Act to reduce weekly working time of those employed in the United Kingdom and ensure the good health of all workers through encouragement of self improvement and recreation; amending The Working Time Regulations 1998.
Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—
1 Maximum weekly working time
- A worker's working time, including overtime, in any reference period which is applicable in their case shall not exceed an average of 40 hours for each seven days.
- An employer shall take all reasonable steps, in keeping with the need to protect the health and safety of workers, to ensure that the limit specified in paragraph (1) is complied with in the case of each worker employed by them in relation to whom it applies. A log book must be kept by all employers to determine the working time of all workers, to be reconciled per period of payment with the worker.
- The reference periods which apply in the case of a worker are—
- where a relevant agreement provides for the application of this regulation in relation to successive periods of 15 weeks, each such period, or
- in any other case, any period of 15 weeks in the course of their employment.
- Where a worker has worked for their employer for less than 15 weeks, the reference period applicable in their case is the period that has elapsed since they started work for their employer.
- For the purposes of this regulation, a worker’s average working time for each seven days during a reference period shall be determined according to the formula—(A+B/C)— where:
A is the aggregate number of hours comprised in the worker’s working time during the course of the reference period;
B is the aggregate number of hours comprised in their working time during the course of the period beginning immediately after the end of the reference period and ending when the number of days in that subsequent period on which they has worked equals the number of excluded days during the reference period; and
C is the number of weeks in the reference period.
- In paragraph (5), “excluded days” means days comprised in—
- any period of annual leave taken by the worker;
- any period of sick leave taken by the worker;
- any period of maternity leave taken by the worker; and
- any period in respect of which the limit specified in paragraph (1) did not apply in relation to the worker.
- All above provisions are applicable to all classes of workers over the age of 18, including all those defined in Section 5(3).
2 Minimum weekly working time
- All workers employed must be given a minimum of 4 hours in a seven-day period; unless the person is covered under Section(5) and is taking leave for any reason the worker sees fit.
- The hour requirements in Section 2(1) can be abrogated by mutual agreement between a worker and their employer to be 20 hours over the course of a 30-day period.
- The employee and employer are not under legal obligation to mutually agree to terminate the agreement, and either party may inform the other of the desire to break the agreement within one month of the intended agreement termination date.
3 Agreement to exceed the maximum
- The limit specified in Section 1(1) shall not apply in relation to a worker who has agreed with their employer in writing that it should not apply in their case, provided the employer complies with all requirements set out in regulation 5 of The Working Time Regulations 1998.
- If such an agreement is entered into by an employee and their employer, then the maximum time shall be lifted to an average of 52 hours for each seven days.
4 Daily rest
- An adult worker is entitled to a rest period of not less than thirteen consecutive hours in each 24-hour period during which they work for their employer.
- Subject to paragraph (3), a young worker is entitled to a rest period of not less than fifteen consecutive hours in each 24-hour period during which he works for their employer.
- The minimum rest period provided for in paragraph (2) may be interrupted in the case of activities involving periods of work that are split up over the day or of short duration.
5 Entitlement and compensation to annual leave
- All adult workers who have completed a full years employment at their current position shall be entitled to;
- in any leave year beginning on or before 1 January 2021, five weeks;
- in any leave year beginning after 1 January 2026, six weeks.
- All adult workers who take their leave during the year are compensated at the same average rate they had been in the three months prior to employment with their current employer.
- If an employee is terminated within the year and has not used the sum of their annual leave weeks, the remainder shall be paid out upon termination no later than 4 weeks after termination.
6 Definition of employment
- A full time employee is an individual who is employed for at least 32 hours in a seven-day period.
- A part time employee is an individual who is employed for at least 4 hours in a seven-day period.
- For all purposes of this act, internships and temporary employments are to be considered employees and covered under this act.
7 Short title, commencement and extent
- This Act may be cited as the Working Time Improvement Act 2019.
- This Act comes into force on 1 October 2020.
- These Regulations extend to Great Britain only.