Working Time Directive
- An average of 48 hours working time each week
- 11 hours continuous rest in 24 hours
- 24 hours continuous rest in 7 days (or 48 hours in 14 days)
- A minimum break of 20 minutes in work periods of over 6 hours
- A minimum of 5.6 weeks annual leave (pro-rata if part time)
- An average of no more than 8 hours work in 24 (for night workers)
Detailed in the tabs below you will find Working Time Directive policy and process information in place in your Board.
National Services Scotland
An individual is permitted to choose to work more that the weekly limit and must complete the Maximum Weekly Working Week Exclusion Form. More information on the EWTD is enclosed in the Working Time Directive Guidelines.
Where you choose to combine working with NHS 24 and another employer, please note that this must comply with the Working Time Directive regulations of staff working no more than 48 hours per week on average across all employments with appropriate daily and weekly rest periods between shifts. Employees must declare any secondary paid employment to NHS 24, by entering appropriate details onto eESS which will subsequently be authorised by line manager.
NHS 24 does not allow employees to opt out of the Working Time Directive.
Public Health Scotland
From 1st April 2020 Public Health Scotland will bring together staff previously employed by NSS and NHS Health Scotland alongside new PHS employees, meaning different routes for staff to access HR information. Please refer to the option below that best describes your circumstances to ensure you refer to the correct information.
• I have TUPE transferred from NHS Health Scotland into Public Health Scotland – Please raise your query with HR via Contact Us
• I have TUPE transferred from NSS to Public Health Scotland – please select the National Services Scotland tab above to access all information.
• I am an employee in Public Health – please select the National Service Scotland tab to access all information.
Scottish Ambulance Service
It is recognised that individuals are legally entitled to engage in other work activities, whether paid or unpaid, secondary to their employment with the Scottish Ambulance Service. This includes circumstances where an individual holds two contracts of employment within the same Board, each of which is considered to be ‘secondary work activity’ in relation to the other. It also applies regardless of whether an individual considers their role within the Board to be ‘secondary’ to a primary contract of employment elsewhere
The State Hospital
There may be circumstances where it will be permissible to allow staff to work in excess of 48 hours. To enable this, staff need to agree in writing, by completing and signing a WTR Opt Out pro forma, see below. The Opt Out agreement is for a period of one year from the date of signing, therefore if you have signed one before it may be out of date. A copy of the pro forma will be held in the staff member’s personal file within HR. Once signed up, staff can withdraw from the Opt Out by giving one month’s notice in writing to their line manager. Staff who do not wish to work more than 48 hours, do not need to do anything - the 48 hour limit will apply automatically.
When an employee wishes to undertake additional work activities (above an average of 48 hours a week) are required to declare these to The State Hospital by completing a Notification of Additional Employment Form, see below.
- Who does the Working Time Directive cover?
The Working Time Directive has applied to the vast majority of employees in EU member states since 1998, including consultants and doctors outside training. In 2004, the WTD provisions extended to junior doctors, whose maximum average working hours had to be reduced to 48 hours from August 2009.
- What is the Working Time Directive?
The European Working Time Directive is a directive from the Council of Europe to protect the health and safety of workers in the European Union. It lays down minimum requirements in relation to working hours, rest periods, annual leave and working arrangements for night workers.
The Directive was enacted into UK law as the Working Time Regulations, which took effect from 1st October 1998.
- Can the Working Time Directive be ignored?
No. The Working Time Directive cannot be ignored. It is a legal requirement under EU and domestic UK legislation (the Working Time Regulations 1998, as amended). Employers are obliged to comply with all of its requirements, and employees entitled to the protections it affords.
- What happens if an employee is not getting a break on a regular basis?
All employees must have an appropriate rest break which is a minimum of 20 minutes for every 6 hours worked in accordance with EWTD or 30 minutes for every 4 hours worked in accordance with New Deal Regulations (for juniors doctors only)
It is a dual responsibility between employee and employer to ensure that rest breaks are taken. If an employee is concerned that their breaks are not being taken appropriately they should raise this with their line manager.
- What is the reference period for the maximum 48 hour working week?
The average weekly working time is calculated over a 17 week reference period for all staff except junior doctors, which is calculated across a 26 week period instead.
- How can a member of staff 'opt out' of the Working Time Directive?
Employees wishing to undertake any additional work activities (in excess of 48 hours a week average across a reference period) must declare these to their employer by completing an Agreement to be Excluded from Maximum Weekly Working Time Form.