Healthy and safe working environment
All employees are entitled to be provided by their employer ‘so far as is reasonably practicable’ with a safe place to work and access to the place of work, a safe system of work, adequate materials, competent fellow employees and protection from unnecessary risk of injury. Where there are more than five employees employed at any one time, the employer must prepare and bring to the notice of its employees a written statement of its policy with respect to health and safety at work.
The Working Time Regulations provide for an average 48-hour working week, in-work rest breaks and 11 consecutive hours’ rest in any 24-hour period, four weeks’ paid holiday and an average eight hours’ work in 24 hours for night workers. This means that employees are prevented from working any overtime which would result in their average working week exceeding 48 hours. However, the Regulations enable individual employees to ‘opt-out’ and work in excess of this 48-hour limit. Any agreement to opt-out of this 48-hour limit must be in writing.