Implementation of the Working Time Regulations

Follow-up study

Neathey F | Employment Relations Research Series ERRS19 | Department of Trade and Industry | Jun 2003

The Working Time Regulations do not seem to have been an issue of major concern over the last three years to most organisations interviewed.

Nonetheless, there remain a few areas of concern and/or confusion arising from the Regulations as originally drafted. Recent and forthcoming changes to the Regulations were not seen as problematic by most employers. However, some were unaware of these changes, which could have implications for the organisations concerned.

In 1999 and 2000, research was conducted to explore how organisations had adapted to the Working Time Regulations (WTR) which came into effect in October 1998, and to examine the impact of the WTR at workplace level.

This report sets out the findings of follow-up research in 15 organisations. Each of these organisations was involved in the previous study conducted for the Department of Trade and Industry.

The current study was designed to explore developments in application of the WTR over the three years since the original research was conducted. It also aimed to review the impact of recent and forthcoming changes to the Regulations in respect of: young workers; holiday entitlement; night-work calculations and sectors previously excluded from the WTR.

The research involved telephone interviews with management contacts in each of the organisations and more detailed interviews in five establishments that either had not fully implemented the WTR at the time of the previous research, or were more likely to be affected by the changes to the Regulations.