You cannot work more than 48 hours a week on average - normally averaged over 17 weeks. This law is sometimes called the ‘working time directive’ or ‘working time regulations’.
You can choose to work more by opting out of the 48-hour week.
If you’re under 18, you cannot work more than 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week.
You may have to work more than 48 hours a week on average if you work in a job:
- where 24-hour staffing is required
- in the armed forces, emergency services or police
- in security and surveillance
- as a domestic servant in a private household
- as a seafarer, sea-fisherman or worker on vessels on inland waterways
- where working time is not measured and you’re in control, for example you’re a managing executive with control over your decisions
Contact the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) helpline to get further advice on working hours.