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Working Time Regulations changes

The Working Time Regulations 1998 (WTR) were originally introduced to enshrine the EU Working Time Directive (WTD) into our domestic law, as was a requirement of our EU membership at the time. As well as setting out the statutory rules on maximum weekly working hours, rest breaks, rest periods and minimum paid holiday, the WTR require all employers to keep and maintain written records that adequately show their compliance with the WTR provisions.

The Working Time Regulations 1998 (WTR) were originally introduced to enshrine the EU Working Time Directive (WTD) into our domestic law, as was a requirement of our EU membership at the time. As well as setting out the statutory rules on maximum weekly working hours, rest breaks, rest periods and minimum paid holiday, the WTR require all employers to keep and maintain written records that adequately show their compliance with the WTR provisions.

The government intends to remove the WTR record-keeping requirements on daily working hours, simplify how statutory holiday is calculated and permit rolled-up holiday pay. The changes are:

  • the removal of the requirement for employers to keep and maintain WTR compliance records relating to daily working hours
  • the merger of the basic four weeks’ paid holiday entitlement (which was granted under the WTD ) with the additional 1.6 weeks’ holiday entitlement (which is a UK-only right), to create a single pot of 5.6 weeks’ annual holiday entitlement
  • simplifying how holiday pay is calculated; and
  • permitting the payment of rolled up holiday pay, i.e. paying a worker’s holiday pay in their basic pay, rather than paying them when their holiday is actually taken. The payment of rolled-up holiday pay is technically unlawful under EU law.

The government says these changes are being made because the WTR, “place disproportionate burdens on business” and it wants to remove these. It will be consulting on the proposed changes to the WTR but says it intends to introduce the reforms later in 2023.

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