Flexible Work and Working Time Records in the UK
When working time or/and workplace are flexible, employers are of course still obliged to keep records of the employee attendance, besides the fact that they are not always present at the workplace to clock in and out. Employers should always monitor the hours of workers who appear to be close to the working time limit to make sure they do not work too many hours. UK Working Time Regulations (1998) require employers to take ‘all reasonable steps’ to ensure that the 48-hour limit is complied with.
What employee attendance records are employers supposed to keep in the UK?
Under the UK Working Time Regulations, employers must keep adequate records to show that certain limits are being complied with. These are:
- The weekly working time limit – employees should not work more than 48 hours in a week. The weekly limit on working time is an average. Employee can work more than 48 hours in a week as long as their average hours don’t exceed 48.
Employers must keep records with the names of all workers (kept up to date) who have agreed to work more than 48 hours a week (the ’48 hour opt-out’). They need to be able to demonstrate at any moment that the working time, including overtime, for workers who have not opted out, does not exceed an average of 48 hours for any seven-day period.
- The length of nightwork – night workers’ normal hours of work should not exceed an average of eight hours in any 24-hour.
Nightwork involving ‘special hazards or heavy physical or mental strain should strictly not exceed more than eight hours in any 24-hour period.
- Young workers’ working time should not exceed eight hours per day, or 40 hours per week.
Also no young worker should work between 10pm and 6am (or between 11pm and 7am if the contract requires him or her to work after 10pm).
These records must be kept for each worker for two years from the date on which they were made. A failure to keep such records is an offense for which the penalty in England and Wales is an unlimited fine.
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