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Trade unions have long campaigned for decent working time. Setting a limit on the number of hours workers can be forced to work is one of the oldest and most fundamental trade union demands, dating back to the struggles of the 1880s and earlier.

It is important to remember that the Working Time Regulations are a minimum requirement and that many contracts of employment will contain more favourable provision. Union reps play a crucial role in checking that businesses comply with regulations as well as taking the opportunity to improve on them. As a rep you’ll need to keep up to date with the key points in the legislation so you are well equipped to provide advice and support for your members.

The TUC produces a workplace manual which includes a chapter on working time. You can download the chapter free below. If you need assistance in dealing with any issues on working time contact your union for support. You can buy a copy of the full TUC Workplace Manual


Working Time - guide for trade union activists (PDF)

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