Jobs with different working time rules

The working time regulations law covers:

Certain types of work do not have to follow all of the regulations due to the nature of the job.

Jobs with some exceptions to the working time regulations

These types of work are covered by the working time regulations but with some exceptions, as follows:

  • ambulance workers, firefighters and prison staff are covered, except in emergencies
  • off-shore workers are covered, but the weekly working time limit is averaged over 52 weeks instead
  • where those in the armed forces, police or civil protection services need an exception due to an emergency situation

The following have some flexibility around working time regulations due to the nature of the job, but the workers must still get enough rest at another time if they have to work through their normal rest breaks (‘compensatory rest’):

  • jobs that need the person to keep working for a longer period of time ('continuity of service or production'), such as agriculture, hospitals, the media, passenger transport services, postal services, prisons, public utilities, research and development, residential institutions, where work cannot be interrupted for technical reasons
  • jobs with seasonal rushes, such as tourism and agriculture
  • security guards, caretakers and similar jobs
  • shift workers changing their shift pattern
  • workers who have to travel regularly between different workplaces (for example travelling salespeople)

Jobs not covered by the working time regulations

The following are not covered by working time regulations, but should still be protected with health and safety and appropriate rest:

  • adult domestic servants in private households
  • people in charge of their own hours, such as company directors, senior executives and those who are self-employed

Jobs with their own working time rules

These types of work are covered by their own working time laws:

Further advice on jobs with different working time rights

If you work in one of the above types of work and need further advice on your working time rights, you can: