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Working Time Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1998

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Length of night work

6.—(1) A night worker’s normal hours of work in any reference period which is applicable in his case shall not exceed an average of eight hours for each 24 hours.

(2) An employer shall take all reasonable steps, in keeping with the need to protect the health and safety of workers, to ensure that the limit specified in paragraph (1) is complied with in the case of each night worker employed by him.

(3) The reference periods which apply in the case of a night worker are–

(a)where a relevant agreement provides for the application of this regulation in relation to successive periods of 17 weeks, each such period, or

(b)in any other case, any period of 17 weeks in the course of his employment.

(4) Where a worker has worked for his employer for less than 17 weeks, the reference period applicable in his case is the period that has elapsed since he started work for his employer.

(5) For the purposes of this regulation, a night worker’s average normal hours of work for each 24 hours during a reference period shall be determined according to the formula–


  • A is the number of hours during the reference period which are normal working hours for that worker;

  • B is the number of days during the reference period, and

  • C is the total number of hours during the reference period comprised in rest periods spent by the worker in pursuance of his entitlement under regulation 11, divided by 24.

(6) A night worker’s normal hours of work for the purposes of this regulation are his normal working hours for the purposes of the 1996 Order in a case where Article 5 of that Order (which provides for the interpretation of normal working hours in the case of certain employees) applies to him.

(7) An employer shall ensure that no night worker employed by him whose work involves special hazards or heavy physical or mental strain works for more than eight hours in any 24-hour period during which the night worker performs night work.

(8) For the purposes of paragraph (7), the work of a night worker shall be regarded as involving special hazards or heavy physical or mental strain if–

(a)it is identified as such in–

(i)a collective agreement, or

(ii)a workforce agreement,

which takes account of the specified effects and hazards of night work, or

(b)it is recognised in a risk assessment made by the employer under regulation 3 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1992(1) as involving a significant risk to the health and safety of workers employed by him.

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