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These Regulations amend the Working Time Regulations 1998, primarily in order to implement certain provisions of Council Directive 94/33/EC on the protection of young people at work (OJ No. L 216, 20.8.94, p. 12). The provisions in question restrict the working time of adolescents—those aged between 15 and 18 who are over compulsory school age, referred to as ‘young workers’—and the circumstances in which they may work during night-time.
Regulation 6 inserts a new regulation 5A into the 1998 Regulations, limiting the working time of young workers to 8 hours a day and 40 hours a week and requiring employers to ensure that these limits are complied with. Regulation 8 inserts a new regulation 6A, which requires employers to ensure that no young worker works during a restricted period. This is defined in an amendment provided for in regulation 3 as the period between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., or, in a case where the worker is contracted to work after 10 p.m., the period between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. Regulations 4 and 9 make consequential changes.
The new working time and night work restrictions are subject to various exceptions, relating to particular occupations and particular circumstances, provided for in amendments to the 1998 Regulations set out in regulations 10–18; there is an entitlement to compensatory rest where the night work restrictions are excluded. Regulation 19 makes the obligations on employers `relevant requirements' for the purposes of the 1998 Regulations; the effect of this is that the obligations are enforceable by the Health and Safety Executive and that failure to comply is an offence. Regulation 20 makes an employer’s refusal to permit a young worker to exercise the entitlement to compensatory rest a matter that may be the subject of a complaint to an employment tribunal.
The Regulations also include two amendments to the 1998 Regulations that are unrelated to Council Directive 94/33/EC. Regulation 5 amends the definition of “excluded days”, a term used in the formula for calculating a worker’s average weekly working time, so as to include periods of paternity, adoption or parental leave. Regulation 7 revokes a provision excluding overtime from the calculation of a night worker’s normal hours of work in certain cases.
A Regulatory Impact Assessment of the costs and benefits of these Regulations to business, and a Transposition Note explaining how certain of the amendments provided for give effect to the Directive have been placed in the libraries of both Houses of Parliament. Copies are available to the public from the Employment Relations Directorate, Department of Trade and Industry, 1 Victoria Street, London SW1H 0ET, and the Assessment and Note are also accessible at the Directorate’s website: www.dti.gov.uk/er.
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