UCL Human Resources


Working Time Regulations

The Working Time Regulations came into force on 1 October 1998. 

The main provisions affecting UCL are:

  • A maximum average 48 hour week, unless individuals are required to work more than this and give their formal agreement

  • Calculation of the "average" is normally over 17 weeks

  • A rest break of a minimum of 20 minutes  to be taken during any periods of work that are six consecutive hours or more,

  • Entitlement to 5.6 weeks' paid holiday each year

  • A rest period of at least 11 hours in any 24 hour period, and of at least 24 consecutive hours in each seven day period

  • Provisions for night workers including rest periods, limitations on their hours of work and free health checks

Hours of Work

Managers should ensure that research and professional services staff do not exceed the 48 hour maximum but where they hold more than one appointment (including non-UCL secondary employment), care must be taken that when aggregated their working hours do not exceed the limit. In respect of staff with specified hours of work, adequate records must be kept to show compliance with the 48 hour limit; such records must be retained for 2 years. 


  • Employees should inform their Head of Department if they are exceeding or are likely to exceed the 48 hour average.

  • A small number of staff are required regularly to work in excess of the 48 hours per week and they must give their express written consent.

HR Employment Policy Team
Updated July 2021