Overtime: 48 hour weekly limit for working time and Weekly Rest Breaks

09 Apr 2020

DWP has “temporarily flexed” policies for overtime rates of pay in response to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. This flexibility is a temporary measure in response to the increased workloads as a result of Covid-19.

The measure will be initially in place for a defined period from 28 March 2020 until 19 April 2020, at which point it will be reviewed and further information will be provided. DWP will continue to adhere to the 48 hour weekly limit and Weekly Rest Break.

Collective Agreement for Working Time Regulations

The purpose of the Working Time Regulations is to protect workers’ health, safety and welfare. The terms of the Collective Agreement for Working Time Regulations will continue to apply. This means that:

  • The 48 hour weekly working time limit will be averaged over 17 weeks. This reference period is any period of 17 weeks, in effect a rolling reference period.                                                  
  • The Weekly Rest Break gives an adult worker entitlement to either one uninterrupted rest period of 24 hours in each 7-day period, or one uninterrupted rest period of 48 hours in each 14-day period, according to their preference. The 14-day period starts at midnight between Sunday and Monday. Young workers (under age 18) are entitled to 2 days rest in each week. 

Weekly Rest Break is not limited to a Saturday or Sunday

Absences such as TOIL, annual, sick, public and privilege, special or flexi leave do not count as, or towards a weekly rest break. Employees must still take a break in addition to any other leave or absence that they have taken in the 7 or 14-day period. This is explained under Working Time Regulations Advice Q&A 5 available on the DWP Intranet. But the Weekly Rest Break is not limited to a Saturday or Sunday. Individuals working overtime on Saturday/Sunday retain the right to take a Weekly Rest Break on other days during the week.

Managers must ensure the Weekly Rest Break is taken by individuals in their team.

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