Employment rights – hours and minimum wage

Article reviewed: 2013/02/05 | Next review due: 2014/08/24

The UK is subject to various employment regulations, with strict levels for minimum wage and working hours.

The UK minimum wage rate is £5.80/hr for those aged over 22, £4.83 for those aged between 18-21 and £3.57 for those between 16-17 years old.

If you find that you’re being underpaid, contact the Pay and Work Rights Helpline on freephone: 0800 917 2368 to discuss your rights in this matter.

The working time regulation is 48 hours per week, but your employer may ask you to do more hours, in this case, you are doing overtime.

Hours worked can include professional training, travel time if you are a sales representative, dining if it is a business meal, time spent abroad if you work for a company based in the UK and also standby time spent at your workplace.

Not included in working hours are: lunch break, any breaks, time spent commuting to get to your place of work, overtime if you decide to stay at your place of work to finish a task, and your holidays.

Sometimes, depending on your type of employment contract, your breaks may be paid, however first check your employment contract. The minimum break time required is 20 minutes for every 6 hours worked for an adult over 18 years.

If you have two jobs and you work more than 48 hours per week, you must either reduce your hours or sign an opt-out agreement to be in compliance with employment laws.

On your pay slip, your employer cannot charge you the cost of your uniform, nor the price of safety equipment.

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