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13 October 1998

First negotiators' guide to the Working Time Regulations published
For the first time ever in the UK, the majority of workers are now legally entitled to a maximum working week, paid holidays, and to breaks and rest periods, as a result of the Working Time Regulations 1998, which came into force on 1 October 1998.

These new regulations are the result of the implementation of the European working time directive by the Labour government, and represent important gains for workers. Most workers now have legal rights to: a maximum working week of not more than 48 hours, including overtime; a maximum of eight hours night work; a daily rest period of 11 hours; a day off per week; a rest break if working more than six hours; and a paid annual leave entitlement of three weeks, rising to four weeks in 1999.

The regulations will have a huge impact. More than two and a half million UK workers currently have less than three weeks paid annual leave, and 2.7 million usually work more than 48 hours per week.

LRD's latest booklet, Working Time - a trade unionists' guide to the new regulations, provides a detailed explanation of the new regulations and includes details of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) guidance. It looks at how trade unionists can get the best out of the regulations when negotiating on long hours, rest breaks and holiday arrangements and includes examples of negotiations which have already taken place. Finally, it looks at the health and safety implications of working long hours and shifts.

Notes to editors

Working Time - a trade unionist's guide to the new regulations is published by the Labour Research Department, 78 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8HF, price ?2.70 or ?10 for non-labour movement bodies.
LRD Booklets are also available on subscription at an annual cost of ?24.50 (?62.85 for non-labour movement bodies). LRD publishes 11 booklets a year.
The Labour Research Department is an independent trade union and labour movement organisation founded 83 years ago. More than 2,000 trade union organisations, including 54 national unions, representing 99% of total TUC membership are affiliated.
For further information about the booklet contact Sonia McKay on 0171 902 9827.

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