Time Tracking Regulations | UK

Time Tracking Regulations law in the UK provides guidelines for employers to track employees' clock in and clock time at work.
  • Author: Siva
  • Last updated: April 3, 2022
  • 2 Minutes
time tracking regulations in UK

Time Tracking regulations in the UK. In essence, time tracking can be hard to monitor especially if staff work online from home or unsupervised. It is also an issue in industries that work round the clock.  These factors can make time tracking or timekeeping difficult to manage. 

Time tracking works both ways. It enables the employer to pay the correct money for the hours worked. It also protects the employee from putting in extra hours of unpaid labour. 

Highlights of the UK working time tracking regulations

Small business owners should be aware of the basics that the time tracking regulations act of 1998 states.

The Government has strict rules around working hours. These were established by the Working Time Regulations Act 1998 and although there have been changes over the years; the basic premise is the same. 

The maximum working week is set at 48 hours a week on average, which is taken over a period of 17 weeks.  

If you need further overtime to be worked on top of the 48 hours, the employee must agree to this in writing, by opting out of the clause.  

For people aged under 18, this figure is set at a maximum of 8 hours a day and no more than a 40-hour working week. 

Workers also have the right to take a 20-minute rest back every six hours and the right to 11 hours uninterrupted rest in between shifts. 

Timekeeping records must be kept by law for at least two years. 

Technology can give greater insight into employees’ productivity. Tracking technology can measure the hours spent working and also note periods of absence away from the desk. 

What do the time tracking regulations cover and do not cover?

According to ACAS some industries can not be included in time tracking regulations. 

These include emergency service workers such as ambulance drivers and firefighters or any job that needs continuity of service such as the armed forces. 

Off-shore workers also have different regulations as their average working week will be calculated over a year rather than 17 weeks enabling them to work round the clock when required. 

What are time tracking regulations rota workers should be aware of?

Shift workers who change their shift patterns are not legally required to take an 11-hour break between shifts. 

Although the Working Time Regulations stipulates that everyone should have an 11-hour break between working, this is waived for shift changes as otherwise, it could make the week unworkable. 

Are timesheets a mandatory requirement for businesses?

Yes, timesheets are a mandatory requirement for businesses. Time tracking your employees’ hours is a legal obligation and you must keep records for each employee for a minimum of two years.

How you manage this is up to you because the format is not important. As long as timekeeping records are kept they fulfill all legal obligations. 

Time tracking can be maintained by old-fashioned timesheets that are filled out on the premises or written in a book. You can install clocking in machines or install digital technology tracking apps to do it for you. 

Tracking technology apps can give greater insight into employees’ productivity and are becoming increasingly popular with business owners. 

These can measure the hours spent working and also note periods of absence outside specified break times. However, If you do use this type of time tracking technology it is a legal requirement that these records must be available for the employee to see on request. 

Papershift’s Time tracking software covers these regulations. We encourage you to book a free online demo and check the possibilities.

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Written by Siva

I write & describe the value & benefits delivered by Paperhift's rota planning, staff time tracking, and employee payroll management software. Especially useful for Shift Planners, Rota Managers, Team Admins, and HR Teams :-)