In most circumstances, the normal working week will be 37.5 hours, worked as five consecutive days from Monday to Friday. This 37.5 hours, divided by the 5 working days, equates to a working day of 7.5 hours that must be worked between the hours of 7.00 am and 7.00 pm.
There is then a total maximum time of one hour allowed in any one day for all meal breaks, including washing time, but this may be less at the employer’s discretion.
From 6 April 2003, the Young Worker’s Directive came into effect meaning that those who are between minimum school leaving age and their 18th birthday will not normally be allowed to work:
- More than 40 hours per week;
- More than 8 hours in one day;
- Between the hours of 10.00 pm and 6.00 am (or 11pm and 7am if stated in the contract).