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Working Hours

The Organisation of Working Time Act 1997 implements Directive 93/104/EC of 23rd November 1993 from the Council of the European Communities. The Organisation of Working Time Act sets out the statutory provisions for both Employers and Employees with regards to rest, maximum working time and holiday entitlements.

Average Weekly Working Time

The maximum average working week is 48 hours. This average may be balanced over a 4 month, 6 month or 12 month period depending on the circumstances where the Organisation operates. For example, the average working week is calculated over a 4 month period; a 6 month period where the work involved is seasonal; and over a period of 6 – 12 months where there is an approved collective agreement which is agreed by Employer and Employees. This agreement must be approved by the Labour Court. The average working week for night workers is averaged over a 2 month period.

This requirement is mandatory and imposes strict liability on Employers should it be found that they are not adhering to the Act.

When an Employer is in the process of determining the rest periods, any period where the Employee is on a break, Annual Leave, Maternity Leave, Adoptive Leave , Sick Leave, Parental Leave or Carer’s Leave should not be included in the calculation. Where an Employer provides more than the statutory amount of Annual Leave of 20 days provided for in the Act, the excess Annual Leave may be taken into account when calculating an Employee’s average hours worked.