Maximum Weekly Working Hours

You cannot work more than 48 hours a week on average - normally averaged over 17 weeks. This law is sometimes called the working time directive or working time regulations.
You can choose to work more by opting out of the 48-hour week. 

If you are under 18, you cannot work more than 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week.


You may have to work more than 48 hours a week on average if you work in a job: 

  • where 24-hour staffing is required 

  • in the armed forces, emergency services or police 

  • in security and surveillance 

  • as a domestic servant in a private household 

  • as a seafarer, sea-fisherman or worker on vessels on inland waterways 

  • where working time is not measured and you are in control, eg you are a managing executive with control over your decisions 

Contact the Acas helpline or use the Acas Helpline Online to get further advice on working hours. 

See also: 

Additional information on maximum weekly working hours can be found on GOV.UK's website.