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Working Time, Absence and Time Off

Working Time, Absence and Time Off


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In the UK, working time is regulated by the Working Time Regulations 1998 which impose limitations on the average working day and week. The same regulations also make provision for rest breaks and paid annual leave. There are other circumstances in which employers are legally obligated to offer special leave of absence to staff, such as to undertake jury service, trade union duties or military training. There are also various rights and entitlements to leave in respect of family and caring responsibilities which are covered in our Family-Friendly Rights and Equality Law topic collection.

The other main category of absence is, of course, sick leave. Employees (and some workers) will be eligible for statutory sick pay, subject to meeting certain requirements, when they are unable to attend work through ill health or injury. In many education settings, sick pay is enhanced through local or national schemes. Most sickness absence will be genuine, however it can often represent a significant cost for employers. An effective process for managing absence will, therefore, help to minimise cost whilst supporting the wellbeing of employees.

About this topic collection:

This topic collection covers a broad area of topics linked to working time and time off work, starting with the basics in respect of statutory entitlements under the Working Time Regulations 1998 and contractual entitlements under collective agreements.

Sickness absence and managing attendance are covered in detail, including model resources around proactive management of sickness absence and guidance for managers on how to handle problem absences and long-term absence.

'Special leave' and other forms of time off are also included in this topic collection, providing information on other types of request for time off that schools and colleges may receive from employees as well as template policies and letters to deal with these and signposting, where appropriate to resources in other areas of the website.

Use the links on the right to access all the subtopics in this collection.