There are several laws in place in Scotland designed to prevent employees from being overworked.
These are known as the Working Time Regulations 1998 and apply to all employees, though there are a few exceptions with certain organisations such as the armed forces.
They are as follows:
- Employers must ensure that reasonable steps are taken to prevent an employee from working no more than an average of 48 hours per week over a reference period of 17 weeks, unless the employee freely opts out of the limit and provides their employer with written confirmation.
- Workers can not be coerced into opting out of the hour limit and are free to cancel any agreement whenever they wish so long as they provide a notice period.
- Employers must keep a record of hours worked by employees.
- Full-time workers are legally entitled to 28 days paid annual leave. This period includes bank and national holidays.
- Employees have the right to a 24-hour period without work every week, or a 48-hour period every fortnight.
- Workers are entitled to 11 hours rest between each working shift. For instance if a barman finishes his shift at 11pm, he legally isn't expected to work again until 10am.
- Employees who work more than six hours are entitled to a 20 minute break.
- Night shift workers are entitled to a free health assessment.
-Part-time workers have the same rights as full-time workers on a pro-rata basis.