Other Notices

2003-04-062003-03-21European Communities Act 1972TSO (The Stationery Office), St Crispins, Duke Street, Norwich, NR3 1PD, 01603 622211, customer.services@tso.co.uk64392301/82301/8

Working Time (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003 (S.R. No. 119)

Notice is hereby given that the Department for Employment and Learning, being a Department designated for the purposes of section 2(2) of the European Communities Act 1972 in relation to the organisation of working time, in exercise of the powers conferred on it by the said section 2(2), and of every other power enabling it in that behalf, has made a statutory rule entitled the Working Time (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003 (S.R. No. 119).

These Regulations amend provisions of the Working Time Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1998, primarily in order to implement certain provisions of Council Directive 94/33/EC on the protection of young people at work (O.J. No. L216, 20.8.94 p.12). The provisions in question restrict the working time of adolescents – those aged between 15 and 18 who are over compulsory school age, referred to as ‘young workers’ – and the circumstances in which they may work during night-time.

Regulation 7 inserts a new regulation 5A into the 1998 Regulations, limiting the working time of young workers to 8 hours a day and 40 hours a week and requiring employers to ensure that these limits are complied with. Regulation 9 inserts a new regulation 6A, which requires employers to ensure that no young worker works during a restricted period. This is defined in an amendment provided for in regulation 4 as the period between 10.00 pm and 6.00 am, or, in a case where the worker is contracted to work after 10.00 pm, the period between 11.00 pm and 7.00 am. Regulations 5 and 10 make consequential changes.

The new working time and night working restrictions are subject to various exceptions, relating to particular occupations and particular circumstances, provided for in amendments to the 1998 Regulations set out in regulations 11-19; there is an entitlement to compensatory rest where the night work restrictions are excluded. Regulation 20 makes the obligations on employers ‘relevant requirements’ for the purposes of the 1998 Regulations; the effect of this is that the obligations are enforceable by the Health and Safety Executive and that failure to comply is an offence. Regulation 21 makes an employer’s refusal to permit a young worker to exercise the entitlement to compensatory rest a matter that may be the subject of a complaint to an industrial tribunal.

The Regulations also include two amendments to the 1998 Regulations that are unrelated to Council Directive 94/33/EC. Regulation 6 amends the definition of “excluded days”, a term used in the formula for calculating a worker’s average weekly working time, so as to include periods of paternity, adoption or parental leave. Regulation 8 revokes a provision excluding overtime from the calculation of a night worker’s normal hours of work in certain cases.

The Regulations come into operation on 6th April, 2003.

Printed copies of the Regulations are available from the Stationery Office Bookshop, 16 Arthur Street, Belfast BT1 4GD. ISBN 0 337 94946 8, priced £2.00.