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Shop Workers - Maximum Working Hours and Rest Breaks 10 April 2006

Employers of retail shop workers are reminded that the Shops Act 2000 sets limits to the number of hours that shop workers can be obliged to work and also provides for them to have rest breaks. The written statement of a shop worker who commenced employment after the 19th November 1985 must contain a statement that he or she is not obliged to work: • for more than 5 hours without an interval of at least 30 minutes;

• for a total number of hours, exclusive of intervals allowed for meals and rest in excess of 10 hours in any 24 hours; or

• 44 hours in any week.

An employer may face possible prosecution and, on conviction, a fine of £2,500 for including a contractual obligation that contravenes these rules. Notes: There is no requirement on the employer to pay a shop worker during any break. A shop worker who does not wish to take a break or who wishes to work longer hours than he or she is obliged to, may do so but should not be put under any pressure or obligation by the employer. Employers should also consider any health and safety implications which may arise from shop workers working longer hours or foregoing breaks. The Employment Act 1991 requires employers to issue written statements to employees (with some exceptions) within 4 weeks of their commencing employment. Failure to issue or update a written statement is a criminal offence.

Further information

For further information on the Shops Act and on written statements, including a booklet on how to prepare statements, please contact: The Manx Industrial Relations Service.

This guidance note was prepared by the IOM Department of Trade and Industry in April 2006.

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