According to figures published late in 2019, the average amount of time spent working each year in the UK is around 37 hours per week.

That figure takes into account a wide range of roles and positions held by members of the general public.

It is part of a continuous trend that began just before the end of 2012 that saw working hours drop to a low of 31.3 hours before climbing steadily in intervening years.

It should therefore come as no surprise that UK citizens work some of the longest hours in the entirety of the Eurozone area.

This has resulted employees in the UK suffering the highest levels of work-related stress in the EU with more than 11 million days lost per annum.

A total of more than half a million people are officially diagnosed with the condition.

What does the law say?

Legally, no employee is permitted to work more than 48 hours per week – a calculation that is conventionally averaged across a 17-week span.

However, it is possible to legally choose to opt out of the 48-hour stipulations by explicitly signing a declaration.

There is no penalty for opting back in.

There are a number of exemptions in critical fields, such as:

  • Businesses where 24/7 staffing is required
  • Armed Forces or emergency services roles
  • Security and surveillance roles
  • Where working time is not calculated, or a constant degree of awareness and oversight is required such as in executive or high-ranking business roles

This is to protect the employer as well as the employee because overworked individuals can be prone to mistakes that increase the risk of accidents, which in turn introduces an element of danger to day-to-day responsibilities.

How can technology help compliance?

Any reliable software platform will be configurable to set automated alerts.

They can produce reminders when individuals are close to the legal limit of hours worked.

It can also be helped by studying a system-wide dashboard that provides an overview of your company data.

A clear perspective can help you track employee progress and compare live statistics against key targets.

A robust structure can also help you crunch numbers around your employee working hours and spot issues related to efficiency, management and more.

With that information, you can make appropriate employment decisions for your business, such as adding resource to teams when required or knowing when and where to scale back.

Get in touch

If you want to learn more about how digital analytics can improve your efficiency and compliance, the team at Practical Software is here to help.

With many years’ professional experience, we can assist in providing a bespoke solution that is tailored to your needs or a rapid deployment of a boxed solution to quickly improve your daily practice.

You can review a list of our services and software modules in full here.