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Strictly speaking, in the UK the legislation is the Working Time Regulations 1998, which is our implementation of the 1993 EU Directive. The distinction is important when considering out current opt-outs from parts of the Directive, which the government seems keen to keep (e.g. on 48hr working week).

The 11hrs (12 for 15-18yr olds) is your entitlement to rest per 24hr period, it is recommended you take this particularly from an H&S standpoint, but I don't believe the regulations force you to take this. Your contract may stipulate that you take such breaks.

Also entitlement to 24hrs (48 for young workers) rest in each 7 day period making total 90hrs/week.

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Well, it kind of is legally enforceable, in the sense that your employer is obliged to give you the requisite overnight breaks unless you specifically choose to opt out of it.


You cannot opt out of the 11 hour break between shifts or the one rest day a week rule, although you can opt out of the average 48 hour week rule.

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