Interns Maximum weekly working hours

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An employer must not request or require an intern to work more than the following hours of work in a week, unless the additional hours are reasonable. An intern may refuse to work additional hours if they are unreasonable.

Interns weekly working hours is 37 hours. Average working hours are calculated over a ‘reference’ period, normally 8 weeks. This means you can work more than 37 hours one week, as long as the average over 8 weeks is less than 37 hours a week.

Over time work

Planned daily overtime is not not allowed. Frequent and excessive overtime isn’t good for employees’ health and performance.

What counts as work

A working week includes:

  • job-related training
  • time spent travelling if you travel as part of your job.
  • working lunches
  • paid overtime
  • time spent on call at the workplace
  • travel between home and work at the start and end of the working day (if you don’t have a fixed place of work)

What doesn’t count as work

A working week doesn’t include:

  • time you spend on call away from the workplace
  • breaks when no work is done, eg lunch breaks
  • travelling outside of normal working hours
  • paid or unpaid holiday
  • travel to and from work (if you have a fixed place of work)

Under the general workplace protections, it is unlawful for an employer to force (or try to force) an intern to make an averaging arrangement.

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