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Your Questions Answered
Q: What is a 48-hour opt-out agreement?

A: An opt-out agreement allows an employee to work more hours than the maximum average of 48 hours per week as determined in the Working Time Regulations, 1998.

A worker cannot be forced to work more than an average of 48 hours per week, calculated over a 17-week reference period. However, if they agree to work more than the average 48 hours per week, this is permitted provided they willingly and voluntarily sign a written opt-out agreement.

The opt-out agreement may apply for a specific period of time or could continue indefinitely. However a worker can terminate the agreement by giving the employer written notice as specified in the agreement.

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