Do I have to work long hours?

No. The Working Time Regulations 1998 limit the working week for most occupations to an average of 48 hours, and set other minimum standards.See the workSMART pages on Working Hours, and the TUC's Changing Times worklife balance campaign for more information.

The TUC's Work Your Proper Hours Day campaign celebrates the day the average person who does unpaid overtime finishes the unpaid days they do every year, and starts earning for themselves. The aim of the campaign is to draw attention to the long-hours culture in so many British workplaces and to encourage better work–life balance.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.

What is WorkSmart?

A career coach that works for everyone.


Enjoy bite-sized activities delivered to you every week.

Lightbulb brain

Equip yourself with essential skills to be the best you yet.


Get the guidance you need to stay focused and reach your goals.

Worksmart circle