Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997

Nightly working hours.

16.—(1) In this section—

“night time” means the period between midnight and 7 a.m. on the following day;

“night work” means work carried out during night time;

“night worker” means an employee—

(a) who normally works at least 3 hours of his or her daily working time during night time,


(b) the number of hours worked by whom during night time, in each year, equals or exceeds 50 per cent. of the total number of hours worked by him or her during that year.

(2) Without prejudice to section 15 , an employer shall not permit a night worker, in each period of 24 hours, to work—

(a) in a case where the work done by the worker in that period includes night work and the worker is a special category night worker, more than 8 hours,

(b) in any other case, more than an average of 8 hours, that is to say an average of 8 hours calculated over a period (hereafter in this section referred to as a “reference period ”) that does not exceed—

(i) 2 months, or

(ii) such greater length of time as is specified in a collective agreement that for the time being has effect in relation to that night worker and which stands approved of by the Labour Court under section 24 .

(3) In subsection (2) “special category night worker” means a night worker as respects whom an assessment carried out by his or her employer, pursuant to a requirement of regulations under section 28 (1) of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 1989 , in relation to the risks attaching to the work that the night worker is employed to do indicates that that work involves special hazards or a heavy physical or mental strain.

(4) The days or months comprising a reference period shall, subject to subsection (5), be consecutive days or months.

(5) A reference period shall not include—

(a) any rest period granted to the employee concerned under section 13 (2) (save so much of it as exceeds 24 hours),

(b) any rest periods granted to the employee concerned under section 13 (3) (save so much of each of those periods as exceeds 24 hours),

(c) any period of annual leave granted to the employee concerned in accordance with this Act (save so much of it as exceeds the minimum period of annual leave required by this Act to be granted to the employee),

(d) any absences from work by the employee concerned authorised under the Maternity Protection Act, 1994 , or the Adoptive Leave Act, 1995 , or

(e) any sick leave taken by the employee concerned.