Employees are entitled to up to three types of break. It is the employer’s duty to ensure workers take these rest breaks. Wurkplace can make sure that all correct documentation is in place, encouraging staff to take the rest breaks.
These documents include employment contracts, handbooks and written policies, etc.
In the case Grange v Abellio, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) went back to the principles underlying the European Working Time Directive and compared it to the UK’s Working Time Regulations (WTR). Under the WTR, workers are entitled to an uninterrupted 20 minute rest break, if they work more than 6 hours in a day. Workers also have the right to 11 hours rest between working days and an uninterrupted 24 hours without any work each week.
If an employer refuses a worker this right then a complaint may be made to the employment tribunal.
Mr Grange found it difficult to fit a break into his 8.5 hour shift. His complaint to the Employment Tribunal was that he was denied the request to change his working pattern so he worked 8 hours without a break but left 30 minutes early. His complaint to the ET failed on the basis that he was found not to have made a request to take a break so therefore there was no refusal of request.
The EAT found in Mr Grange’s favour as the employer had an obligation to ‘afford the worker the entitlement’ to take a rest break. The break entitlement was refused as working arrangement failed to allow the taking of breaks. Had this not have been the case, there will have been no need for the employee first to have expressly made the initial request.
Wurkplace can create and implement correct documents and practices ensuring compliance and prevention of Tribunal claims. Get a HR quick quote here.
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