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Working 8 hours with no break.?
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Working 8 hours with no break.?

I work on a busy hospital ward, we dont get to leave the unit for our lunch because of staffing issues, we are usually too busy to go into another room to eat and have to eat on the go. We work 8-9 hours with no break from the phones, doorbell, alarms etc. What is the law and how do i go about complaining? ive had enough! I mean who would i contact outside the hospital. The unions are useless and our senior staff arent interested as it has gone on for years, they are used to it being like this. We even get half hours pay deducted for our 'lunch break!!' any suggestions?

The Employment laws say you cannot work more than 6 hours without having at least a 20 minute break.

In the UK the Working Time Regulations state that you are entitled to a 20 minute break in every 6 hours of work. The break can be paid or unpaid depending upon your contract of employment. The break must not be taken at the beginning or end of your shift. There is an exception to this if you work in an environment such as a hospital where you need to provide continuity of care. In this case you can work over 6 hours without the 20 minute break as long as you are given compensatory rest. This means that your break can be given at another time. Most unions have a collective or workforce agreement in place which excludes the entitlement to the break for their members - this would be binding you if you are a member of that union and therefore you should double check with them if they have signed up to such an agreement as this would prevent you from now taking a claim. The Health and Safety Executive are the body that oversees the implementation of the Working time regulations and you can report issues to them anonymously on their website.

That's illegal, I'll try and find the law and regulations in a bit.

Recital Vinylist
You just sit tight..I'm going to come across the pond, and open me up a can of 'whup-@ss'! Honestly, I think once a week staff meetings have to be installed into the routine, so people can clear the air...breaks can be co-ordinated, maybe not at the same time every day, but in an orderly fashion, so everyone gets one or two...

Angela M
If you are being docked a half hour for your break, then you are entitled to have it. In the UK, we are entitled to a break after four hours. Forget about your union reps, and contact the high chiefs in the union. Sometimes, the union reps on site can get disheartened with all the complaints that they have to field. Stick to your guns and contact the top union officials. They may be surprised that you have been forfieting your break and should be keen to sort this situation out. If you are paying union dues, you are entitled to thier help and advice. Maybe it's time to elect a new union rep, if this one is totally uninterested.In a high pressure situation, such as yours, it's even more important that you can take a break, when you need it. Try to get some of your colleagues to go along with you. when you attempt to sort out this issue. If you let this go on any longer, you will resent your job and probably end up chucking it all in, which would be a shame. Good luck, healthcare is a terrific career, it's unfortunate that this silly "break" thing has given you so much grieff..

Some Chick
Go to the Department of Labor for your state. You can file a complaint online. Be specific and very thorough with your details so they can investigate properly. But be prepared- it will not be kept a secret that you are the one who complained. The dept of labor will do a complete investigation- they may send a representative unannounced to monitor the working conditions, etc, but you will be their main contact throughout. Good luck. I'm not sure if the labor laws vary per state, but typically, workers are entitled to a minimum of a 20 minute break (if putting in 8 working hours) and are supposed to have access to a "rest" area, or someplace separate from the work space to eat and/ or relax.

Fairy Nuff
You are entitled to a 20 minute break for 4 hours worked by law. I work a 6.5 hour shift and get a 20 minute break, which is not deducted from my pay. If you are having money deducted that suggests you should be getting 50 minutes of break a day, the 20 minutes under law and the 30 minutes deducted from your pay. During a break, even if you take it at a desk you shouldn't do anything work related, not even answer the phone. If I was you I would start taking your break, your employer can't do anything about it as you are entitled to it. If they do take action you could take them to a tribunal. By taking your break you might force your employer into resolving the staffing issues. This is my advice based in the UK.

Is there not a staff canteen that you could go to? or a rest room? I know you say there are staffing issues but if they are deducting half an hours pay from you then you are entitled to a break! What would they do if you said you were going to go out for 30 minutes? They can't sack you for it.

your managers are not managing the resources correctly. You are entitled by law to a break after 5 hours. Try explaining that patients care is at risk because you are nor getting a break. Claim overtime for your lunch break, I bet HR gets their break. If you get nowhere try the Citizens advice bureau solicitor. It's free. Bottom line is they are breaking the law. Report them to the Health & Safety Commission. Their details should be on your workplace poster about H&S Law. I feel the same, work for the police, break? what's a break?

It is against the law to not have a proper break for the hours you work. The law states that that employers give a minimum of 20 mins break for each 6 hours worked. I think you need to get on to your union more. Make a big fuss - let them know that your not taking anymore. More importantly you need to get your colleagues involved too. If you go alone, you may just look like a trouble-maker, and they may find ways of legally letting you go. Get the support of your colleagues. All fight for your deserved break.

sweet Lil
I would formally speak with management myself - there must be an occupational health section for inhouse staff, they should be able to weigh in. If you have a staff meeting table it as a meeting point, and cite the fact that in the long term it is going to cause staffing problems. Not only will being tired and hungry make you more liable to make mistake, it is detrimental to your health to carry on working like that. If the other staff you work with feel the same, approach management together. Mostly, you need to read up on this so you can arm yourself with knowledge before you do anything. This website will help you with more information. http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Employment/Employees/WorkingHoursAndTimeOff/DG_10029451 this one will be useful too to see if you are working too many hours on a weekly basis. http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Employment/Employees/WorkingHoursAndTimeOff/DG_10029426 If management dont do anything, escalate it. If needs be take it up directly with the PCT. Good luck x

Ambers mate
You dont usually get paid for lunch breaks but it is against the law to work more than 5.75 (I think) hours without a break. If you work 7 you are entitled to 2 x 20 minutes and you are certainly entitled to at least a lunch break plus one other for working 8 - 9 hours. They cant discipline you for taking a break so just tell them you are off now. Try the citizens advice for clarification.

State labor board or the National Labor relations board office

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