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UK Working Rest Breaks Between Shifts?
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UK Working Rest Breaks Between Shifts?

I am in need a definitive answer the the following issue regarding rest periods between shifts for UK workers. From many websites I've read, they indicate 11 hours rest break between shifts (including direct.gov and my employers working time regulations page). When I rang Direct.gov helpline for clarification on this issue they said the 11 hours break is not averaged out and must not be less than regardless of other days/weeks shift pattern. When I pressed for what opt out clauses employers may have they became unsure so directed me to ACAS. ACAS said that, like the 48 hour week limit is averaged out over 17 weeks, so is the 11 hour rest break averaged out over 17 weeks. After finding the The Working Time Regulations 1998 document on their website it only states the following: //// "Daily rest 10.—(1) An adult worker is entitled to a rest period of not less than eleven consecutive hours in each 24-hour period during which he works for his employer. (2) Subject to paragraph (3), a young worker is entitled to a rest period of not less than twelve consecutive hours in each 24-hour period during which he works for his employer. (3) The minimum rest period provided for in paragraph (2) may be interrupted in the case of activities involving periods of work that are split up over the day or of short duration." //// No comment about the breaks being averaged out over any period. I'm desperate to know the exact guidelines with proof if possible on what an employee is entitled to with regards to the daily rest breaks and what the law really is. Side note - I work a 40 hour a week full time contract at a hotel as a receptionists. Shifts that are in dispute are working 3pm-11pm and then starting another shift at 7am-3pm (8 hour gap). Thanks Would the companies use of 'Compensatory rest breaks' not make the 11 hour rest break irrelevant if I received the lost hours another day. Example: I work 3-11pm followed by 7am-3pm (8 hour rest break), followed by 7am-3pm (16 hour rest break) - would this not allow the company to legally make you work smaller rest breaks than 11 hours if its made up at a later date? Is compensatory rest breaks something that any company can use. It also begs the question of whats the point in rest breaks at all if you can't work more than 48 hours and so will always end up getting your time back.







gail
Rating
Nick is correct here... 11 hours is the minimum break you are allowed between each shifts. You work in the hotel industry and they are notorious for abusing people's working conditions as staff come and go frequently and there is very rarely union membership. If you highlight this issue and others have been happily doing this early shift from the late shift you could very well isolate yourself as a trouble maker, so i would recommend that you print off a copy of the legislation that Nick stated and post anonymously to the HR department or whoever rosters the shifts highlighting the section regarding breaks in shifts worked. Hopefully some one may get the message. Another tip is join a union look at the TUC website and look at memebership no one needs to know that you have joined and its good employment insurance for your future.


luddite
Rating
It's 11 hours between shifts. I work in the NHS and at our workplace we are prohibited from working an early shift (7am start) after a late shift (finishing at 10.30pm) the previous day. Never mind going to the CAB, what about your union, what do they say?


Nick
Jack, you've read the legislation and your interpretation is correct. Only worked hours are averaged over 17 weeks, not breaks. It makes sense too, when you think of it. You might work a bit longer at busy periods and less during quiet ones. But if you averaged breaks you might get none for 14 weeks then three weeks off - which would be a nonsense! The link below is to the CAB's guide and it is bang up to date (revised this month). There are some exceptions that allow breaks to be deferred. But the 48-hour week is the only thing that an employer can seek agreement to opt out of. If you want this face-to-face, book to meet the CAB's solicitor when s/he is in attendance. Unless you can afford your own! But really no need, as you have the legislation as your ammunition. Best wishes.







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