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  1. Hi I'm representing a group of employees at my retail workplace some of which are part time and some are full time. The shifts we do vary between 4 and 12 hours a day. It is an individual business not part of a chain or anything. There is no union or HR department there are just the managers who own the business and about 20 staff who work for them. The problem is that we are not allowed to take any rest breaks even in 12 hour shifts. We have previously been allowed a few minutes to eat a meal at some point during the shift but we have to stay at our workplace and if the phone rings we have to leave our meal to answer it or if a customer needs serving we have to serve them. Often our food is left to go cold before we can get back to finish it. The new problem is that we have seen an email between the managers complaining about staff eating during their shift and it shouldnt be allowed as it looks bad to the customers (the email wasn't meant to be seen by us but one of the managers left it on screen on a computer in a public office. They dont know we have read it and ok maybe we shouldn't have if it wasn't addressed to us but we have and its about us anyway). So one of us contacted acas and all they said was there is nothing they can do as there is no way to enforce it. Then we contacted HSE who were very understanding and they passed it on to our local council. Although we have since contacted the council who have said they have been in to speak to one of the managers and they are not going to take any action because they pay us for the whole shift (like if we work from 7am to 7pm straight we get paid for 12 hours. they would only take action if they stopped our pay for a rest break but didn't allow us to take it). We don't think this is fair but we really don't know what to do about it so we are hoping someone on here can advise us on what to do. Other people have said just leave and work somewhere else but it's not as simple for that for some of us who can't find a different job. Thankyou
  2. Hi , I wonder if anyone could advise. I work in a large very busy control centre doing 12 hour shifts. We are in front of 3-4 large PC screens at a time and are entitled to a total of 2 hours breaks in the 12 hour shift - but one of these 20 minute breaks is called a "training break" - where you are expected to log onto a PC somewhere (e.g. staff room) and read up latest bulletins, work updates etc This training break was introduced about 4 years ago when we had to change over to a new computer operating system , that once we had completed the 4 day training course we had to practise using it for 20 mins every day before it went live (they had to train around 450 people and the new system did not go live until about a year after i had my training , so it made sense to have to play with it for 20 mins each shift ) This was brought in with union agreement i hasten to add When this new system was brought in a lot of us highlighted that the font was too small but we were told nothing could be done to change it (this system cost around £23 million ) . Since then a lot of us have now had to start wearing glasses with VDU lenses (we can claim back some of the cost for a yearly eyesight test/lenses) and each year my eyesight has worsened so basically i get 5 x 20 min breaks in a 12 hour shift away from a PC screen - i have been told that with VDU regulations i should get a total of 120 mins over a 12 hour shift away from a PC , but with the 20 mins i have to use as a "training break" this goes against that ?
  3. Recently my Freelander 1 rear window stopped working and my mechanic recommended it should go to a Land Rover dealer to be fixed, which it did. The problem was the regulator on the Freelander has burnt out and they undertook to replace it at great cost to which I agreed. After replacing the regulator and refitting the glass they tested it and the glass shattered!!! The cause was found to be that the rear tyre had been shunted and pushed in the tail gate jamming the glass. Now I accept the damage to the rear tail gate was not their responsibility, and I have paid to get it pushed out so to speak, however, should there mechanic picked up on the fact that the glass was impeded and should they pick up the bill for the new glass? Your thoughts welcome. Thanks.
  4. I had front and back disks and pads replaced on my Grand Cherokee by Kwik-Fit on 14th May 2013. It was done at the Crawley, County Oak brank. I was charged over £500 for the job. Last night, 18th May 2013, with my two children, wife and I in the car, we had just started off on the motorway, travelling at aprox 60 miles an hour, when we smelt a horrible burning smell. We immediately got of the motorway, stopped, jumped out to have a look and found the rear passenger side wheel glowing red and the tyre smouldering. Luckily, we have a couple of drums of water in the car and dowsed the wheel to cool it down and then called the AA. The AA arrived some hours latter, but even after this time the AA man could still smell the horrible buring smell. He checked the car and confirmed the fault was rubbing break pads, which had caused friction. In the words of the AA man "Kwik-Fit have messed up the job and your lucky to be alive". The AA man pointed out the the smouldering trye was on the same side of the car as both the petrol and LPG tank and if we had not have stopped and had the water to dowse the wheel, from the heat damage he could see, the tyre would have burst into flames and potentially ignited the fuel and LPG. He also explained that the tyre was only moments from failling due to the heat and this could have caused the car to crash if travelling at speed on a motorway.
  5. At work my employer has said: Staff who work 6 hours or less are not entitled to have a smoking break or 5 minutes to eat their lunch. They have to work the 6 hours. Staff who work over 6 hours have to have an unpaid 1/2 hour break. If you smoke you can have 6 x 5 minute breaks instead of the 1 x 1/2 hour. My questions are: Can a 6 hour employee be made to work the whole 6 hours flat with no break at all (how can a member of staff working 9.30 - 3.30 have no lunch)? My wife works 6 hours in a school and gets a 20 minute paid break every day. Is there anything in law saying staff should be given paid breaks? Can a 6 hour employee be told if they spend 10 minutes smoking they must work 10 minutes later at the end of thier shift? Thanks in advance.
  6. can anyone give advice on this? after a visit from a HCEO bailiff i went immediately to the high court myself and got an order stay of execution, the terms of the order said that all enforcement is stayed until after an application i was to make in the county court is heard and finished. I made the application and have not yet even got the date of the county court hearing, but the HCEO has turned up again and left more papers about seizure of goods and has added more charges. is the HCEO in contempt of court for breaking the high court order and if so what should i do?
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