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Being made to work 24 hours with only 3 hours sleep


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Hello everybody and many thanks for looking at my thread. I will get straight to the point. I work for a water company 5 days a week 7.30am-3.30pm. Then i week in 5 i cover a standby rota which goes from 7.30 Monday to 7.30 the next Monday. Once work is finished at 3.30pm i must cover call outs until 7.30am the next morning when we all start work again. First off my employer says they are not subject to the EU working time directive because apparently utility company's are exempt. My problem is we get so many call outs during the middle of the night i struggle to drive the van to site(minimum drive per call out is 40-50 miles). My employer says that if i work a full day(until 3.30pm) and get called out anytime before 12 midnight i am not entitled to any rest break. If my call out is after 12 midnight i am entitled to 1 hour off the next day for every hour i work. If i get called out 2 or more times after midnight i am entitled to 8 hours rest. But my problem is this..last Wednesday i worked 7.30am till 3.30pm got multiple call outs and eventually got home at midnight (thats about 15 hours worked so far) i go to bed and am called out again at 3am (only had 3 hours sleep) by this point i am unbelievably tired and feel unsafe to drive but i go to the call out and eventually get home at 7.30 am. So in 24 hours i have only slept for 3. I then get 8 hours rest but must be back on standby cover at 3.30 pm that day. I am out again at 3.30 until midnight but because of my previous bad night i am tired a lot quicker and at midnight i ring my manager and tell him i am to tired to continue. He tries to force me to carry on but i refused. My question is this...where can i go to get concrete advice on my rights to rest as someone in our firm is going to have a serious accident. Any help would be very much appreciated. Just one more thing..my employer says that at weekends i am not entitled to any rest period because there is no workers in Saturday and Sunday to cover if i were off resting. So possible to be called out multiple times all over weekend day and night with no provision for sleep.

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Hi 'ckes101'... and welcome to the CAG...

 

You may not work under the EU WTD but you certainly work under the Working Time Regulations 1998...

---Aut viam inveniam aut faciam---

 

***All advice given should be taken as guidance... Professional advice should always be taken before any course of action is pursued***

 

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Hello and thank you for the reply. I thought we must be covered by some sort of rules on working times. But where can i go or where can i look to prove this. I will need to have concrete facts if i am going to challenge my employer. Do you think going to see an employment solicitor is worth it?? As there is one just down the road from me.

 

Regards

 

Chris

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If you can speak to the solicitor on a free, initial consultation then do so. Might well not be able to, as you aren't really looking to take any action yet.

If you can get your head round it, this is the legislation that governs working hours.

yet.Statutory Instrument 1998 No. 1833

 

I'll have another read through your post and see what I think.

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Hi and thanks again for your time. All i am really asking from my employer is a guaranteed rest period of 8 hours. Where i know i will not be called out. Multiple call outs at all hours really knocks the stuffing out of me.

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The Working Time Regulations do make explicit provision for industries such as yours, meaning that you may be required to work such hours, providing you are given compensatory rest, or are afforded such protection as may be appropriate to ensure your health and safety.

So that's the question, are you being compensated in rest breaks, and are they doing everything neccessary to ensure you health and safety?

It certainly seems dangerous that you're being required to drive having had very little rest.

Probably best to lodge a grievance and try and discuss this with your employer, or maybe even refer the matter to the HSE.

It strikes me that they need more people to cover.

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yes indeed. Up to about 12 months ago there used to be 3 people in our area to cover standby. The company decided they did not want to pay 3 people standby fee so said 1 person could cover it all. thats the key to it all really i suppose...its to much for 1 person. I think i will contact HSE and have a word with them.

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Good advice there, from 'elpulpo'...

 

I would, indeed, contact the HSE if they didn't seriously take into account the WTR 1998...

---Aut viam inveniam aut faciam---

 

***All advice given should be taken as guidance... Professional advice should always be taken before any course of action is pursued***

 

- I do not reply directly to any PMs, but you are more than welcome to enclose a link, in a PM, to your post. Thank you -

Make a contribution to this site... Help the CAG keeping on helping you for FREE.

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