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Hi, i hope somebody here can shed some light on my small predicament.

 

I have been working for the same company for 10 years, working full time, 38.75 hours a week. 9 - 5.45, in the employee handbook it states full time workers are allowed 2 x 15 minute paid breaks and 1 hour unpaid lunch.

 

my manager has now told me i am only going to be working until 5.00 with only 1 half hour lunch break, 15 minutes of which will be paid and 15 unpaid, i will be receiving exactly the same pay for what my manager tells me is exactly the same hours work, however, as i see it, i will be doing 15 minutes less work as that will be deemed as part of my break entitlement.

 

When i started in this job role i never received a contract, but have been working the exact same shift for 10 years, with the 2 fifteen minute breaks and the 1 hour lunch.

 

It can be a very stressful job at times and i really believe i need that hour lunch to get away from work to unwind, as we are not allowed out of the building on paid breaks.

 

I would be grateful if anyone could give me any advice on this matter.

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Hi Yahooser

 

There are several issues here. The matter of rest breaks is covered by the Working Time Regulations. Assuming you are not classed as a "young worker" you are entitled to a minimum rest break of 20 minutes if you will be working more than 6 consecutive hours. Lunch breaks are usually unpaid but an employer can agree to pay you for them if they wish to.

 

Whether or not your employer can just implement such a change to your working conditions or contract is another matter. Do you have a contract now? What does it say for your lunch break? What reason does your employer give for wanting to change your rest breaks and are other people affected or only you.

 

Sorry to shower you with questions but the answers may allow us to help you more.

My opinions are not expressed as an agent or representative of The Consumer Action Group. My advice is given freely but please remember to always seek professional advice from a qualified legal adviser before acting. If I have helped you please feel free to click on the black star below.

 

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You should have a contract, to avoid the very problems that have arisen. However by working the hours you have would show by 'custom and practice' the terms and conditions you agreed to work. You should ask your employer for a written contract to avoid future problems once you sort this out with them.

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The danger of asking the employer for a statement of particulars of employment after a dispute has arisen is that the employer is likely to include clauses that support their position. So, the written statement is likely to say 'The Employer reserves the right to change working hours/rest periods to suit the needs of the business'.

My impression having worked for numerous employers who have failed to provide written T&C's is that that they feel they are in a stronger position and able to 'make the rules up as they go along'.

In such circumstances, the T&C's are stated by statute and implied by precedent, and I think the employee should endeavour to show that the employer is, in fact 'Hoist by their own petard', by challenging the unilateral change to the T&C's without consultation.

If the OP wishes to stay on their original rota they should submit a greivance, and the employer can explain why they're 9years and 10 months overdue with complying with the Section 1 ERA1996.

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Hear, hear elpulpo!

My opinions are not expressed as an agent or representative of The Consumer Action Group. My advice is given freely but please remember to always seek professional advice from a qualified legal adviser before acting. If I have helped you please feel free to click on the black star below.

 

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now then, now then, now then

 

as he has been doing the same job for 10 years with the same lunch breaks,

 

what about implied contract by way of custom and practice, its treated the same as a written contract if done over an extended period

 

just a thought

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Absolutely, Mr Savile. The employer can propose a change to the T&C's, but they should enter into consultation. Not unilaterally impose the change.

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