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Brothers New Job and Possible HSE breaches


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Hello,

 

I am on here asking for help with for my brother who has started a new job. Me brother is working for a private healthcare company as a Support Worker for a client with Learning Disabilities.

 

His issue is that his shift patterns in my eyes possibly breach HSE/Working Time Directive.

 

The shifts are, Early 07:30-14:30, Late 14:00-21:30 and Nights 21:30-07.30. The night shifts are sleep in shifts where he is paid £40 for the night unless he is needed and then he gets his normal hourly wage.

 

My concerns are that they have told him that there are no breaks during shifts which I understand from the WTD/HSE that a 20 minute uninterrupted break is entitled if a worker works 6 hours.

 

Further, they state that he must work a Late shift 14:00-21:30, directly followed by a night shift 21:30-07:30 (sleep in or working depending on client needs) and then do the early shift as well meaning he would be at his place of work for a little over 24 hours straight. My concern is that this is a breach of the WTD/HSE daily rest period of 11 hours, however I am unsure as the night shift means he could sleep all night or work all night, again it is all dependent on the clients needs.

 

So my question is, what is the legality of this, I have worked in healthcare, learning disabilities and trained as a nurse but never have I even heard of a shift pattern like this.

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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.

 

Shift workers22.—(1) Subject to regulation 24—

(a)regulation 10(1) does not apply in relation to a shift worker when he changes shift and cannot take a daily rest period between the end of one shift and the start of the next one;

 

Simply put, it's not clear in law, having to work back to back isn't going to do anyone any good and a good employer should avoid it where practicable. I had this dropped on my lap a few times when dealing with care workers but ended up not pursuing on every occasion as the vast majority of people were happy to turn a blind eye to shifts of this nature when they wanted it as overtime so the wishes of the many meant the few had to put up with it and i never put it for proper legal opinion as it would have cost my members a lot of money once i explained that if it's not safe, it's not safe regardless of "when it suits"

 

No use for your friend but i don't think he will get anywhere legally other than asking if it is possible to alter his shifts, i've seen many rotas where on the changover of the rota (every 3/4/6 weeks) there was a dropdown or step up because that was how the rota works and was argued as broken by staff and argued by the employer as the only way of doing it. Nobody ever came up with a solution from the "it's broken" side though!

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