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Deduction of money for Lunch Break not taken


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Someone who works for a well known supermarket (think of the colour green) as a delivery driver (for over 2 years) has been having an hour's lunch break deducted from their wages, even though the said lunch is never taken...All this has just come to light recently.

 

Ordinarily if you work in store you have the option to 'skip break' on the clocking machine but being out on the road all the time means they are not in store to do this. The supermarket's internal electronic timing system will automatically deduct a one hour's break if you have been clocked in over a certain amount of time.

 

THe point is, they believe this has happened well over 100 times since they started. Delivery drivers, at least at the store where they work, do not get a lunch break. So what would be the way forward to claim this money back? Even at £7 ph , it's nearly £1000 they are 'owed'. They have tried internal through the management team and HR but they are just simply ignored.

Just hate every DCA out there

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I think they should be... sounds like it will ony be resolved as a group.

 

Or they could start taking the lunch hours.

Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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I have just seen asked a van driver for the same company about this. He has read his contract and he tells me that I says in there that it is his responsibility to take his lunch break. Basically saying he will be billed for his lunch break whether he takes it or not while he is out on the road. He does not have to clock in like floor staff. I'm getting this in texts so would need to see contract for myself to confirm.

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HE does have to clock in and out for his shifts.

 

On the clock machine there is a skip meal break.

 

Make sure the correct meal break is selected for the time you are trying to "skip it"

 

This can be done at the end of the shift.

 

This would generate something on an hours exception report that gets signed by Section leader or above on a daily basis authorizing or rejecting the exception.

 

He and his colleagues if they were looking for a union should approach GMB as they are the ones with the recognition agreement.

 

This situation if it has been ignored would be better suited to a formal grievance, single or collective.

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Doubt there is any legs in this one.

 

They set a lunch break the driver will be deemed to have taken it, this is unless tacho's are involved where the employer should see the issue (dependant on driving hours worked per shift).

 

Asking for back pay won't get him anywhere i suspect as they will say "we were not aware, why have you not been taking your breaks"

 

The argument is only valid where it can be shown that the work is physically impossible to complete without working through lunch. That is what needs to be raised before anything else.

 

If the words job and knock, task and finish are also involved then give it up now.

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Unfortunately with driving jobs, it's very common for employees to be responsible for taking their own breaks. The only way there would be any recourse would be if they were actively stopped from taking them - for example, if their delivery sheets were handed to them in the morning with delivery slots throughout the day that would be impossible to make if they took a lunch break.

 

Even if that was the case, I'm sure that if the drivers all downed tools for an hour every day, with all the subsequent delivery slots being late (and several angry customers) the drivers would be able to point out why they were late and the company may take action to factor in breaks!

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On most runs there is not a 1hr gap scheduled in. That is correct. Normally there is a 30 mins scheduled into the runs that keep the driver away from the store the entire shift. for the shifts where 2 vanloads are taken out, there is normally a 30 min gap between them, either added onto the travel time from the last drop back to base or before you go out.

 

Problem is that that requires all routes being put on the correct van. Routes are assigned to a specific van throughout the day. So van 1 may be route 1, route 12, route 20 and route 26. The 2 x 30 min breaks for the entire day (1 for each driver) will be shedulled among those routes. However sometimes the routes get moved onto different vans when assigned. These 30 min breaks are what keeps the company legal within the WTD as 20mins is in fact the legal minimum for the shifts worked.

 

As for the 1 hour, the company procedures in place allow you to skip the 1 hour lunch break if you did not take it, allowing you to be paid for it. Simply skip the meal break before you clock out when you go home... This means the "if the route makes it impossible to have the 1 hour lunch break....advise given above is not relevant.

 

To summarise

 

1 hour is automatically taken off for lunch break

All employees have to clock in and out.

If the lunch break has been missed, employee has to "Skip meal break" on the clocking machine. This is then authorized by the manager to allow payment.

Employee would of been told to do this in induction.

As contracted driver shifts are normally 8-9 hours, legal break entitlement is only 20 mins

 

For others info.

 

Vans are drivable on a car license and therefore outside Tacho regulations.

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Asking with my pedant hat firmly stuck on here (but also out of genuine interest as you obviously have local knowledge) :)

 

1. Are you not then saying they follow the WTR when it suits but they are also able to ignore them for the clocking of breaks part (there is a small line in the WT regs around not using end of day as the break but from memory it may be a should not a shall and in the guidance not regs) - under the assumption your saying not even the 20 min part is deducted.

2. My now small and quickly evaporating memory of tacho requirements is the weight of the vehicle not the license type being the key (e.g. according to my daughter i'm an old man so i can and have driven up to 7.5 where as the young ones amongst us need an additional element)

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Thanks for replies

 

Howvever (and this may be a local problem) , if they have been clocked in for a certain amount of time, the clocking in machine does not allow the option to skip break, it says ' Punch Window rejected' and does not allow said meal break to be skipped.

 

In addition to them taking all this money (I thought unlawfully), the store will clock them out for 30 minutes whilst they are out on the road working / driving and delivering! This is the only time (30 mins) that gets built into their daily run- an hour's break is NOT built into their run.

Just hate every DCA out there

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IF the driver is using a tachograph, analogue ( now probably all phased out) or digital, using a mandatory card they are required to comply with the drivers hours laws and regulations, no ifs or buts But probably these vans are non digi tacho but how about requirements of WTD ie 6 hours then a mandatory break? Also as mobile workers I don't think they can "0pt out " of the disregard for working hours?

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Thanks for replies

 

Howvever (and this may be a local problem) , if they have been clocked in for a certain amount of time, the clocking in machine does not allow the option to skip break, it says ' Punch Window rejected' and does not allow said meal break to be skipped.

 

In addition to them taking all this money (I thought unlawfully), the store will clock them out for 30 minutes whilst they are out on the road working / driving and delivering! This is the only time (30 mins) that gets built into their daily run- an hour's break is NOT built into their run.

 

If the punch window is rejected, use the break for the next window. Eg if trying to skip lunch and miss that punch window, tell it to skip supper.

 

The 30 min break is factored into ALL long wave runs (Where wave 1 and wave 2 are on the same load and where 3 and 4 are on the same load.

 

Between waves that are not split, there is 45mins from return to base and depart for next wave, During this time a LOADER should be loading the next wave,

 

As for WTD, no single wave lasts more than 5 hours

 

Vans are nto tachod and do not need to be so drivers regulations do not apply.

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The SabreSheep, All information is offered on good faith and based on mine and others experiences. I am not a qualified legal professional and you should always seek legal advice if you are unsure of your position.

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IN all fairness though the 1 hour lunch break thing is a pain in the ass and outdated, they should get rid of ti from the system :D

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The SabreSheep, All information is offered on good faith and based on mine and others experiences. I am not a qualified legal professional and you should always seek legal advice if you are unsure of your position.

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  • 4 weeks later...

UPDATE

 

Leeds Head Office got involved and they have reviewed everything from past two years and have agreed to give back ALL of money deducted for all of the times it has happened...Success!

Just hate every DCA out there

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Good to hear :) When you get repaid let us know so we can change title thread to**Resolved successfully**

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING

EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

The SabreSheep, All information is offered on good faith and based on mine and others experiences. I am not a qualified legal professional and you should always seek legal advice if you are unsure of your position.

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