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Hi ,

 

I work for a small engineering company, we currently work a 40 hour week with 30 mins lunch a day unpaid,

 

if the managing director was to agree that we can work through our lunch is this acceptable,

 

None of use use heavy press/ lathes etc and we are able to have a break \ coffee whenever we like

 

Thanks

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If its an agreement it could be ok. Although they would then have to pay you for it. Or let you go home 30 mins early. Theyd be breaking the working time regulations otherwise.


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I think you should be having a 20 min break and 10 mins is therefore negotiable


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If my memory serves me correctly it is unlawful to work longer than 4 hours without a break unless your shift is less than 6 hours. I can't see your employer agreeing to this because if someone had an accident then he would be liable and could be sued.

 

I used to be a trade union shop steward.

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Thanks for all your reply's there seems to be a different view depending on who you ask,

 

If i start work at 6 have 2 ten minute coffee breaks would it be ok for me to have my break at 2clock at home ?

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My understanding is that the lunch break has to be taken as close to the middle of your duty as you can make it. The break cannot be taken at the start or end of your duty.

 

The lunch break is a statutory right under the Working Time Regulations and as a statutory right it can be declined by the employee so not unlawful. As stated the break will then need to be paid. Nothing illegal in not taking that statutory right if agreed

 

The break can be made compulsory by management if decided under safe system of work such as an assembly line worker

 

But i have to ask, being a former Trade Union Official why would you not want to take your meal relief, paid of not??

 

You are entitled to a statutory minimum of a 20 minute break if working six hours or more

Edited by obiter dictum

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I Personally Dont like eating at work i like to eat breakfast in the morning and dinner in the evening, dont get me wrong it will vary from time to time But thanks for confirming this

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I feel you are now making excuses, no disrespect in my comment

 

A break is an entitlement away from your working enviroment due to health and safety concerns. You can put yourself or others in your proximity in danger through your own actions with fatigue etc.. Many employers do not even have canteen facilities to eat. The most being a coffee machine and a place to sit down away from your work area

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I Personally Dont like eating at work i like to eat breakfast in the morning and dinner in the evening, dont get me wrong it will vary from time to time But thanks for confirming this

 

weather you think its excuses or not, Just wanted to know if its a law requirement and if this can be agreed by the management

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Afraid not, the statutory duty is on management to make avaliable the break entitlement to the employee.

 

The decision if the employee takes that break is dependent on management as a contractual obligation. I am 99.9999% sure that will not happen as it will be an express term in your contract of employment and will apply to all employees. All employees within the business will have to agree to the change with justification. The only justification i can think off is business needs with things such as a surprise large order for which the employee and management are in equal agreement. The employee then receives a bonus such as extra pay, day in lieu etc by mutual agreement as a one off event. To do anything else sets a dangerous precedent with custom and practice with future employees

Edited by obiter dictum

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Regardless of whether it is by agreement or not, the employer would be breaking the law to allow this. The law is clear. Work six hours or more and you should get a break of at least 20 minutes, which may be without pay; and that break should be towards the middle of the shift and may not be at the beginning or the end of the shift. It is not possible to privately renegotiate the law. The law is absolute on these matters, and to agree to your suggestion would put the employer in breach of the law.

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If you don't work in a safety critical role you can locally or individually negotiate with your boss to not take your lunch break and leave half hour early.

As long as you both agree to it and there's no h&s risk, It's ok.

We do this at work all the time and like you, we're not stuck to the chair for 8 hours, but we can have coffee and cigarette breaks whenever we want.

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No it is not ok, The Working Time Regulations are specific in that you cannot take your statutory break entitlement at the start or end of your duty. It has to be taken as close to the middle as you can make it. Be it you working a safety critical role or not is irrelevant, it is called 'Forseeability of harm' (Act or Omission) and Strict Liability

Edited by obiter dictum

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If you don't work in a safety critical role you can locally or individually negotiate with your boss to not take your lunch break and leave half hour early.

As long as you both agree to it and there's no h&s risk, It's ok.

We do this at work all the time and like you, we're not stuck to the chair for 8 hours, but we can have coffee and cigarette breaks whenever we want.

 

 

No, you cannot. You cannot negotiate to ignore the law of the land. If you do this all the time at work, your employer is breaking the law.

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Yes, strictly it's not permitted, but if the employee asks for it, who is gonna complain?

After all, we take a 10 minutes break every hour for smoke, food, tea, toilet, walkabout, telephone calls, etc.

It's like when a sadomasochist asks the mistress to whip him and make him bleed.

The mistress is committing an offence, but who is gonna complain about it?

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It is called strict liability and the employer will have no defence. Ignorance of the law is no defence, it treats everyone wih equal contempt

 

Laws are there to regulate conduct essential to social order and protection of its citizens. Democracy is not picking what laws we choose to comply with, or not

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It would be a very brave employer to officially sanction overriding statute, even by mutual agreement.


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It would be a very brave employer to officially sanction overriding statute, even by mutual agreement.

 

That's the key: officially.

We do this at work but it's not written anywhere and if we want we can take the lunch break whenever we wish.

In other words it's an unwritten agreement that suits us and we all do it, but the employer hasn't officially authorised it.

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The employer cannot officially endorse anything as it will be a strict liability offence.

 

If anything negative happened through the employees acts or omissions to themself or others not in the employ of the businees the employer can be held vicariously liable for the actions of the employee

 

Official policy or not under a contractual relationship

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That's the key: officially.

We do this at work but it's not written anywhere and if we want we can take the lunch break whenever we wish.

In other words it's an unwritten agreement that suits us and we all do it, but the employer hasn't officially authorised it.

 

Officially/Unofficially - it is all the same and is illegal

 

As previously written, the law is clear and unambiguous and statute cannot be overridden by local agreement. In a period of work lasting 6 hours or more, employees MUST have an uninterrupted rest break of not less than 20 minutes away from the work station. The break cannot be taken at the beginning or end of a shift unless in certain prescribed circumstances or occupations. A workforce may make a collective agreement with the employer, where such a facility exists, but the employer would still have to give compensatory rest where a normal rest break was not able to be taken

 

unwritten agreement that suits us and we all do it, but the employer hasn't officially authorised it[/Quote]

 

Just by allowing it to happen and turning a blind eye, the employer would still be liable in the event of an accident. They have a legal responsibility to ENSURE that rest breaks are taken

 

It's like when a sadomasochist asks the mistress to whip him and make him bleed. The mistress is committing an offence, but who is gonna complain about it?[/Quote]

 

The Courts, when the Mistress is facing a charge of manslaughter when that sadomasochism goes too far....


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Officially/Unofficially - it is all the same and is illegal

 

As previously written, the law is clear and unambiguous and statute cannot be overridden by local agreement. In a period of work lasting 6 hours or more, employees MUST have an uninterrupted rest break of not less than 20 minutes away from the work station. The break cannot be taken at the beginning or end of a shift unless in certain prescribed circumstances or occupations. A workforce may make a collective agreement with the employer, where such a facility exists, but the employer would still have to give compensatory rest where a normal rest break was not able to be taken

 

 

 

Just by allowing it to happen and turning a blind eye, the employer would still be liable in the event of an accident. They have a legal responsibility to ENSURE that rest breaks are taken

 

 

 

The Courts, when the Mistress is facing a charge of manslaughter when that sadomasochism goes too far....

 

That's why i said "unless you work in a safety critical role".

Call centre operatives, architects and engineers working on a computer would be very unlucky to have an accident and anyway would be best to have 10 minutes every hour and stretch your legs.

This doesn't mean that it's not illegal, but common sense in some places still exist.

 

With regards to the mistress, if the sadomasochist is only injured as he wished, I don't think he's gonna go down the nick and report her for abh/gbh...

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If you read the Working Regulations it is specific in that the 20 minute break if working six hours or more has to be taken in one bloc or it cannot be classed as a break.

 

As it is a statutory minimum requirement on the employer i cannot see why you are trying to justify in diminishing that right intended for the protection of the employee and those affected by the employees actions

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If you read the Working Regulations it is specific in that the 20 minute break if working six hours or more has to be taken in one bloc or it cannot be classed as a break.

 

As it is a statutory minimum requirement on the employer i cannot see why you are trying to justify in diminishing that right intended for the protection of the employee and those affected by the employees actions

 

Not trying to justify, It's just that sometimes it works in the employees favour.

I'm a fighter for workers right, so I wouldn't let this slip if we were not benefiting from it.

The employer could act by the book and give us one single 20 minutes break after 4 hour and that's it.

Instead we get 80 minutes and more in a day and we also leave half hour early.

Not being safety critical, this practice doesn't put anyone in danger and also keeps us relaxed because we know we can come and go from the desk without anyone saying anything, as long as the job is done.

I know it's illegal, but common sense should prevail sometimes.

Surely I would be peed off if my boss came up tomorrow and said no more breaks, just the contracted half hour in the middle of the shift.

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Surely I would be peed off if my boss came up tomorrow and said no more breaks, just the contracted half hour in the middle of the shift.

 

And I guess your boss - and his boss, and their boss, etc., etc., - will be rather annoyed when one peed off employee reports them? It only takes one report. One employee who think they were badly treated. One peeved employee. And the employer faces legal action because they are breaking the law. It does not matter what your justification for it is, or whether it is "common sense" or not. The law does not make exceptions.

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wow

 

This has been very interesting thank you all

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