my work regularly make me work for 5 and a half hours without a break (in a cleanroom, so no access to water or a toilet). I understand this to be illegal under employment law and am looking for clarificaion, I am getting in trouble for raising the issue and fear the sack. i am 36. thanks
Province/Country relating to question: scotland
reading about employment law, they say as i work a 7 and a half hour shift (as oppose to 6 hours) my break is ok. even if i have to take it almost as soon as i get to work. today - start at 8, 20 min break about 9.30 then worked to 15.30, took my unpaid hour lunch to leave at that time as oppose to half four
Hello and thank you for your question, which I will be happy to assist you with. Please let me know if you are saying that you can't even take toilet breaks?
no toilet breaks, stuck in a cleanroom
they say you can but its frowned on and you have collegues left in longer waiting on you
You are entitled to a 20-minute uninterrupted rest break away from your workstation if you work more than 6 hours. So even if you worked for 11 hours you are still only entitled to 20mins break, but let's say if you worked for 12.5 hours then it would increase to 40 mins.In terms of toilet breaks, the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations require employers to provide "suitable and sufficient sanitary conveniences" at "readily accessible places". However there is no specific law which specifically gives employees the right to take time off work to go to the lavatory. Saying that, it would be a right that is implied into any employment contract and an employee cannot be refused to go to the toilet if it is necessary.
the toilet break thing isnt the main issue for me, its the 5 and a half hours without a break, i find it a test of endurance and i can have to do it 4 times a week, i thought it was under employment law that you have to get a 20 minute break for ANY 6 hour period which is not to be taken at the start or end. so 5 and a half hours = me taking my break at start or end of the six hour period. although my shift is 7 and a half hours
Not quite. The actual wording id "Where an adult worker’s daily working time is more than six hours, he is entitled to a rest break." It is usually taken as the overall working time, not every 6 hour period.
so they are within their right
legally, yes. But if you are having difficulties with the current system and that has an impact on your health then you can challenge this under health and safety regulations
ohhh, that maybe the way to go as i usually am working with either slightly or massively cytotoxic drugs, such as cancer treatments. Thanks for your help. Think its time for a new job.
My pleasure. Unless you need further help, I would be grateful if you could please quickly click to rate the service I have provided you with before leaving and choose one of the following options: OK Service, Good Service or Excellent Service. If you feel the need to leave a lower rating, please reply to me first with any further questions you have. I will be happy to assist further and clarify anything you need me to. Thank you
thanks, will do
Expert in UK Employment Law
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