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My 22 year old son works as a waiter in a local restaurant (serving at tables, behind the bar, cleaning etc).

He has type 1 diabetes...
My 22 year old son works as a waiter in a local restaurant (serving at tables, behind the bar, cleaning etc). He has type 1 diabetes of which his employer is aware. He works long hours, sometimes 13 hour shifts. He is given the statutory 20 minutes break but does require, when feeling unwell due to the nature of the business to check his blood sugars and if necessary take time to treat a hypo.

The management are currently checking staff breaks and he is wondering whether there is a legal requirement for them to allow him to take breaks to check his blood sugars and administer treatment should it be necessary and what is the actual law regarding working hours?

Many thanks
Mary
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Answered in 1 minute by:
6/20/2014
Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50,174
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor
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Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Are you also concerned he is working excessive hours?

Customer:

He does work long hours, but as this is his only job at present (he is an intern) he does have time off, but I believe he should have a certain amount of time off between shifts ie working 9.30am Saturday to 1.00am Sunday, then going back in at 9.30am Sunday is excessive,

Ben Jones :

ok thanks let me get my response ready please

Ben Jones :

His rights in relation to working time and hours are as follows:



  • He is entitled to uninterrupted rest breaks of 20 minutes for every 6 hours of work, so if he works a 13-hour shift he can expect at least two 20-minute breaks.

  • He is also entitled to daily rest of 11 hours between working, so for example if he finishes at midnight, he cannot be expected back into work until at least 11am the next day.

  • He also gets weekly rest which must be a 24-hour period without work every week, or it could be a 48 hour period every 2 weeks


 


He will have additional rights in relation to his medical situation. As someone who is suffering from diabetes he is likely to be classified as disabled under employment law. As such his employer has a duty to make reasonable adjustments to assist him as necessary in work if he is likely to be placed at a disadvantage when compared to non-disabled employees. A common adjustment could be to allow him extra breaks as needed so he can administer medication, or if he does not physically feel able to work to his full potential. Not only that, but it is also going to be a health and safety issue because the employer has a legal duty to ensure the health and safety of its employees and by refusing him an opportunity to deal with his condition and manage it they could easily be exposing him to unnecessary risks at work and affect his health and wellbeing.

Customer:

Thank you for that information, that is a lot clearer.

Customer:

How would he be able to inforce any of this though?

Ben Jones :

He needs to approach the employer to remind them of his rights. If nothing improves then he can consider the formal grievance route - it is basically a formal internal complaint. If that still does not help then he can consider either resigning and claiming constructive dismissal or disability discrimination, or the same could happen if they dismissed him as a result. But in the end if the employer flatly refuses to do anything he will have to consider whether he wants to stay there and bear this or leave and pursue his rights through the tribunal

Customer:

Great thanks for your help.

Customer:

Hopefully it won't come to this but at least we know.

Customer:

Thanks again

Ben Jones :

Hope so too, all the best

Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50,174
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor
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Customer reply replied 3 years ago

Hi so sorry need the answer to one more question that I forgot.


 


Does he need to sign out/clock back in if he needs a medical breaks?


 


Thank You so much

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Customer reply replied 3 years ago

If he does have to sign in/out these breaks will be unpaid (the payroll is processed by Head Office), Would this not be discrimination as he will be losing part of his salary?

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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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