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lawsolved, Attorney
Category: UK Law
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Experience:  Immigration, Employment and general Commercial law experience
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Does 11 hour minimum rest period have to be between shifts

Resolved Question:

I am an employee working on the ground at an airport. Our hours of operation are between 0500 and 2300, with most shift patterns finishing at about 2030. We do not do night work.

Voluntary overtime can result in an employee working from 0600 to 2100 or finishing at 2100 and starting the next day at 0600. The latter can also result from voluntary shift swaps to suit an individuals commitments outside of work

My company has introduced a policy whereby one can no longer work shifts which infringe on the 11 hour minimum rest period. They interpret the law as being 11 hours between shifts.

We wish to continue to do certain shifts and overtime regardless of the gap between one shift and the next.

In my industry activity is both seasonally effected (busy in summer quiet in winter) and has peaks in activity during the day (activity is intense at 06 08 10 14 18 and 2000 hrs)

The working Time Directive article 10(1) states that workers must receive an un-interrupted period of 11 hours rest in a 24 hour period.

Article 21 provides exceptions to 10(1) in the case of industries with peaks in activity.

I have read on Govt websites that 11 hours of rest must be provided BETWEEN shifts but the terminology of the laws state that it must be in a period of 24 hours.

Which is correct and what can we as employees do to satisfy our requirement of individual choice.

Many thanks.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  lawsolved replied 8 years ago.

Under the Working Time Regulations, every worker is required to have a break of 11 consecutive hours or more in every 24 hour period, see the text of the Directive here:

Good luck

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I am aware of that thanks. I have a copy of the legslation.

I am interested in why certain websites state that this must be between the end of one shift and the start of the next one the day after. For example.....

"Daily rest - a break between working days

If you are an adult worker you have the right to a break of at least 11 hours between working days. This means as an adult worker, if you finish work at 8.00 pm on Monday you should not start work until 7.00 am on Tuesday."


..........sourced from the following website:

Is this assertion in any way supported or inferred from article 10(1) of the Working time directive, and can a company force employees to comply with this interpretation?

Expert:  lawsolved replied 8 years ago.
You (and the company) need to worry about what is in the actual Directive, not what is stated in the websites-I don't know why the website states differently-I certainly didn't write the website.

Good luck
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