An employee works from 9am to 4pm. The job is not very demanding in terms of physical effort or complexity etc. The employee is paid for 7 hours and does not take a long break. They may take a short break of say 10 minutes at mid day. The employee and the employer is very happy to continue to work these arrangements. Must the employer insist the employee take at least a 20 minute break as set out in the Working Time Regulations or is it acceptable under law because both parties are happy to continue the current position?Posted in : First Tuesday Q&A NI on 1 March 2011
As you’ve highlighted, the NI Working Time Regulations stipulate that employers must allow workers a rest break of 20 minutes when working more than six hours per day.
Employers must ensure that workers can take their rest periods or breaks but are not required to force workers to take them. Workers can elect to work through a rest period or break, provided they do not risk their own or others' health or safety.
It is only when an employer requires the worker to work during a break or rest period that the worker has to be offered compensatory rest. If the worker chooses to work through the break or rest period, or is offered compensatory rest but refuses to take it, there is no further
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Back to Q&A's This article is correct at 02/09/2015
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