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Uk - Anyone Know Laws Regarding Getting A Lunch Break?

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Lunch has never been easy at work, the owner will often make snide comments if we take lunch but not allout ban us taking it. (Snide comments like Your obviously not commited to the company)

Regardless of this he takes lunch!

Now we have a new regime ... he has decided lunch is unhealthy ... and decided breakfast is not (some thing makes me think due to his wife criticising his waistline) so now he has gone out and provided us with breakfast...

Well, if you call mixed cereals, biscuits and stuff as 'breakfast', he even bought me free-from cakes and biscuits.

Today I missed lunch (again) .. its at least 3 days a week even trying to schedule it in I'll get told to do something immediately just as I'm about to take lunch, today it was by phone ..

So he waltzes back into the office at 4PM (doubtless having had lunch himself) and asks if everyone got breakfast...

I retorted I'd rather be able to take lunch to which I was told lunch is unhealthy...

The net result of this is I can no longer even buy my own lunch from Sainsburys and use the kitchenette safely... I long ago gave up trying to actually take a lunch break ... now I can't eve bring my own stuff and eat safely at my desk.


Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt. (JC, De Bello Gallico Liber III/XVIII)

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I'm not sure where you reside but there are laws that should be followered.If you work an 8 hour shift you are supposed to be permitted an 1/2 hour break. SOme places here in Pa give only fifteen minutes but pay the employees for the total 8 hours. Other 15 min. usual breaks are not manitory but many business' do that as an incentive.

I would call the wage & hour board in your area to find out what the law states. If he's way off base I would file a complaint. Then I would find a new employer that has some consideration for his staff........

mamaw

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I am not sure if this will help or applies to your work. Below is a website and the part that relates to work breaks. I found it by searching the internet. I have no personal knowelege of the labor laws in the U.K.

http://www.berr.gov.uk/employment/employme.../page28979.html

If a worker is required to work for more than six hours at a stretch, he or she is entitled to a rest break of 20 minutes.

The break should be taken during the six-hour period and not at the beginning or end of it. The exact time the breaks are taken is up to the employer to decide.

Employers must make sure that workers can take their rest.

Mobile workers are excluded from the usual rest break entitlements under the Working Time Regulations. Instead, these workers are entitled to 'adequate rest'.

'Adequate rest' means that workers have regular rest periods. These should be sufficiently long and continuous to ensure that fatigue or other irregular working patterns do not cause workers to injure themselves, fellow workers or others, and that they do not damage their health, either in the short term or in the longer term.

For information on when the limits may not apply see Section 8.

Top

Special rules for Young Workers

Different rules apply to young workers. If a young worker is required to work for more than four and a half hours at a stretch, he or she is entitled to a rest break of 30 minutes.

If a young worker is working for more than one employer, the time he or she is working for each one should be added together to see if they are entitled to a rest break.

A young worker


Phyllis

Gluten Free - 30 years

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In the U.S. the Fair Labor Standards Act mandates a half hour lunch (off the clock - you are free to go where you want and do what you want) if you work 6 hours or more. You are not required to take it but it is required to be offered. Most employers require you to take it because there is really no other way to prove to an auditor later that it was in fact offered. Non-compliance can result in hefty fines.

It's good to know that in the UK there is a similar law. Of course convincing your employer that compliance is cheaper and easier in the long run than non-compliance could get ugly, but stick to your guns. Here in the USA, what you describe would be called a "hostile work environment" which is another no-no.


Sandi ~ learning to live in a world obsessed and infested with wheat.

"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows" probably was not referring to us . . .

"For the love of money gluten is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs." (apologies to 1 Timothy 6:10 (NASB)

The person we most dislike is still a soul for whom Christ died. (David Jeremiah)

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In the U.S. the Fair Labor Standards Act mandates a half hour lunch (off the clock - you are free to go where you want and do what you want) if you work 6 hours or more. You are not required to take it but it is required to be offered. Most employers require you to take it because there is really no other way to prove to an auditor later that it was in fact offered. Non-compliance can result in hefty fines.

It's good to know that in the UK there is a similar law. Of course convincing your employer that compliance is cheaper and easier in the long run than non-compliance could get ugly, but stick to your guns. Here in the USA, what you describe would be called a "hostile work environment" which is another no-no.

Thanks, like you say its the 'getting ugly part'. We recently had to put in a bid for some Olympics related work which involves a whole set of "heath and safety" compliance, non of which we do of course but perhaps it would provide a vehicle to bring this in?

I know companies before (I didn't work in the UK for many years) insisted on Lunch breaks (as you say) but H&S is completely ignored at my company... we are expected to do long (stupidly long) hours... at one point I worked 1 week with perhaps 2-3 hours sleep per day and 2-3 times to eat anything at all.

Following this week I actually passed out ... thankfully at home and thankfully not alone .. but I just passed out from stood up and came round apparently 2-3 minutes later.

The problem is everything is put on us... any problems and we are expected to take care of them. At one point we were working at a client site and the manager offered us food after we had worked all through 1 day and 1 night and most of the next day with no breaks. It was declined on our behalf and we were then told if we were not allowed to eat or take a break until the job was finished. I realise this sounds far fetched but that was what we were told...

When we said we needed sleep that night we were told we were obviously "not dedicated" and I asked what time we had to turn up.. (This was at 4am) .. I was told "We start work at 9am, Ill leave it up to you...."

The more I explain this the more I wonder what the heck I'm doing!


Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt. (JC, De Bello Gallico Liber III/XVIII)

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Are you really desperate for work & money? Because I think with your qualifications there should be something better to be found, no? :huh: Or is it just that you didn't have the energy to look for something better?

I think if you could document any of this it would be grounds for some kind of lawsuit, I really can't believe that kind of work conditions are legal in the UK...but I don't know if that's something you would want to take on...

Take care of yourself will you? We want to keep benefiting from your advice here on the board you know. :D

Pauliina

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Are you really desperate for work & money? Because I think with your qualifications there should be something better to be found, no? :huh: Or is it just that you didn't have the energy to look for something better?

I think if you could document any of this it would be grounds for some kind of lawsuit, I really can't believe that kind of work conditions are legal in the UK...but I don't know if that's something you would want to take on...

Take care of yourself will you? We want to keep benefiting from your advice here on the board you know. :D

Pauliina

Paulina,

You sum it up perfectly!

I'm actually more desperate for work than money... I got myself into such a rut last year with my relationship falling apart that I ended up doing something I didn't really want to do for a change of scene and to get me out of Paris which had too many "twisted" memories.

Now the work is so draining I just struggle to keep my head afloat in the rest of my life.

I know I should, I make excuses to myself each night because I'm just so exhausted .. both mentally and physically.


Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt. (JC, De Bello Gallico Liber III/XVIII)

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Steve,

Can you at least carry some things on you--like a safe energy bar type thing in your pockets? I think it's awful that you're expected to work such grueling hours, and I really understand you're wanting a change of scenery after last year. (and maybe even a little immersing yourself in your work?)

I'm just thinking that until things change, a little nutrition on the run is better than none at all--and passing out!


Patti

"Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans"

"When people show you who they are, believe them"--Maya Angelou

"Bloom where you are planted"--Bev

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Steve,

Can you at least carry some things on you--like a safe energy bar type thing in your pockets? I think it's awful that you're expected to work such grueling hours, and I really understand you're wanting a change of scenery after last year. (and maybe even a little immersing yourself in your work?)

I'm just thinking that until things change, a little nutrition on the run is better than none at all--and passing out!

Thanks and you are of course correct .... I guess I'm a little too gullible in the "Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me" ...

I keep resolving to carry energy bars and stuff but everything at work is always SO last minute and SO little planning...

I might go in in morning and then at 10am my boss might tell me I'm going to the other side of the country at 10:30! Just like that... and I'll be told its just a little job... but it never is... there are always stupid complications and I end up getting home at midnight..

Or I get sent to one site and then I'm about to come home and get sent to another..then another... (this is what happened for the week without sleep more or less)...

So I build up stocks in my desk then miss lunch because I get asked to do something priority ... so I end up nibbling on my emergency travel food and not having time to replace it... get home totally whacked out and don't force myself to go and replace the food... then whoosh, I'm off and no food to take.

It would be different if I could plan.... but all my planning gets micromanaged without any visible grasp of geography... for instance I'm sent one place then the other end of the country then back to 50 miles from the first place... because for instance the towns sort alphabetically that way!

So everything is last minute, rush here already late, rush the job and go to the next ... which leaves little time to get safe food.


Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt. (JC, De Bello Gallico Liber III/XVIII)

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You are working for a tyrant and a bully. What you describe cannot be legal! :o

Are you keeping a log? Would other employees back up what you say if you blew the whistle? Do you have any laws protecting whistle-blowers? This sounds like a never-ending hell!


Sandi ~ learning to live in a world obsessed and infested with wheat.

"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows" probably was not referring to us . . .

"For the love of money gluten is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs." (apologies to 1 Timothy 6:10 (NASB)

The person we most dislike is still a soul for whom Christ died. (David Jeremiah)

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Steve, it sounds like you need to find yourself better work! This is ridiculous, and is ruining your health.


I am a German citizen, married to a Canadian 29 years, four daughters, one son, seven granddaughters and four grandsons, with one more grandchild on the way in July 2009.

Intolerant to all lectins (including gluten), nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant) and salicylates.

Asperger Syndrome, Tourette Syndrome, Addison's disease (adrenal insufficiency), hypothyroidism, fatigue syndrome, asthma

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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Steve, it sounds like you need to find yourself better work! This is ridiculous, and is ruining your health.

I agree--something's gonna give sooner or later, and I'd hate to see it be your health or safety. ;)


Patti

"Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans"

"When people show you who they are, believe them"--Maya Angelou

"Bloom where you are planted"--Bev

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Thanks and you are of course correct .... I guess I'm a little too gullible in the "Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me" ...

I keep resolving to carry energy bars and stuff but everything at work is always SO last minute and SO little planning...

I might go in in morning and then at 10am my boss might tell me I'm going to the other side of the country at 10:30! Just like that... and I'll be told its just a little job... but it never is... there are always stupid complications and I end up getting home at midnight..

Or I get sent to one site and then I'm about to come home and get sent to another..then another... (this is what happened for the week without sleep more or less)...

So I build up stocks in my desk then miss lunch because I get asked to do something priority ... so I end up nibbling on my emergency travel food and not having time to replace it... get home totally whacked out and don't force myself to go and replace the food... then whoosh, I'm off and no food to take.

It would be different if I could plan.... but all my planning gets micromanaged without any visible grasp of geography... for instance I'm sent one place then the other end of the country then back to 50 miles from the first place... because for instance the towns sort alphabetically that way!

So everything is last minute, rush here already late, rush the job and go to the next ... which leaves little time to get safe food.

I agree with the other posts, you should consider getting a new job.

In the mean time, if you don't do this already you might consider keeping a small backpack (maybe more than one) with you at all times that is filled with gluten free food non-parishable food. Set a day each week to refill the backpack(s) when you think you will have time.

I am not sure if these trips are by yourself or if this is possible but you might consider stopping on the way to the job an pick something up to eat. This could be a grocery store or any place with fast gluten free food. If you go to the same places on a regular basis it would be easier because you are familiar with the area. Even if you have people with you they might agree to stop because it maybe their only chance to get food based on what you have explained.

Hope everything improves for you.


Phyllis

Gluten Free - 30 years

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