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  • FIRST POST
    • lcfcstephen
    • By lcfcstephen 13th Oct 16, 1:56 PM
    • 93Posts
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    lcfcstephen
    Legality of lunch break
    • #1
    • 13th Oct 16, 1:56 PM
    Legality of lunch break 13th Oct 16 at 1:56 PM
    My Wife has been offered a job in which the hours are 9:00 -17:30 Monday - Thursday, and 9:00 - 17:00 on Friday. In the interview the lady mentioned working half hour lunch breaks as there was no cover. When queried about this upon receieving the offer letter shes said you are entitled to an hours lunch break but would like to ask that on occasion you have your lunch at reception so queries can be dealt with by the tenants etc. I was wondering how legal this was, as to me I would expect that to have a shorter lunch break there should be some overtime involved?

    Thank you
    Mortgage Debt £65,978.70 as of 1st December
    Help to Buy Equity Loan Debt £26,799
    Total Debt: £92,777.70 of £133,995 two bed house
Page 1
    • WestonDave
    • By WestonDave 13th Oct 16, 2:01 PM
    • 4,955 Posts
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    WestonDave
    • #2
    • 13th Oct 16, 2:01 PM
    • #2
    • 13th Oct 16, 2:01 PM
    You are only entitled to a 20 minutes uninterrupted break if you work over 6 hours so asking her to occasionally cut her break down to half an hour wouldn't necessarily be a problem from that perspective. Pay for it is tricky - you could look for overtime, you could look for reciprocal flexibility (e.g. if she needs to leave early or come in late for childcare reasons or to go away for the weekend) or you could consider that the rate they are paying is sufficiently attractive that even with the reduced break its still worth it.
    Adventure before Dementia!
    • lcfcstephen
    • By lcfcstephen 13th Oct 16, 2:23 PM
    • 93 Posts
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    lcfcstephen
    • #3
    • 13th Oct 16, 2:23 PM
    • #3
    • 13th Oct 16, 2:23 PM
    You are only entitled to a 20 minutes uninterrupted break if you work over 6 hours so asking her to occasionally cut her break down to half an hour wouldn't necessarily be a problem from that perspective. Pay for it is tricky - you could look for overtime, you could look for reciprocal flexibility (e.g. if she needs to leave early or come in late for childcare reasons or to go away for the weekend) or you could consider that the rate they are paying is sufficiently attractive that even with the reduced break its still worth it.
    Originally posted by WestonDave
    Hi Dave,

    Thanks for this. The pay isn't great (14 per year) and so my suggestion is asking for overtime (flexibility won't work as they want her to lock up etc) I just wanted to make sure that it sounded reasonable and not being too pernickity (sp)
    Mortgage Debt £65,978.70 as of 1st December
    Help to Buy Equity Loan Debt £26,799
    Total Debt: £92,777.70 of £133,995 two bed house
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 13th Oct 16, 2:26 PM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    • #4
    • 13th Oct 16, 2:26 PM
    • #4
    • 13th Oct 16, 2:26 PM
    Agreed that the law only specifies 20 minutes break as necessary.

    I wouldnt be surprised if the employer "expects something for nothing" and not to give your wife anything for working for part of her lunchbreak. She should have something for it - either overtime money or the reciprocity mentioned (her choice which). If the employer gets awkward about paying for that time in one way or another - then I am guessing the job is NMW? If it is she might need to point out that any extra "lunchbreak" time worked would mean her hourly rate would fall beneath that NMW and they would be breaking the law.
    The unexamined life is not worth living.
    • WestonDave
    • By WestonDave 13th Oct 16, 2:32 PM
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    WestonDave
    • #5
    • 13th Oct 16, 2:32 PM
    • #5
    • 13th Oct 16, 2:32 PM
    £14k for 37 hours per week is £7.27. £14k for 39.5 hours per week (half hour lunches with the other half worked) is £6.81 which is below the £7.20 Living Wage threshold.
    Adventure before Dementia!
    • Noctu
    • By Noctu 13th Oct 16, 2:37 PM
    • 1,476 Posts
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    Noctu
    • #6
    • 13th Oct 16, 2:37 PM
    • #6
    • 13th Oct 16, 2:37 PM
    An employee is legally allowed to leave the workplace during their break. I'm not sure it's legal for them to stop her from doing that.
    • glentoran99
    • By glentoran99 13th Oct 16, 2:46 PM
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    glentoran99
    • #7
    • 13th Oct 16, 2:46 PM
    • #7
    • 13th Oct 16, 2:46 PM
    £14k for 37 hours per week is £7.27. £14k for 39.5 hours per week (half hour lunches with the other half worked) is £6.81 which is below the £7.20 Living Wage threshold.
    Originally posted by WestonDave
    On occasion, not everyday
    • glentoran99
    • By glentoran99 13th Oct 16, 2:47 PM
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    glentoran99
    • #8
    • 13th Oct 16, 2:47 PM
    • #8
    • 13th Oct 16, 2:47 PM
    An employee is legally allowed to leave the workplace during their break. I'm not sure it's legal for them to stop her from doing that.
    Originally posted by Noctu
    Your not "legally" entitled to a full hour lunch break though
    • glentoran99
    • By glentoran99 13th Oct 16, 2:51 PM
    • 3,717 Posts
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    glentoran99
    • #9
    • 13th Oct 16, 2:51 PM
    • #9
    • 13th Oct 16, 2:51 PM
    Surely its just poor organisation that this needs done, If everybody doesn't go on lunch at the same time then there is someone to cover,


    someone goes 12.00-1300 and someone goes 13.00-1400
    • Undervalued
    • By Undervalued 13th Oct 16, 2:51 PM
    • 2,084 Posts
    • 1,776 Thanks
    Undervalued
    An employee is legally allowed to leave the workplace during their break. I'm not sure it's legal for them to stop her from doing that.
    Originally posted by Noctu
    However, as others have mentioned, you are only legally entitled to a break after 6 hours work. Anything else is a contractual matter.

    So, the employer could quite lawfully insist someones works from 9am until 3pm before they take any kind of break. Sometimes it is best not to stand on too many "rights" but exercise a bit of give an take!
    • Jackieboy
    • By Jackieboy 13th Oct 16, 2:56 PM
    • 251 Posts
    • 397 Thanks
    Jackieboy
    How many companies would think it a good thing to have someone on reception eating their sarny or reading a book?
    • lcfcstephen
    • By lcfcstephen 13th Oct 16, 3:06 PM
    • 93 Posts
    • 53 Thanks
    lcfcstephen
    THanks for all the responses. Agreed with the calculations above. She's under 25 so her minimum wage is 6.95. but it would still fall under if half hour lunches happened. The issue is the occasional aspect. It does seem odd that there is no one else - she is the only one covering the desk which is silly. Whilst I think she would be okay eating and reading during lunch at her desk, it doesn't look very professional,...
    Mortgage Debt £65,978.70 as of 1st December
    Help to Buy Equity Loan Debt £26,799
    Total Debt: £92,777.70 of £133,995 two bed house
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 13th Oct 16, 3:11 PM
    • 26,263 Posts
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    getmore4less
    how often will this not get an hour be, chances are it will turn out to be more often and then not even 1/2 hour break.

    Lock up?

    Will everyone be out of the place by 5:30/5:00 what if someone is a bit late finishing will she be waiting for them.

    39.5 full hours
    37.0 1/2 hour breaks
    34.5 full hour breaks

    £14k min wage would be
    £6.95 38.7hr
    £7.20 37.4hr

    it would not take many work through lunches or lock up a bit late to be under min wage.
    • YouAsked
    • By YouAsked 13th Oct 16, 3:37 PM
    • 95 Posts
    • 105 Thanks
    YouAsked
    My Wife has been offered a job in which the hours are 9:00 -17:30 Monday - Thursday, and 9:00 - 17:00 on Friday. In the interview the lady mentioned working half hour lunch breaks as there was no cover. When queried about this upon receieving the offer letter was this actually the contract? If so, what does the contract say?shes said you are entitled to an hours lunch break but would like to ask that on occasion you have your lunch at reception so queries can be dealt with by the tenants etc. I was wondering how legal this was, as to me I would expect that to have a shorter lunch break there should be some overtime involved?

    Thank you
    Originally posted by lcfcstephen
    I agree with everyone else that *legally* she is entitled to 20 mins per 6 hours, but if her contract gives more than this, then that is what she is entitled to.

    Now entitled to and getting are not always the same thing. There are many instances when I don't get what I am contractually entitled to but it works both ways and my employer is really flexible in return - this is worth far more to me than a rigid sticking to everything in my contract.

    I'm not clear from your post above - are there two different things being asked of her? I.e ALWAYS take half an hour lunch to provide cover (Interview) AS WELL AS sometimes eating her lunch at reception? Or are they saying OCCASIONALLY she might need to take a half hour lunch which should be eaten at reception?

    Because one is very different from the other. and the second I would say is just the general give and take you have when working with other people and so long as it's not going too far then just suck it up and get on with it and it will probably be repaid in other ways (leaving early occasionally etc). If it's the first one, then I don't think it's great to have an ongoing variance - from day 1 - in contractual terms and what you actually work and I would be thinking "hold on, what else is going to be asked of me?".
    • Mersey
    • By Mersey 13th Oct 16, 4:21 PM
    • 1,246 Posts
    • 566 Thanks
    Mersey
    Your not "legally" entitled to a full hour lunch break though
    Originally posted by glentoran99


    Contractually (civil law) she is, as others have suggested. ["she said you are entitled to an hour's lunch break" which is standard]


    But no, she isn't entitled to an hour by virtue of an Act of Parliament.
    Please be polite to OPs and remember this is a site for Claimants and Appellants to seek redress against their bank, ex-boss or retailer. If they wanted morality or the view of the IoD or Bank they'd ask them.
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 13th Oct 16, 6:06 PM
    • 2,735 Posts
    • 4,277 Thanks
    sangie595
    Can't disagree with anything that has been said, but I would underline one point. Under 25 (youth unemployment is still very high - and those figures are up to 24 years), and she's been offered a job (so hasn't started work there yet). And she requires two years employment for any sort of right. Even if the employer is taking advantage, I think I'd seriously consider letting the odd half hour slide. Now is not the time to start talking about rights. Now is the time to keep head down, and join a union. It may not be palatable advice, but it's good advice! If things don't work out well, look for another job by all means, whilst tucking a decent reference from this one under your belt. Have your union membership in your pocket in case you need it sometime when things do get bad, because, like insurance, it's too late to take it out after the fire has started!
    • ohreally
    • By ohreally 13th Oct 16, 7:44 PM
    • 5,726 Posts
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    ohreally
    I agree with everyone else that *legally* she is entitled to 20 mins per 6 hours
    Originally posted by YouAsked
    Not so......
    Imagination is a mental faculty that serves as a coping mechanism for those who can't or won't accept reality - unicorns and dragons and wives who don't nag, are all figments of the "imagination".

    Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank and he can rob the world.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 13th Oct 16, 7:48 PM
    • 55,986 Posts
    • 321,723 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    Top tip: NEVER take a job where you get to touch the keys. Once you can touch the keys they've got you 24/7 over a barrel ..... not to mention the extra time it's likely to involve and the extra stress (half way home: sure I locked up, I KNOW I locked up, I checked ... I'd better just go back)....

    NEVER take any job that involves keys unless the job is security
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