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  • FIRST POST
    • Jaydenholt123
    • By Jaydenholt123 9th Feb 18, 12:15 PM
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    Jaydenholt123
    Leaving site on Lunch breaks
    • #1
    • 9th Feb 18, 12:15 PM
    Leaving site on Lunch breaks 9th Feb 18 at 12:15 PM
    At my place of employment I am a first aider and I am being told that as they pay me extra (50) money I am not allowed to leave site when on the first aid rota? Is this right? Can they pay me more but take away my right to leave the building on my lunch break?
Page 2
    • happyandcontented
    • By happyandcontented 9th Feb 18, 5:24 PM
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    happyandcontented
    Please find the actual law that says this - not a link to an opinion. What you agree with is irrelevant. I have stated the law as it stands. There is nothing in the law that says you can, or can't, leave the premises. Whether you or Curly Sue like it is irrelevant, and I'm perfectly fine with her ignoring me. Really, I'm supposed to care?

    Where do the Working Time Regulations say this? Just in case you'd like to make it easier to find, I've provided a link here: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1998/1833/regulation/12/made

    Oh look at that. It says exactly what I said it says. Can't see the bit that says you can spend it anywhere you like. Happy for you or CurlySue to provide me with that link.
    Originally posted by sangie595
    Would you not say that as there is nothing "specified" in law re whether you can/can't leave the premises then it comes down to "reasonableness"? Under the circumstances of the OP it would indeed be unreasonable for them to take the extra payment and then leave the premises when they are on first aid duty.

    However, under normal circumstances when your lunch break is unpaid it would be entirely reasonable to do so and would be unreasonable of the employer to prevent you doing so unless it was a one-off occasion and for good reason.

    If an employer could not give such a reason then I suspect a tribunal would find against them if they regularly insisted on an employee remaining on premises on their unpaid lunch break.
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 9th Feb 18, 6:09 PM
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    sangie595
    Would you not say that as there is nothing "specified" in law re whether you can/can't leave the premises then it comes down to "reasonableness"? Under the circumstances of the OP it would indeed be unreasonable for them to take the extra payment and then leave the premises when they are on first aid duty.

    However, under normal circumstances when your lunch break is unpaid it would be entirely reasonable to do so and would be unreasonable of the employer to prevent you doing so unless it was a one-off occasion and for good reason.

    If an employer could not give such a reason then I suspect a tribunal would find against them if they regularly insisted on an employee remaining on premises on their unpaid lunch break.
    Originally posted by happyandcontented
    Reasonableness is not something that anyone can bet on. What I, or you, or the bloke down the road, think is reasonable is not what the law says or might determine. There are a lot of employers who do insist that lunch breaks are taken on the premises, and there always have been. Not the majority, but certainly enough. Some make it a contractual condition, and you accept it or there's no job. For some its policy - which can very easily, in law, become contractual anyway. Then there's custom and practice. But the fact is that such rules already exist in a number of places, and yet there is not a single piece of case law on this. On that basis I am not willing to tell anyone that they have a right to do something which there is no evidence or law to support. Perhaps others are comfortable with doing that, but I prefer to tell people facts and let them form their own opinions - not provide my opinion and let them think it's a fact.

    Your comments are fair - but guesses based on supposition. A case would come down to specifics. And so far there isn't a case. Presumably because nobody is stupid enough to risk their job over where they eat their sandwich. Or maybe because, as in the OPs case, there's a patently reasonable explanation for the rule??? I believe, for example, that a number of people at Sellafield aren't allowed to leave the premises for lunch. Nuclear meltdown being so inconvenient to anyone living in the North of England and south of Scotland. On a more common circumstance, in the care industry, many care homes and facilities insist that all breaks are taken on the premises because, in legal terms, people leaving the site can reduce head count for staff to patient ratio below allowed levels on site.

    So it's all down to specifics, and on some purely theoretical level with no specific information, and assuming a tribunal claim were made, I'm not willing to guess what the decision might be. But there is no right to leave the premises, just as there is actually no right to stay on the premises! Telling people they have rights which don't exist is not helpful. And assuming rights that don't exist is purely foolish...

    None of which helps the OP at all, because they volunteered to be the first aider. They receive payment for the inconvenience of that. So they stay on the premises. Or give it up and surrender the payment. And maybe that might actually be best, because I'm not sure that I'd want to place my trust in the health and safety provision of a first aider, who, having agreed to provide this and taken the money, doesn't want to be there when I need it because it's inconvenient to them!
    • happyandcontented
    • By happyandcontented 9th Feb 18, 6:24 PM
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    happyandcontented
    Yes, all the instances you have quoted would be reasonable, as I agreed the OP didn't have an issue as it was a perfectly reasonable expectation.

    However, the vast majority of us do jobs where public safety is not an issue and where we have not contractually agreed to remain on premises during lunch break so it was those employers/employees I referred to. There will always be exceptions, which is why they are designated as such.
    • Gavin83
    • By Gavin83 9th Feb 18, 6:43 PM
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    Gavin83
    No I won't be telling you that. But I am telling you that the law allows an employer to refuse workers the right to leave the premises during breaks. Your opinion on that matter is irrelevant.
    Originally posted by sangie595
    This website disagrees with you:

    http://www.workplacesafetyadvice.co.uk/can-i-leave-premises-lunch-break.html

    as does this one:

    http://www.welfareatwork.co.uk/taking-a-break-at-work-what-are-your-rights.html

    And despite what you say above the law doesn't allow an employer to stop employees leaving the premises. However I take your point that the law isn't clear on this and it doesn't say they can't stop them leaving either and until someone actually takes it to court we'll remain in this limbo. My opinion on this is as relevant or as irrelevant as yours until someone decides to challenge this and it's set in stone.

    For a care home would a person on a break be considered as part of the head count considering they're not technically working? I appreciate an employer can recall you from your break but the employer has to allow the employee to take a break if they're working the necessary hours so at some point in the working day they have to be unavailable by law.

    But in the OPs case, given they are being paid to be available I see nothing wrong with this. If they'd rather leave the premises it appears they could just give up the first aid position.
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 9th Feb 18, 6:50 PM
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    TELLIT01
    Sangie has finally admitted that there is nothing in law to say staff may not leave the premises during their lunch break. That, presumably, because he couldn't find the non-existant piece of legislation which says that a company can stop people leaving the premises for unpaid breaks.
    It would be perfectly reasonable to expect somebody who is being paid extra for First Aid duties to stay on site - they are being paid.
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 9th Feb 18, 7:22 PM
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    sangie595
    Sangie has finally admitted that there is nothing in law to say staff may not leave the premises during their lunch break. That, presumably, because he couldn't find the non-existant piece of legislation which says that a company can stop people leaving the premises for unpaid breaks.
    It would be perfectly reasonable to expect somebody who is being paid extra for First Aid duties to stay on site - they are being paid.
    Originally posted by TELLIT01
    I have admitted no such thing. I have repeatedly referred to what the law and not opinion says. She had quoted exactly what the legislation says and linked to that legislation. You are all quoting opinion with no legal backing. I'm still waiting for the law that confirms your position. A law that does not exist.
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 9th Feb 18, 7:23 PM
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    sangie595
    This website disagrees with you:

    http://www.workplacesafetyadvice.co.uk/can-i-leave-premises-lunch-break.html

    as does this one:

    http://www.welfareatwork.co.uk/taking-a-break-at-work-what-are-your-rights.html

    And despite what you say above the law doesn't allow an employer to stop employees leaving the premises. However I take your point that the law isn't clear on this and it doesn't say they can't stop them leaving either and until someone actually takes it to court we'll remain in this limbo. My opinion on this is as relevant or as irrelevant as yours until someone decides to challenge this and it's set in stone.

    For a care home would a person on a break be considered as part of the head count considering they're not technically working? I appreciate an employer can recall you from your break but the employer has to allow the employee to take a break if they're working the necessary hours so at some point in the working day they have to be unavailable by law.

    But in the OPs case, given they are being paid to be available I see nothing wrong with this. If they'd rather leave the premises it appears they could just give up the first aid position.
    Originally posted by Gavin83
    Find law. Not opinion.
    • 74jax
    • By 74jax 9th Feb 18, 7:25 PM
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    74jax
    Sangie has finally admitted that there is nothing in law to say staff may not leave the premises during their lunch break. .
    Originally posted by TELLIT01
    Where ????
    Forty and fabulous, well that's what my cards say....
    • happyandcontented
    • By happyandcontented 9th Feb 18, 7:26 PM
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    happyandcontented
    Please find the actual law that says this - not a link to an opinion. What you agree with is irrelevant. I have stated the law as it stands. There is nothing in the law that says you can, or can't, leave the premises. Whether you or Curly Sue like it is irrelevant, and I'm perfectly fine with her ignoring me. Really, I'm supposed to care?

    Where do the Working Time Regulations say this? Just in case you'd like to make it easier to find, I've provided a link here: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1998/1833/regulation/12/made

    Oh look at that. It says exactly what I said it says. Can't see the bit that says you can spend it anywhere you like. Happy for you or CurlySue to provide me with that link.
    Originally posted by sangie595
    This is what you said, which seems quite clear to me.
    • Gavin83
    • By Gavin83 9th Feb 18, 7:53 PM
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    Gavin83
    There is no such law just as there is no law that says employers can force you to stay on premise. But you've said this already and I agreed with you but you seemed to ignore that.

    Look, I value your contribution to this folder and the advice you give but you're all over the place on this topic. First you say that it's law an employer can force you to stay on premise, then you say no law exists either way and then you deny saying this. At least be consistent or admit when you're partially wrong.

    Anyway this topic seems to be descending into arguments and the OP has had their question answered among the rest so I'll leave it be.
    Last edited by MSE ForumTeam5; 10-02-2018 at 9:47 AM. Reason: Quoting deleted post
    • Energize
    • By Energize 9th Feb 18, 7:54 PM
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    Energize
    Yes they can. A first aider who isn't present is of no use whatsoever. If you want to go your own way, then you may resign as a first aider, and they can pay someone else for the responsibility.

    There is no right to leave the building anyway.
    Originally posted by sangie595
    If someone is on duty as a first aider all day how can they be considered to be on a "break"?
    • Lorian
    • By Lorian 9th Feb 18, 7:59 PM
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    Lorian
    If someone is on duty as a first aider all day how can they be considered to be on a "break"?
    Originally posted by Energize
    Presumably they have to take their days off at work too.
    • LittleVoice
    • By LittleVoice 9th Feb 18, 8:11 PM
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    LittleVoice
    I wonder what period the 50 covers - annual payment or monthly or shorter period? I also wonder whether the work environment is one where a first aider has to be present. Perhaps we will never know as the opening post is the only one this new poster has made.
    • Detroit
    • By Detroit 9th Feb 18, 8:23 PM
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    Detroit
    It seems pretty clear to me that Sangie is explaining that the law does not say employees are entitled to leave the premises for breaks.

    Equally, the law does not say employees can't leave the premises.

    On the matter of leaving the premises, the law is silent. Therefore rights come down to the contract.

    The OP wants to know if they are entitled to leave the premises. Sangie correctly advised there is no law giving them the right to do so.


    Put your hands up.
    • JReacher1
    • By JReacher1 9th Feb 18, 8:33 PM
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    JReacher1
    I am not sure why people are getting so fraught about the law as it is irrelevant here.

    Being a first aider is voluntary and you get paid for it. If you want to do the role then there are conditions attached and one of those is that you cannot leave the site during your breaks.

    If you want to leave the site when you are on the first aid Rota then you obviously can but then they very likely will take the first aid role off you.

    Personally I think it is a sensible policy as if I need a first aider at work I would prefer they were onsite!
    • ScarletMarble
    • By ScarletMarble 9th Feb 18, 8:44 PM
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    ScarletMarble
    This why my work has several first aiders. Covers for annual leave, days off, being away for meetings etc.

    The 50 payment is yearly. I have been approached several times if I would like to train to be a first aider. I have declined as it's not enough and got a fear of blood
    • pete-20-11
    • By pete-20-11 9th Feb 18, 8:53 PM
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    pete-20-11
    This why my work has several first aiders. Covers for annual leave, days off, being away for meetings etc.

    The 50 payment is yearly. I have been approached several times if I would like to train to be a first aider. I have declined as it's not enough and got a fear of blood
    Originally posted by ScarletMarble
    Yeah, and what if the first aider has an accident.

    Clearly need more than one first aider!
    • Energize
    • By Energize 9th Feb 18, 9:21 PM
    • 434 Posts
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    Energize
    Wow, 34 a year after tax for effectively working an extra 30mins a day no thanks!
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 9th Feb 18, 11:53 PM
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    Savvy_Sue
    To the OP: are there multiple First Aiders, and is there any kind of agreement about how many must be on the premises at any one time? Would this mean that if you particularly wanted to leave the premises, you could check that another was available?

    We have several, but we're a small organisation, not high risk. Perhaps we should have some kind of record to ensure that there is a first aider on site at all times, but we don't. Equally we don't pay extra ...
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    • elsien
    • By elsien 10th Feb 18, 12:03 AM
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    elsien
    Wow, 34 a year after tax for effectively working an extra 30mins a day no thanks!
    Originally posted by Energize
    The OP mentions a first aid rota, so they're not doing it every day. Seems silly to agree to be paid then quibble about having to stay on the premises when quite clearly you can't carry out the role if you're not there. Be interesting to know how often the 50 covers though.
    Last edited by elsien; 10-02-2018 at 12:06 AM.
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