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  • FIRST POST
    • squigglebit
    • By squigglebit 9th Apr 18, 2:21 PM
    • 39Posts
    • 3Thanks
    squigglebit
    Advice re Unpaid lunch breaks?
    • #1
    • 9th Apr 18, 2:21 PM
    Advice re Unpaid lunch breaks? 9th Apr 18 at 2:21 PM
    Our company is undergoing a restructure.

    My current role means I will need to stay onsite during my lunch break incase I am required to deal with a customer complaint that can no longer be dealt with by the levels below
    Me.

    As my lunch break (1 hour per contractual entitlement) is unpaid. Can my company legally dictate what I do with this hour? I.e not leaving the premises
Page 1
    • matt1976
    • By matt1976 9th Apr 18, 2:37 PM
    • 10 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    matt1976
    • #2
    • 9th Apr 18, 2:37 PM
    • #2
    • 9th Apr 18, 2:37 PM
    How long have you been with your company?
    Worked in motor finance for 15 years
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 9th Apr 18, 3:35 PM
    • 4,883 Posts
    • 5,217 Thanks
    TELLIT01
    • #3
    • 9th Apr 18, 3:35 PM
    • #3
    • 9th Apr 18, 3:35 PM
    I don't see how a company can dictate how you spend your time if it's unpaid. If they are planning to pay a retainer for staying on site make sure the figure is worth while for you, given the inconvenience it will cause.
    • Gavin83
    • By Gavin83 9th Apr 18, 3:46 PM
    • 5,118 Posts
    • 8,323 Thanks
    Gavin83
    • #4
    • 9th Apr 18, 3:46 PM
    • #4
    • 9th Apr 18, 3:46 PM
    Last time a similar question was asked on here it led to a heated debate and an established member getting banned....

    To sum up the results of that debate there is nothing to suggest either way that they can/can't dictate where you spend your lunchtime. It's up to you if you wish to be the first person to drag this through the courts to get a definite answer.
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 9th Apr 18, 4:24 PM
    • 32,035 Posts
    • 19,222 Thanks
    getmore4less
    • #5
    • 9th Apr 18, 4:24 PM
    • #5
    • 9th Apr 18, 4:24 PM
    Have you been making good use of your break and been unavailable on a regular basis.

    Ask them how they will compensate this new requirement.

    Something like if I have to stay on site and need to answer queries, Do I get paid or get to take a longer break or......

    Is it really not possible for the queries to be told this needs the expert they are on another call and will get back to you ASAP.

    That way they can build I flexibility for you to have breaks AND multiple queries.
    • ohreally
    • By ohreally 9th Apr 18, 6:01 PM
    • 6,610 Posts
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    ohreally
    • #6
    • 9th Apr 18, 6:01 PM
    • #6
    • 9th Apr 18, 6:01 PM
    Part of your break has a statutory element (if shift is longer than 6 hours), if this is interrupted the clock resets on the break - ask how they intend to accommodate this and how it integrates with your unpaid break.

    Union?
    • Fireflyaway
    • By Fireflyaway 9th Apr 18, 6:03 PM
    • 1,734 Posts
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    Fireflyaway
    • #7
    • 9th Apr 18, 6:03 PM
    • #7
    • 9th Apr 18, 6:03 PM
    It's not a break it your company expects you to be ' on call' for work reasons. If this were me I'd start taking breaks away from work. Go sit in your car / park / go for a walk or whatever! Seriously though, ask your manager what happens if your break is taken up by dealing with customers? Do you get the time back of get paid? It's not fair for work to restrict your free time for their gain. Can't someone be trained up sufficiently to cover? What happens if you are on holiday?
    • Smodlet
    • By Smodlet 9th Apr 18, 6:11 PM
    • 3,000 Posts
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    Smodlet
    • #8
    • 9th Apr 18, 6:11 PM
    • #8
    • 9th Apr 18, 6:11 PM
    If you are required to be "on call" you are not on a break, are you? There are laws about breaks, even in this day and age. I'd arrange essential appointments during my lunch hour every day for a month and see what happens then. If there is no-one to cover your lunch break, someone needs to look at their management or lack thereof, don't they?
    What is this life if, sweet wordsmith, we have no time to take the pith?
    Every stew starts with the first onion.
    I took it upon myself to investigate a trifle; it had custard, jelly, soggy sponge things...
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 9th Apr 18, 6:24 PM
    • 4,883 Posts
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    TELLIT01
    • #9
    • 9th Apr 18, 6:24 PM
    • #9
    • 9th Apr 18, 6:24 PM
    A few links which may help
    https://www.gov.uk/rest-breaks-work
    http://www.workplacesafetyadvice.co.uk/can-i-leave-premises-lunch-break.html
    http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=4282

    If needs be, suggest that your employer read up on the subject.
    • Kim kim
    • By Kim kim 9th Apr 18, 6:26 PM
    • 2,231 Posts
    • 3,347 Thanks
    Kim kim
    What happens when you are on leave?
    • ohreally
    • By ohreally 9th Apr 18, 6:31 PM
    • 6,610 Posts
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    ohreally
    http://www.workplacesafetyadvice.co.uk/can-i-leave-premises-lunch-break.htmlt.
    Originally posted by TELLIT01
    I'd take this with a pinch of salt, they are advising incorrectly...

    by law you are allowed a 20-minute break for every six hours you work
    .
    Donít be a canít, be a can.
    • bugslet
    • By bugslet 9th Apr 18, 6:31 PM
    • 6,124 Posts
    • 29,496 Thanks
    bugslet
    As an employer, my view is that if I'm not paying my staff, they are free to go and do whatever they want.
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 9th Apr 18, 7:34 PM
    • 4,883 Posts
    • 5,217 Thanks
    TELLIT01
    ohreally, your comment in #11 suggests that you think the other two are giving correct information. I would hope so as one is the government website, and the other ACAS.
    Paraphrasing the content, basically somebody is entitled to do what they want in an unpaid break unless there is a Health & Safety issue. That would not seem to apply to being there to handle a customer complaint.
    • ohreally
    • By ohreally 9th Apr 18, 7:39 PM
    • 6,610 Posts
    • 5,103 Thanks
    ohreally
    ohreally, your comment in #11 suggests that you think the other two are giving correct information. I would hope so as one is the government website, and the other ACAS.
    Paraphrasing the content, basically somebody is entitled to do what they want in an unpaid break unless there is a Health & Safety issue. That would not seem to apply to being there to handle a customer complaint.
    Originally posted by TELLIT01
    I took a random dip into one of the links and found the incorrect info within a few seconds.

    As to the veracity of the others, I couldn't comment.
    Donít be a canít, be a can.
    • ScarletMarble
    • By ScarletMarble 9th Apr 18, 9:46 PM
    • 7,652 Posts
    • 13,815 Thanks
    ScarletMarble
    How do they cope if you are away from work - such as annual leave, sickness or if you away from the building on other work commitments?
    • C_Mababejive
    • By C_Mababejive 9th Apr 18, 10:18 PM
    • 10,434 Posts
    • 9,420 Thanks
    C_Mababejive
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1998/1833/regulation/12/made
    Feudal Britain needs land reform. 70% of the land is "owned" by 1 % of the population and at least 50% is unregistered (inherited by landed gentry). Thats why your slave box costs so much..
    • keepcalmandstayoutofdebt
    • By keepcalmandstayoutofdebt 9th Apr 18, 11:06 PM
    • 3,189 Posts
    • 1,673 Thanks
    keepcalmandstayoutofdebt
    Do your customers not get breaks?

    Turn up the health and safety concern - one company I'd worked at had a lunch sign in and out register moreso after the London tragedy last year when there was a fire.

    I go to lunch - I tell myself I've no wish to use the company computer for personal use, I've no desire to stink out a professional work place with my choice of lunch, the job is enough at 35 hours per week when you are on your own and nature of the work albeit fortunately my customers recognise lunch but all companies are different so you are best having it out direct with your employer.

    Do you have to do unpaid over time end of day? If this is one of them types of company would lunch working kind of enable you to go on time.
    "If you are caught in a rainstorm, once you accept that you'll receive a soaking, the only thing left to do is enjoy the walk"
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