It hasnt happened yet - I just feel that this is coming next (forewarned is fore armed).
We get a couple of sandwich delivery people in and a few people go to local supermarkets. We have a kitchen area where people heat up food/soup etc. Meeting rooms arent really an option because we dont have enough as it is.
Apparently there is a seating area for 5 or 6 somewhere (never seen it!) but I'm not sure how that is going to work for over 100 people in the office!
I actually prefer to eat at my desk so that I can surf the net.
While employers arent supposed to pick and choose which regs to follow, they do. They are getting away with it at the moment because employees dont feel happy about complaining.
Our problem is that we are in one of those shared buildings on a business park - different companies on different floors. I suspect that a lot of the rules are largely ignored especially at the moment where the company feels that it has the whip hand.
You want the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regs 1992:
Facilities for rest and to eat meals
25.(1) Suitable and sufficient rest facilities shall be provided at readily accessible places. (2) Rest facilities provided by virtue of paragraph (1) shall (a)where necessary for reasons of health or safety include, in the case of a new workplace, an extension or a conversion, rest facilities provided in one or more rest rooms, or, in other cases, in rest rooms or rest areas; (b)include suitable facilities to eat meals where food eaten in the workplace would otherwise be likely to become contaminated. (3) Rest rooms and rest areas shall include suitable arrangements to protect non-smokers from discomfort caused by tobacco smoke. (4) Suitable facilities shall be provided for any person at work who is a pregnant woman or nursing mother to rest. (5) Suitable and sufficient facilities shall be provided for persons at work to eat meals where meals are regularly eaten in the workplace.
There arent really any options other than sitting in the car (we are on a business park).
Problem is that they have started introducing a couple of fairly petty rules with 'maintaining a professional appearance' one of the stated reasons. I can see eating at desks falling victim to another note from the 'headmaster' (the way the new rules were expressed made us all feel like naughty school children!)