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To think working 6hrs without a break is a little excessive ?

(112 Posts)
fourfingerkitkat Mon 08-Oct-12 12:40:54

I know that by law you can work 6hrs continuously before your employer is obliged to give you a break, but don't you think this is a bit much ? Have just started a new temporary p/t retail job and working 6hr shifts. I was surprised at this as I'm sure when I worked as a student (15yrs ago right enough...) you got a break after 4hrs ?

TM08 Mon 08-Oct-12 12:42:01

I'm self employed, but when i was working for someone else, only about three years ago, i was allowed a 15 minute break per four hours.

I definitely think 6 hours is too long.

picturesinthefirelight Mon 08-Oct-12 12:46:04

I work 6 hours without a break (although I do grab 5 mins to eat a sandwich at my desk but answer the phone if it goes). It's fine, not a problem.

I work 9am til 3pm so I can do the school run.

Kinora Mon 08-Oct-12 12:46:38

I regularly work 6 hours without a break. I am sat at a desk and do not come into contact with public, so I can have a drink and a snack.

dixiechick1975 Mon 08-Oct-12 12:47:11

You can legally be expected to work 6 hours no break - see the direct gov website.

picturesinthefirelight Mon 08-Oct-12 12:47:49

Colleagues who work 8 hour days have asked if they can skip lunch and go early but are told they can't as it's unlawful.

fourfingerkitkat Mon 08-Oct-12 12:48:28

That's the problem though...if it was office based I could grab a sandwich or drink whilst still working but because I'm at the till I can't do that. Need to leg it up the stairs to the staff room like Usain Bolt if I need a pee or glass of water ! Don't get me wrong, it's been really busy since I started so the 6hrs fly by but by the end of it I'm either starving or hungry !

itwasallyellow Mon 08-Oct-12 12:49:17

Depends on the nature of the job, I work in an office and work between 6 and 7 hours and don't take an official break, but I do have time to go to the toilet or make a coffee, so I have unnoficial five minute breaks throughout the day.

When I worked in retail many years ago I would do 9-2, 12-4 or 1-5, and I didn't get a break, until I asked for one because one, check out what the law is on this. I think that yes after about 4 hours you should at least be able to go to the toilet or grab a bite to eat and a drink.

curbyburr Mon 08-Oct-12 12:49:42

well 7--5.30 here, lunch at desk, and the screens make my eyes hurt..

fourfingerkitkat Mon 08-Oct-12 12:51:04


You can legally be expected to work 6 hours no break - see the direct gov website.

Yes, I know this is the law (see my original post) but I still think it's excessive where the working enviroment means you're not able to easily take a drink or grab food if you're hungry, that's all. But the law is shite in many areas, isn't it.

forevergreek Mon 08-Oct-12 12:51:21

I work 8am-7pm. No break as no one to cover me, I have to eat and pee when/if time allows

itwasallyellow Mon 08-Oct-12 12:51:45

curbyburr that is not good, that will eventually take it's toll on you.

fourfingerkitkat Mon 08-Oct-12 12:52:25

Sorry that should be dixiechick197 not diviechick - oops !

laluna Mon 08-Oct-12 12:53:27

Me too - 0800 til 2030 - often without a wee! The babies keep coming and coming!!

forevergreek Mon 08-Oct-12 12:53:56

6hrs isn't that long without food though is it? I would have thought most working people on average would eat breakfast at 7 am and lunch at one at earliest. If I'm at home I wouldn't eat anything between breakfast and lunch.
On a 9-3 shift I would eat breakfast around 8.30, then lunch at 3 when finished. Have dinner 7/8 pm.

fourfingerkitkat Mon 08-Oct-12 12:54:06

forevergreek - that must be illegal surely !
The manager said that if I wanted a break then I'd need to come in half an hour earlier, so start 11.30 instead of 12 but I couldn't manage that because of the kids..

Pavlovthecat Mon 08-Oct-12 12:54:12

yes you can work that long, unless it is in front of a computer for the majority of the time, then I believe it is 4 hours?

Try working in a hot busy kitchen for 12 hours with the only break being because you offered to take the bins out and had a sneaky fag! then after finishing at midnight be shifted to work the following morning at 8am for 12 hours of the same...because, legal or not, some employers expect this, and not only small business, I know a large, reputable organisation that do this with their attitude being, if you don't like it we can get someone who will do it with no complaints (my DH works there, he rides it out by saying he needs to lose a bit of weight anyway...)

forevergreek Mon 08-Oct-12 12:54:58

Lol at the babies not stopping appearing!

TalTangerine Mon 08-Oct-12 12:55:30

If it's a computerised till I wonder if you'd be entitled to a screen break every 4 hours?

I do think it's awful - working conditions for the jobs that you can get without qualifications are the modern day mills and mines - call centres are awful too apparently.

Pavlovthecat Mon 08-Oct-12 12:56:16

surely also, you go to the toilet when your bladder or bowels tell you to go? i mean, good pelvic floor or not, your bodily functions don't work on a timer do they? shock

TalTangerine Mon 08-Oct-12 12:56:41

And I think it's rubbish. I need to eat every 3 hours, or I get dizzy and emotional. I don't think that's uncommon, most people who can have a morning tea break/snack surely?

fourfingerkitkat Mon 08-Oct-12 12:56:58

It's not so much the food just a chance to get a drink and clear my head for 10 mins.

BoysBoysBoysAndMe Mon 08-Oct-12 12:58:38

Prior to maternity leave I worked 6 hour shifts.

I couldn't stand not having anything to eat or drink for 6 hours as our store is really busy.

So I asked to work 6.5 hours, which I was allowed to do. I got a half hour break after 3 hours, and still got paid for 6 hours. So good for company and good for mesmile

Do agree 6 is too long with no drink or snack though. Especially in a store when you're on your feet and busy.

crikeybill Mon 08-Oct-12 12:59:19

I'm the same as pictures. I work 6 hours 9:30 till 3:30 with no break. It means I get to do the school drop off and pick them up from after school club.

I prefer it. If anyone tried to tell me I had to be here an extra hour to take a lunch break that would pee me right off !
Although it suits me to do it I genuinely dont find it too long the day flys by. Whether Id feel the same being on my feet all day I dont know.

pixiestix Mon 08-Oct-12 12:59:44

"modern day mills and mines" - over reaction much? My dad started mining at 14, I can assure you that standing on a shop floor for 6 hours doesn't compare.

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