CAN I BE FORCED TO HAVE A LUNCH BREAK

(19 Posts)
brainfog Sun 05-Feb-12 15:16:57

I currently work 5 hr & 45 mins a day so legally i do not need to have a break. However, my employer is trying to make me take a 30 lunch break without pay, can they do this? I do tend to av a snack whilst I work which I have done for many years without a problem but they haven't even discussed it with me they've just changed my contract.

Advice needed before I end up saying something I wish I hadn't lol.

Thanx

OP’s posts: |
ShineYourButtonsWithBrasso Sun 05-Feb-12 15:23:38

I work 5 hours without a lunch break ad it is written into my contact, what does yours say about breaks?

They can change your contract but from a HR point of view this should be done over a process of meetings giving you a chance to say why you don't want to take a break.

ChippingInLovesEasterEggs Sun 05-Feb-12 15:28:38

They should if you keep shouting like that!!

Other than that, I don't know the legalities of it, but hopefully someone will be along soon who can help.

brainfog Sun 05-Feb-12 15:29:54

It has never stated a break until this revised one where it states i am to have a 30 minute break, this was not discussed with me at all. I am going in to discuss it tomorrow. If I'm being made to have a break I would rather finish 3o min early as I normally finish at 3pm

OP’s posts: |
brainfog Sun 05-Feb-12 15:33:15

Sorry didn't mean to shout blush

OP’s posts: |
flowery Sun 05-Feb-12 16:04:21

Are they proposing to extend your working hours to take into account the break, or reduce your working hours and cut your pay accordingly?

It's not quite as simple as them being about to change your contract including your hours/pay as long as they give you a chance to say why you don't want to.

Yes they do need to consult with you properly, but ultimately, you can refuse to accept the proposed change, and to force it through they'd have to terminate your employment and reengage you on the revised terms, then you'd have to bring a claim of unfair dismissal which may be difficult to win.

ShineYourButtonsWithBrasso Sun 05-Feb-12 16:06:43

That should be an option to you, it sounds like a revised money saving excercise.

I ahvee seen something similar happen where staff were asked to work an extra 30 minutes and take a 60 minute unpaid lunchbreak, not great for the staff member but meant the business was manned for an extra 30 minutes a day with no extra pay.

Have you signed the new contract?

Do you know iff the person who has decided to change it has consulted with HR, Do you have an HR dept?

<too many questions in one post>

HoneyandHaycorns Sun 05-Feb-12 16:12:57

Do they perhaps feel that you're taking a break for your snack anyway? There was a woman at my workplace who "nipped to the shop for a sandwich" every day but kicked up a huge stink when asked to record this as a lunchbreak because it didn't take her the full half hour. Just wondering if they see this as something similar?

MoreBeta Sun 05-Feb-12 16:19:49

Well if they insist you should definitley not take the break in the office answering phones, etc. You should go and do your shopping.

The other thing is, do you have an option when you take your lunch break or are they planning to tell you when you have to take it so they can push you off shift in quiet periods for 30 minutes and then bring you back in busier periods?

TwoStepsBack Sun 05-Feb-12 16:20:53

Are there other full time staff that are just about managing to get something to eat at their desk (or wherever they work) rather than having an actual break?

I know it's not right but, more and more, staff are just working through their lunches and still getting 30 minutes docked. If that was the case - perhaps they think it's not "fair" that you get paid for time when you are eating.

MrsMcEnroe Sun 05-Feb-12 16:24:20

I had this issue at work a while ago and was told that, legally, you HAVE to have a 30-minute break if you work more than 6 hours. Your employer does not have to pay you for the break.

I asked if I could waive my right to this break as I only work from 9 'til 4, am super-busy at work and don't want or need a 30-minute break (and nobody else in the office takes a break either). However, I was told that I would not be paid for the 30 minutes so now I make sure I go out for a walk for half an hour, or make personal calls (on my personal mobile of course!) and if I do work through my break I record it as overtime ....

ledkr Sun 05-Feb-12 16:39:18

mrsMc Thats the same for us but we have no where to go apart from a smelly stuffy kitchen where everyone goes (about 60 staff 8 chairs) we are in the middle of nowhere so no shops etc,its a piss take.I just eat at my desk and try not to work or answer the phone but it never happens.We used to just leave early but he wont have that now,its ridiculous. Am taking my book tomorrow.

MollieO Sun 05-Feb-12 16:44:29

Legally you can work for 6 hours without a break so working 5 hours 45 mins is fine. I had this in my last job and then the new head of HR tried to change it. She couldn't as it was in my contract and in accordance with whatever relevant employment law. She did have moan about it every time she saw me and said she thought I should take a break. I hated the place so wasn't keen to spend any longer there than necessary!

brainfog Sun 05-Feb-12 16:50:44

Thanks everyone I will see how it goes this week but I will be speaking to them. Unfortunately we do not have an HR dept to speak to.

OP’s posts: |
forward Sun 05-Feb-12 16:57:13

ledkr, in your position I would (and have) go for a brisk walk round the block and read the paper/a book at my desk - I wouldn't answer the phone. Not to be difficult, but because you do need a break if you work full-time.

Darkfairy6 Tue 27-Aug-19 20:12:40

currently work 8 a day so legally i do have a 30min break. However, I take a 10 Min cigarette bark and work the rest of the 20 my supervisor is trying to make me a say ather work . To make up the 10 mins without pay, we don't get payed for are break . and it dose say we can take a 30min bark in my contract. But I thuse only to take 10 . I have asked my employer and they are happy for me to do this I still do my full 8hr shift. Can my supervisor make me say and if not what can I do

EBearhug Wed 28-Aug-19 12:58:20

It's the working time directive which says if you work over 6 hours, you must have at least a 20 minute break, which must not be at the beginning or end of the shift, i.e. it's an actual break. It can be unpaid.

If you currently work less than 6 hours, as the OP does, there's nothing in law to say you must have a break, but a contract could include it, so this really comes down to consultation around contract changes.

FawnDrench Wed 28-Aug-19 19:43:12

Zombie thread from 2012

fuzzyduck1 Tue 03-Sep-19 16:28:31

Does that mean you will loose out on 30 mins pay? Or you will be there for 6h 15 mins?
You don’t legally have to have a break if working less than 6 Hours.
Some bean counter has probably seen you eating a snack and thought why are they paying you to eat.
If they force this on you make sure you leave your work place for the 30 mins.

I work 12 hour shifts with a 1 hour dinner break if I end up working through my dinner due to short staffing I claim it as over time very wrong but needs must. I know people I’m my type of role where the employer has tried to make them stay onsite during an unpaid brake that didn’t go well for the employers. Who ended up having to pay over time to keep the employees from leaving site. They were still having brakes but were there just in case.

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