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Being told I can't leave the building on my lunch hour

(27 Posts)
coulditbeforever Wed 31-May-17 23:39:47

Right so here goes, my manager told me last week that I couldn't leave the building where I work because there was no one to cover. So my reply was, I didn't get paid by the company during my lunch hour and therefore I could do as I wanted, to which he replied,"I would do as I was asked to do and I couldn't leave the building" WTF! It ended up in a big argument to which he rang the area manager straight away and reported me. I had to leave the building as I hadn't brought any lunch with me and just getting outside away from work really breaks my day up. AIBU to think if you don't paid during your lunch hour you can do as you please?

Missingthepoint Wed 31-May-17 23:42:59

Are you expected to "work" during the lunch break? ie answer phones? Are you the only person in the building? Can you lock the building? A bit more detail required.

CaulkheadUpNorf Wed 31-May-17 23:43:14

Does it say anything in your contact?

BandeauSally Wed 31-May-17 23:45:11

If you're not paid for it you aren't working so can't be expected to stay there. If they expect to dictate where you spend your time, they need to be paying for that time.

BackforGood Wed 31-May-17 23:46:15

Agree, need a bit more context. This will depend on your job.

UnicornSparkles1 Wed 31-May-17 23:46:51

What Sally said. You're either working (and being paid) or you're not.

DPotter Wed 31-May-17 23:48:08

Not sure of the legality and detail however unless you have signed away your rights you are entitled to and employers have to let you have a break during a shift. I would have thought being able to go and buy a sandwich was more than reasonable. Can you check your contract to see if there's anything mentioned there.
I know some managers can be a bit weird about lunch break. Had one who had a go at me as I didn't answer the phone quick enough as I had just taken a bite of sandwich, because as usual I was having lunch at my desk and didn't mind taking the occasional call. Back-fired on her big time, as after that I left the office for 45 mins every lunchtime and the phone wasn't answered at all during that period.

Florene Wed 31-May-17 23:49:58

What happened after he had the conversation with the area manager?

Wolfiefan Wed 31-May-17 23:50:23

Totally depends on your job and your contract. If your workplace requires a certain number of people on site in case of emergency then you can't just walk out.

wobblywonderwoman Wed 31-May-17 23:52:46

I think that rule might be coming to my workplace. Watching with interest. In your scenario I think that is very unfair since you are not paid during break!!!!

BandeauSally Wed 31-May-17 23:58:03

If your workplace requires a certain number of people on site in case of emergency then you can't just walk out.

Then they need to pay for it!

coulditbeforever Wed 31-May-17 23:59:26

I will look at my contract tomorrow - I did go out and buy a sandwich and ate it in the building, but not in our kitchen area as the manager was using it to interview candidates, there were 3 ppl in the building including myself.

coulditbeforever Thu 01-Jun-17 00:01:27

Oh I'm not paid during lunch either. The area manager rang later but for a totally unrelated reason.

PyongyangKipperbang Thu 01-Jun-17 00:22:32

If you work more than 6 hours I believe that you are only entitled to 20 minutes break in law, so if you get an hour then they could probably just get rid the hour lunch break, give you the minimum required by law and you have to work the other 40 minutes. But then of course they would have to pay you for that time.

Did you agree to work the hour if you are paid for it?

What is your job?

notapizzaeater Thu 01-Jun-17 00:23:07

If you're not paid then they can't force you. How many hours a day do you work ? They legally have to let you have 20 mins unpaid if it's longer than 6 hours

Mehfruittea Thu 01-Jun-17 00:30:12

Take a look at the recent ruling for care workers who are required to 'sleep over' for a shift. They were getting paid an on call allowance but it has been ruled they should get minimum wage for the duration they are asleep.

If you are required to be in the building, asleep even, you should be paid.

daisychain01 Thu 01-Jun-17 18:37:11

I had to leave the building as I hadn't brought any lunch with me and just getting outside away from work really breaks my day up

maybe it would have been better to explain this to your manager, rather than being confrontational. You could have asked to get some lunch because that day you had left it at home. And that it would be nice to have a couple of days a week when you could get out for some fresh air.

Do any of your colleagues stay indoors?

BoraThirch Thu 01-Jun-17 18:40:56

If its unpaid time you can go where you like! If they want you to work or be on call they need to pay for it.

RavioliOnToast Thu 01-Jun-17 18:43:08

Cheeky fuckers. You should be able to do what you want in your unpaid lunch break!

AndNoneForGretchenWieners Thu 01-Jun-17 18:46:39

DH can't leave his workplace during his 12 hour shift because he's the only security guard on. He doesn't get an official break though so is paid for all 12 hrs. I wouldn't be happy if I wasn't getting paid but needed to cover.

BandeauSally Thu 01-Jun-17 19:20:32

And that it would be nice to have a couple of days a week when you could get out for some fresh air.

"Oh please sir, if you would be so kind, would it be at all possible for you to permit me to choose how spend my own fucking free time?" hmm

alltouchedout Thu 01-Jun-17 19:24:37

Confrontational? Damn right she should be 'confrontational' when told she is not allowed to leave the building during her unpaid break.

DextersMistress Thu 01-Jun-17 19:28:37

I'd be interested to know this too. I work in a small shop and have an hour's unpaid lunch. If there are no other keyholders in I'm not allowed to leave.

OnionKnight Thu 01-Jun-17 19:50:28

I'd have told them to get fucked, if they are not paying me I'll go wherever I damn well please.

balence49 Thu 01-Jun-17 19:59:40

Do you work in a nursery?
I used to and no one could leave as everyone was counted in the ratio numbers, even the cook.

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