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Rest Breaks

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Grange v Abellio London

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) held in this case that an employee is not required to ask for a rest break before claiming to have been refused a rest break?

The Claimant was contracted to work an eight and a half hour shift, which included a half hour break for lunch. He was told that, instead, he should work for eight hours without a break, and leave early.

The Claimant made a claim based on the Working Time Regulations that he had been refused a rest break, but the employment tribunal held that he had never asked for a rest break and therefore he had never been refused one. The EAT overturned the decision on the grounds that the instruction to work without a rest break could be construed as a refusal, without an explicit request.

In Practice

"This case follows on from the pattern we have seen in holiday pay cases, in that a worker does not have to explicitly request either holiday or rest breaks to be able to make a claim in the employment tribunal. Our advice is that employers should always ensure that their staff are taking the requisite breaks and, if for some reason a worker refuses, this is clearly noted down for future reference," says Employment Partner Kate Fretten.

Our Employment Team, based in Christchurch, also cover Bournemouth, Poole and the New Forest. If you have any questions, you only have to ask us at Frettens. Please call 01202 499255 and Kate or her team, will be happy to chat about your situation.