Regulations tightened for breaks at work

Yesterday the European Court of Justice found that the UK Government's guidance on rest breaks was "clearly liable to render the rights enshrined in the directive meaningless and are incompatible with its objective."

The Working Time Directive (Working Time Regulations 1998 in the UK) established the right for most workers to a 20 minute rest break if they work more than 6 hours per day.

The problem has been that the UK regulatory guidance says that "employers must make sure that workers can take their rest, but are not required to make sure that they do take their rest". This has been widely interpreted by employers as meaning that rest breaks can be lawfully denied.

For more details see a TUC press release. DTI guidance on rest breaks can be found here.

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