Thursday, 1 March 2018
Rest Break Crucial
The EAT has held that the length of the 20 minute rest break required for workers under the Working Time Regulations is crucial and cannot be met by aggregrating breaks of a shorter duration.
In this case,the signalman who worked on his own on a stretch of railway that was nor busy , was able to take shorter , naturally occurring breaks between trains and these breaks amounted to significantly more than 20 minutes over the course of his shift.
However , the EAT made it clear that the length of the break was crucial and as each break was less than 20 minutes the employer was held to be in breach of the Working Time Regulations.
They rejected the argument that the Network Rail's system in this case was actually better from a health and safety point of view than a system involving a continuous 20 minute break.
Crawford v Network Rail Infrastructures Ltd