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

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