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Advice needed Urgently- Is 10 minute lunch break acceptable?

Discussion in 'Pay and conditions' started by angelchem, Jul 18, 2011.

  1. angelchem

    angelchem New commenter

    I am on M3 I have just been give my new timetable and I am teaching all day Mon, Tues, Wed and I have 3 PPA one week and 4 PPA on week 2. However I am teaching from 9.00-11.00am and then from 11.20am - 4.00pm with only a 10 minute break for lunch, is this acceptable?

    THank you
     
  2. angelchem

    angelchem New commenter

    I am on M3 I have just been give my new timetable and I am teaching all day Mon, Tues, Wed and I have 3 PPA one week and 4 PPA on week 2. However I am teaching from 9.00-11.00am and then from 11.20am - 4.00pm with only a 10 minute break for lunch, is this acceptable?

    THank you
     
  3. Crowbob

    Crowbob Established commenter

    No, it isn't. Would seem to be a breach of Working Time Regulations. You are entitled to a 20 minute rest period in a six hour working day.
     
  4. Piranha

    Piranha Lead commenter

    It seems unreasonable, but wouldn't the 20 minute break between 11 am and 11.20 am count as the rest period? I am not defending it, but I am not sure that the law will help you.
     
  5. Crowbob

    Crowbob Established commenter

    I was making an assumption that during that time they were not "on break" as they said they only got a 10 minute "lunch break".
     
  6. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    A school could argue that the 20 minute break from 11-11.20am breaks the 6 hour period effectively, but they could only do that if they did not attempt to direct the member of staff to undertake the typical break duty at any point. Usually break time is/ can be directed, whereas lunch break is not - you are not paid for it and cannot be directed within in. I would cite this as an unfair and unreasonable move if no one else has similar timetable demands that infringe the usual lunch break.
     
  7. becktonboy

    becktonboy New commenter

    Agree with daisy that this is unequal treatment. You might also look at your hours to see if you are exceeding the Directed Time limit of 1265 pa. In a 190 day year 5 minutes here or there can make a hell of a difference.
    Seek union support if management is not approachable to address your concerns.
     
  8. You might also argue that STPCD states that teachers are entitled to a break of reasonable length as near to the middle of the school day as possible. The break may be of resonable length but it is nowhere near the middle of the school day.
     
  9. jubilee

    jubilee Lead commenter

    The 11 -11.20 'break' is Directed Time and cannot count as an adequate lunch break. Presumably the canteen is not even serving lunch at that time.
    Contact your Union.
     
  10. Piranha

    Piranha Lead commenter

    Are you sure about that, Jubilee. I don't think the concept of directed time is in the Working Time Regulations, which just stipulate that there must be a 20 minute break, which is not at the beginning or end of a shift. There is no obligation for the canteen to be open. It just says 'break' not 'lunch break'. As long as you actually get a 20 minute break, then the Working Time Regulations won't help.
    However, I totally agree with other posters that this is unreasonable and unfair. It sounds like unequal treatment, and I would complain, taking it on to your union if that doesn't work. Perhaps STPCD has something you can work with.
     
  11. jubilee

    jubilee Lead commenter

    The morning break is Directed Time and ,as such, it's work time. You can be given a duty or be directed at any time to undertake work. A lunch break is unpaid time and must be long enough to allow you to rest and eat etc and must be at a suitable time for the meal break. 11-11.20 seems a bit early to me for eating lunch.
    They could dispense with the morning break for staff and direct all staff to be on duty .
    If the school is making the staff work a normal day , without the unpaid 'own time' break, they are essentially making you work through what should be your time.
    I presume that the school does have a normal lunch break for pupils and for other staff who are not timetabled to teach a 4 hours 40 minutes stretch without the opportunity to eat lunch.
     
  12. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    or take a wee wee....
     
  13. You are assuming the 11 - 11:20 is a paid break and that the 20 minute break is unpaid (un directed). The OP does not specifically indicate one way or the other.

     
  14. jubilee

    jubilee Lead commenter

    11-11.20 is not a reasonable time of a normal working day to be the meal break. It's not even designated as the lunch break as the OP mentions a later 10 minute lunch allocation.
    10 minutes is not a long enough break for anyone, least of all a teacher, to get and eat a meal and make a loo visit. Most of us already lose time clearing up from the pre-lunch lesson and setting up for the post-lunch lesson.

     
  15. Piranha

    Piranha Lead commenter

    Jubilee, I totally agree with you from the reasonableness point of view. However, I was shocked when I looked up the Working Time regulations for another reason to find that our only legal right is for a break of 20 minutes. Unless the OP is directed to work in that 11.00 - 11.20 slot, it counts as the required break. That may be crazy, but it is the law. Lunch has nothing to do with it; there just has to be a break. In fact, the 10 minute lunch break is not a legal requirement. Here is one statement of the rules. http://www.businesslink.gov.uk/bdotg/action/detail?itemId=1073792295&r.l1=1073858787&r.l2=1084822788&r.l3=1073858926&r.l4=1074014258&r.s=sc&type=RESOURCES
    Your mention of clearing up is a valid point. If the OP does need to clear up or prepare in the 20 minutes, then the rules do come into play.
    In any case, the timetable is clearly crazy, and I still think there are grounds for complaint, but there is no point in quoting a law unless it really applied here.
     
  16. There is also the question of whether the OP gets paid all day. E.g. My contract is 37 hours and my teaching hours are 23. my working hours are 8.30-5 every day (lessons begin at 9). This is a LOT more than 37 hour. If you deduct 1 hour for lunch every day, what do you get but 37 hours? So it might be worth rereading your contract, if it says 37 hours and there are 30 mins-1 hour per day in which you don't get paid, then I would negotiate with management over this, unless of course, you're happy to work for free.
     
  17. In addition to the legal demands, how can the school think that you are able to do your best for your students with so little down time?


    I've never heard of schools enforcing the legal minimums to such an extent - the least I've come across is 25-30 mins for lunch. Out of interest, are you working at a new / old-style academy or a LA-funded school?
     

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