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Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Appilihp40, Aug 28, 2020.

  1. Appilihp40

    Appilihp40 New commenter

    Bit of advice would be greatly appreciated - I believe a 20 min uninterrupted break in the middle of the day is a legal requirement for employees working at least 6 hours. What’s the score if you get a 15 min break at 10.30 then nothing else all day because you have a duty at lunch and are in class every lesson as support staff? Does anyone know if you just legally entitled to 5 mins at lunchtime to make it up to the 20 mins or does the 15 mins you had actually at 10.30 not count as a break as it was not the full uninterrupted 20 mins?
  2. celago22

    celago22 Established commenter

    I thought it was 20 minutes uninterrupted so I would have thought you were entitled to take your 20 minute block as one. There's no point taking a 5 minute break to make up the time as you can't do much in 5 minutes. Also you should be taking your break in the middle of the day. What time do you start in the mornings?
    Piranha likes this.
  3. Appilihp40

    Appilihp40 New commenter

    Hi we start at 9
  4. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Not necessarily in the middle of the day for support staff. You are entitled to 20 mins for every 6 hours you work. Where that comes within the 6 hours might need to be flexible on some days.
    If your hours are 9-3, then you might have your break at 10.30 on some days, not ideal but it happens in schools where people are needed for duties and so on.
    You should have 20 mins though, so could ask if you can be late back to class after break (when the teacher is settling children) or leave 5 mins before break (when there is clearing up going on).

    For teachers (though not all these days) their lunch break should be between 12 and 2. Though many EYFS classes break for lunch at 11.30, more now with greater staggering on lunches) so the teacher needs to be flexible there.
  5. Appilihp40

    Appilihp40 New commenter

    Aah ok thanks- my hours are 9-4.15
  6. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Yes, uninterrupted


    If you are a teacher on STPCD @Appilihp40 then STPCD adds the additional requirement that the break must be between 12.00 noon and 2.00pm.

    Daily break

    52.3. A teacher who is required to be available for work for more than one school session on any school day must be allowed one break of reasonable length either between school sessions or between the hours of 12 noon and 2.00pm
    If you are not a teacher the ACAS link says only that the break must be "at a time that’s not the very start or end of the working day", so a 20 minute break at 10.30am sounds like it would comply with the law.
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2020
    averagedan and strawbs like this.
  7. Appilihp40

    Appilihp40 New commenter

    Thank you, yes that makes sense.
  8. Appilihp40

    Appilihp40 New commenter

    My lunch break is unpaid so I’m wondering if it’s right we have to do duties (it’s a new thing)
  9. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    So you work 9-4.15, which is 7.25 hours.
    How many hours a day are you paid?
    If you are working more hours than paid, then you need to challenge this.

    Are you and your fellow support staff in unions? If so, challenge as a group that way.
    strawbs likes this.
  10. TrueFaith

    TrueFaith Occasional commenter

    Not unless you are paid. I know some schools 'pay' for lunch duty with a free lunch, but otherwise that shouldn't be the case. As advised check how many hours you are being paid for, then how many you are being asked to work, then ask the question (probably with others, and to your union rep).
  11. Appilihp40

    Appilihp40 New commenter

    Thank you for the advice
  12. Appilihp40

    Appilihp40 New commenter

  13. Appilihp40

    Appilihp40 New commenter

    No free lunches
  14. Appilihp40

    Appilihp40 New commenter

    Yes we are in unions
  15. hhhh

    hhhh Star commenter

    The thing is that in almost any other job you can go to the toilet at pretty much any time (I'm thinking of jobs I've done, eg in a shop/office/receptionist/wrapper. In teaching, you can't just leave the classroom to go.
    Yet many people-particularly women who are pregnant/menopausal might need to go more often than a lunchbreak alone would allow. I realise that people with a disability might be protected, but shouldn't there be rules letting people use the toilet more than once in a seven hour stretch?
    Trundle22, agathamorse and colacao17 like this.
  16. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Then work together with the rep to challenge the fact you only have a 15 minute break all day, and are working unpaid over lunch.
    This is exactly the kind of thing the union and school reps are there for.
  17. averagedan

    averagedan Established commenter

    Caterpillar has answered this well, the only thing I can add is that you're not allowed to go more than three hours forty five minutes without a break. So you must have had the opportunity for at least a 20 minute rest by 12.45.

    If you're employed under the STCPD then yes it may be. Your school should be able to provide you with a directed time budget. If the duties are included in this budget and you're under 1,265 then yet it's legal. Request a time budget via the Union - don't do it in-person, that gives a focus to any backlash.

    If you're not under the STPCD then I have no idea.
  18. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I didn't know that...where's that from?
    The OP is support staff, so definitely isn't under STPCD.
  19. Appilihp40

    Appilihp40 New commenter

  20. Appilihp40

    Appilihp40 New commenter

    ohh ok I didn’t know that

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