1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Enforced lunchtime duties - legal?

Discussion in 'Pay and conditions' started by yorkiebar-, Oct 19, 2015.

  1. yorkiebar-

    yorkiebar- New commenter

    So, teaching staff where I work have now been told that once a week we will have to do a lunchtime duty and that it is being done as directed time.
    The European Working Time Directive concerning working hours and breaks is apparently being used to justify this new demand.
    Is this legal?
    Is it allowed?
    How does it fit with Statutory Teachers Pay and Conditions?
    Thanks, from yet another exhausted and beleaguered teacher.
  2. guinnesspuss

    guinnesspuss Star commenter

    We went on strike to stop teachers being required to do lunchtime duty.
    Don't know about legality though.
    yorkiebar- likes this.
  3. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    HERE it is

    Page 53

    Rights conferred – all teachers

    54. Overarching rights

    54.1. No teacher may be required to work on any Saturday, Sunday or public holiday unless their contract of employment expressly provides for this (for example in the case of teachers at residential establishments).

    54.2. No teacher may be required under their contract of employment as a teacher to undertake midday supervision.


    You may now click to LIKE this post .


    Best wishes

  4. coppull

    coppull New commenter

    SMT telling lies again. Lunch time duties ended in the 1960's long before the current SMT were born! It may be part of their contract to undertake lunch time duties but not yours. Ask them to provide evidence that it is part of your conditions of service to provide lunch time cover under School Teachers Pay and Conditions Document.

    Clearly they are not up to the job and should be put on a compentency procedure.

    Please speak to your Unions on this matter
    lizziescat, yorkiebar- and FolkFan like this.
  5. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    How are they trying to use the WTR to justify the denial of a break (if that's what they are doing)?

    I'm posting from a phone so can't give you the link, but check out rights to breaks on the citizens advice website.
    yorkiebar- likes this.
  6. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Here is the Government's official view on rest breaks.

    And here is the working time directive.

    No, you can't be made to supervise lunch.


    Best wishes

    strawbs and yorkiebar- like this.
  7. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    "Lunch time duties ended in the 1960's long before the current SMT were born!"

    Your memory is playing tricks on you. I started teaching in 1981 and we were still doing them. Teachers in the NUT and NAS/UWT undertook industrial action in the early 80s and as a result of that, the condition indicated by Theogriff (above) was put into STP&C.
    ilovesooty, guinnesspuss and GLsghost like this.
  8. yorkiebar-

    yorkiebar- New commenter

    Links viewed
    Thank you

    Does it make a difference if I add the detail that lunch is 50 mins and we are scheduled to do 25 mins of duty ... Thus giving us 25 mins break
  9. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Yes and no.

    25 minutes break is fine under the legal right to a break of 20 minutes after 6 hours work.

    But outside that 25 minutes, you cannot be asked to do something that teachers are not supposed to do.

    They might just as well ask you to clean the Head's car, or pop down to Tesco for the HoY, and call that directed time.

    THIS is what they may direct you to do: Green = Allowed

    Teachers other than a headteacher

    52.1. A teacher may be required to undertake the following duties:

    52.2. Plan and teach lessons to the classes they are assigned to teach within the context of the school’s plans, curriculum and schemes of work.
    52.3. Assess, monitor, record and report on the learning needs, progress and achievements of assigned pupils.
    52.4. Participate in arrangements for preparing pupils for external examinations.

    Whole school organisation, strategy and development
    52.5. Contribute to the development, implementation and evaluation of the school’s policies, practices and procedures in such a way as to support the school’s values and vision.
    52.6. Work with others on curriculum and/or pupil development to secure co-ordinated outcomes. 52.7. Subject to paragraph 54.7 supervise and so far as practicable teach any pupils where the person timetabled to take the class is not available to do so.

    Health, safety and discipline
    52.8. Promote the safety and well-being of pupils.
    52.9. Maintain good order and discipline among pupils.

    Management of staff and resources
    52.10.Direct and supervise support staff assigned to them and, where appropriate, other teachers. 52.11.Contribute to the recruitment, selection, appointment and professional development of other teachers and support staff.
    52.12.Deploy resources delegated to them.

    Professional development
    52.13.Participate in arrangements for the appraisal and review of their own performance and, where appropriate, that of other teachers and support staff.
    52.14.Participate in arrangements for their own further training and professional development and, where appropriate, that of other teachers and support staff including induction.

    52.15.Communicate with pupils, parents and carers.

    Working with colleagues and other relevant professionals
    52.16.Collaborate and work with colleagues and other relevant professionals within and beyond the school.

    THIS is what they may NOT direct you to do. Red = Not allowed

    54. Overarching rights

    54.1. No teacher may be required to work on any Saturday, Sunday or public holiday unless their contract of employment expressly provides for this (for example in the case of teachers at residential establishments).

    54.2. No teacher may be required under their contract of employment as a teacher to undertake midday supervision.

    If they want you to do lunch duty they have to give you a separate contract, which you are free not to accept of course, and pay you.

    Under your contract as a teacher YOU. DO. NOT. HAVE. TO. DO. MIDDAY. SUPERVISION.

    So how come only one person has liked my posts on this subject? Don't you believe me? ;)

    Best wishes

    Lisalegs, kemmy, hafsa and 8 others like this.
  10. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    Theo's first post seems pretty clear that it doesn't matter how much of a break you get, you still can't be instructed to do midday supervision.
  11. michaelt1979

    michaelt1979 Occasional commenter

    Of course, if you're employed in an a academy which doesn't follow the STPCD...
  12. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    Where the hell is Tafkam when you want him eh?
  13. yorkiebar-

    yorkiebar- New commenter

    Yes it is an Academy
  14. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Or a Free School, or an Indy, or the British School of Magaluff!

    Doh . . . don't jump to conclusions when it says STPCD in the OP

    Mind, many of them DO follow the STPCD, and if you personally came over on a TUPE from the before-Academy, you still have that protection.

    So the things to say is:

    Does this academy follow the STPCD, because it says in paragraph 54.2 . . .

    Thanks for that, MT!

    Pretty daft of them to quote the Working Time Directive, mind you

    Best wishes

  15. yorkiebar-

    yorkiebar- New commenter

    Union reps report that as lunch break in the school is over 25 mins, we get our statutory lunch break. That the other 25 minutes could be categorised as 'break' not lunchtime, hence directed time. Or, if we were to have split lunch times ( we don't) the same would apply.
    Is this just clever juggling of the contractual framework?
  16. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    I felt bound to post on this thread given my tes username, but sadly have nothing to add; except that I understand the pressure to conform and the difficulty in taking a stand even when you are in the right; since there is the feeling that if you are seen to make waves you may become tomorrows target. (Make sure you don't have a large target emblazoned on you back... they tend to sneak up on you; and they clearly don't generally play fair!).

    Of course if you have the energy for a bit of a battle I wish you well with it, and look forward to reading that you were successful.
  17. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    It may well be directed time, but . . .

    But do you follow or not STPCD?

    If you do, then you cannot be directed to do lunch supervision any more than you can be directed to clean the school hall.

    If you do not follow STPCD, then the things that you may be directed to do will depend on the contracts that you have. Because you may well not have directed time at all, or a different version of it, and the things you can be directed to do may vary too.

    Best wishes

  18. tp567

    tp567 New commenter

    Theogriff, what about SMT on leadership scale- it is not clear on the STPCD...and UPS? We have been told it is part of our leadership responsibility?
  19. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    SMT have different conditions of service if they are on the L scale.
  20. tp567

    tp567 New commenter

    And Middlemarch, Upper Pay Scale?
    Many thanks!

Share This Page