When it comes to whether you should take your work break, the answer really is what you would expect; yes, you should always take your work break, but why?
Why should you take your work break?
One of the common reasons for human error, mishaps and accidents at work is tiredness. Everyone, no matter your physical or mental capability, needs to take rest breaks from work. When you do so, you enable the body and mind to recuperate, meaning you are in a safe, responsible position to continue with the work required from you.
When you work continuously, and you do not take your work break, you are at a higher risk of sustaining occupational illness or injury. What’s more, you are also putting your fellow co-workers at risk, in the case that you cause an accident at work.
What types of work break are there?
Under UK law, there are three types of work break. These are the work rest breaks, daily rest and weekly rest.
By law, every employee is entitled to a 20-minute rest break at work each day, when they work over six hours. This should be taken near to the middle of the shift and does not have to be paid, unless stated otherwise in the worker’s contract.
In addition to the minimum of 20 minutes rest break at work, employees should also have a minimum of 11 hours rest following their working day. They should also have either an uninterrupted 24 hours rest each week, or 48 hours each fortnight, as minimum.
Employees are not entitled to take tea or smoking breaks.
In the case of work duties being particularly strenuous or demanding, the employer should take the health and safety of the employee into consideration and offer relative rest breaks.
The only workers not entitled to these rest breaks are those in the armed forces, those who choose their own working hours, and those working in sea, air or road transport.
Claiming compensation for accidents at work
If you have been involved in an accident at work because you weren’t given the opportunity to take your work break, you could claim compensation for the harm and distress you have endured.
For more information, speak with one of our friendly advisors at Accident Advice Helpline today. Call us on 0800 689 0500, or 0333 500 0993 from your mobile.
Date Published: August 1, 2016
Author: Accident Advice