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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 47404
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Hello, yesterday at work very uncomfortable situation happened

Resolved Question:

Hello,

yesterday at work very uncomfortable situation happened to me. It is very silly but my supervisor told me I have to spread my hour break into 2 smaller due to business need. I told him I would prefer the whole hour and he said I cannot. He hasn't advice me what time I should take my first part and we became busy. Due to our procedures we must be a minimum of 2 people in the office at all times. And for next few hours it was only me and one more colleague. Few hours after I got file note about disrespecting my supervisor. Even I explain the whole situation to him, he didn't acknowledge that.

The main problem I am having now is that he doesn't go well with me from the beginning I join the company. (it is 2 years now)
There was another colleague who didn't take 2 split breaks, but he hasn't been told anything. I feel picked on and treated unfairly.

Can you help me what my rights are against this file note? I wish to contact my manager, however I am not sure how can I tell him that.

Thank you
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. When exactly did you start working there?

Customer: Hi,
Customer: hello
Customer: i am working there since February 2012
Customer:

Are you there?

Ben Jones :

Yes I am

Ben Jones :

Were you taken through a formal disciplinary for this note, or was it just an informal note but not a warning?

Customer:

informal note which will stay in my file for next 6 months. It stops me from any promotions

Customer:

it is not a warning

Customer:

I am planning now to contact my general manager with my report/statement about the whole situation

Customer:

I only don't want to make things worse.

Customer:

However I was the only one picked by my supervisor.

Ben Jones :

Why do you think you were picked on?

Customer:

as I wrote down, because one of my colleague hasn't split his break and he wasn't told anything. However I got file note

Ben Jones :

ok let me get my response ready please

Customer:

ok

Ben Jones :

By the way does your contract say anything about your break and if it is supposed to be one continuous hour?

Customer:

It says I am entitled to 60 minutes break. In my contract doesn't say anything about in one go or split.

Customer:

but in our internal procedures the supervisor can allocate us to take 2 breaks if the business need require so

Customer:

but my point is If I got file note, why not other ones who didn't take 2 breaks as well. It is only me

Ben Jones :

The employer’s actions would not necessarily be unlawful although there are reasons you can use to take the matter further.


 


As far as the law stands, the employer is only expected to give you an uninterrupted break of 20 minutes for every 6 hours of work so legally they can ask you to split your breaks as long as you get at least 20 minutes uninterrupted rest.


 


It is not unlawful to issue you with a file note and not do the same to other employees, even if they were guilty of the same offence. The employer would only really be acting unlawfully if you were picked on because of a protected characteristic linked to discrimination, such as age, gender, race, etc – if their decision had nothing to do with any of these then it would not be unlawful.


 


My main concern is this file note – you said it was not a warning but it has gone on your file and it is preventing you from getting a promotion. This is really a formal sanction, it is like a warning and the employer cannot just issue it without following a fair disciplinary procedure, such as investigating the issues, holding a disciplinary hearing, allowing you to be accompanied and then give you the chance to appeal. So you are able to complain to them about the procedure (or lack of) and this is your main complaint in this case.

Customer:

Okay,

Customer:

thank you for your explanation

Ben Jones :

You are welcome

Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

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