How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Ben Jones Your Own Question

Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 45375
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
29905560
Type Your Employment Law Question Here...
Ben Jones is online now

I'm working NHS trust. This trust is removing staff

Resolved Question:

I'm working for an NHS trust. This trust is removing staff facilities and building over rest rooms and changing. There are no plans to provide some where for employees to have there lunch break. We are told we will have to use the public coffee shop. I have concerns over patient confidentiality as they may approach nurses whilst on their break and ask questions about there procedurs. Also concerns for staff safety because if we have had to have someone ejected for unsocial behaviour their is a chance of meeting that individual whilst on your lunch break in a public area.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long have you worked there for?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have worked in this trust for 5 years I am a staff side representative.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
How likely is it that this arrangement will actually cause these issues and what do you think the employer can do to prevent this or at east reduce the risks?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It is very likely that this will occur I have put various proposals and solutions to the employers and they seem determined to have it their way. The health, safety and welfare regulations clearly states that employers must provide suitable rest facilities away from your work station. We don't get paid for our lunch break and it would be impossible to relax if we are mixed with the patients and relatives, particularly if they have had a long wait or there appointment cancelled.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
You are correct that the regulations state you should be provided with facilities where you can spend your breaks away from your workstation but that has quite a narrow interpretation in reality. Your workstation is exactly that – the specific place where you undertake your work. For an office worker it is their desk, for a nurse it is their ward, for a shop worker it is the till or the shop floor. It is not the whole workplace, it is limited to the specific place where they conduct their day to day work activities. So if you work on a ward and care for patients there, you are entitled to have your break away from that ward and the areas where you undertake your work. It would not cover the communal coffee shop in the hospital as that is not your workstation. So the employer can move these facilities there if they wanted to, as they would not be breaching any laws by doing so. You mention certain concerns about patient confidentiality if they approached you but you do not have to discuss anything confidential with them when on your break and can simply advise the that you cannot discuss that with tem there and then. If they were to disclose details about themselves then that is up to them, it is their information, they can do with it as they wish. Finally, anyone unsociable that has been ejected, the chances of meeting them in the coffee shop would be more or less the same as meeting them anywhere else on the grounds or nearby. You could bump into them on your way from work, you could meet them in the corridors, etc. You are still in a secure area in a sense that it is a public space on the hospital’s grounds and if something was to happen you could rely on security. So legally the employer is not doing anything wrong by removing your existing facilities and replacing them with these. It may not be ideal but it is not unlawful. You may try and negotiate with them, perhaps by getting a group together and using the vice of the people to try and add some weight to your cause but legally you cannot force them to change their mind. You have the option of raising a grievance if you wanted to but that would generally be the last option short of resigning and claiming constructive dismissal, the latter of which I would not recommend in the circumstances. I'm sorry if this is not necessarily the answer you were hoping for, however I do have a duty to be honest and explain the law as it actually stands. This does mean delivering bad news from time to time. I hope you understand and would be happy to provide any further clarification if needed. If you are still satisfied with the level of service you have received I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page. Thank you
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 45375
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
< Previous | Next >
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
  • A quick response, a succinct and helpful answer in simple English. I believe I can now confront the counter party with confidence -- worth the 30 bucks! Rick
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Ben Jones

    Ben Jones

    UK Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    10492
    Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
< Previous | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BE/benjones/2015-12-1_0437_ennew.64x64.jpg Ben Jones's Avatar

    Ben Jones

    UK Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    10492
    Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KA/Kasare/kasare.64x64.jpg Kasare's Avatar

    Kasare

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    41
    Solicitor, 10 yrs plus experience in civil litigation, employment and family law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/OS/osh/2015-7-7_19268_gettyimagesb.64x64.jpg Joshua's Avatar

    Joshua

    Laywer

    Satisfied Customers:

    49
    LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/taratill/2010-03-09_111600_phpsik04M_c2AM.jpg taratill's Avatar

    taratill

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    671
    15 years experience of advising on employment law matters
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/LI/li/2014-12-19_134845_lexughes.64x64.jpg Alice H's Avatar

    Alice H

    Solicitor Advocate

    Satisfied Customers:

    99
    Partner in national law firm with 20+ years legal experience
  • /img/opt/shirt.png tdlawyer's Avatar

    tdlawyer

    Laywer

    Satisfied Customers:

    53
    Lawyer with 9 years experience in employment related issues.
 
 
 

Related Employment Law Questions