Employment Lawyers Can Answer Your Employment Law Questions
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.
Is this hour long lunch break paid?
Thank you. Breaks do not count as part of your working hours so if you are contracted to work 40 hours a week these would not include any of your breaks. Assuming you work 5 days a week you would be expected to work 8 hours a day and if you get an hour lunch break in between your overall working day could be 9 hours long (start at 9 and work until 6 with a break of 1 hour in between).
However, you can argue that the fact this has been applied differently over the last 5-6 years means that through custom and practice the current arrangement has become contractually binding. This is not easy to prove and only a tribunal or court can decide if that is the case, but the longer something has been applied consistently and been common knowledge, the stronger the argument that it has overtaken anything previously agreed and become the contractual norm. The issue is how to ensure it is accepted by the employer - ideally you want everyone affected to get together and challenge the employer as a group so that it would be difficult for them to single anybody out. However, if they do not budge then in the end you only have a few options - accept the changes, refuse to accept them and resign claiming constructive dismissal, or refuse them and see what the employer does and if they dismiss you - claim unfair dismissal.
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