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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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Is it against the law company to ask you to work after

Resolved Question:

Is it against the law for a company to ask you to work after doing 14hr shift with no sleep
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Ben Jones : Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What does your contract say about working hours?
Customer:

I am a carer and I nearly gave a client to much med and I have been summoned to an invitation by my manager I don't think it's all my fault as I shouldn't have been asked to work after my wake night have I any writs to this

Customer:

I don't have a contract but its 0hrs

Customer:

How long will it take to get ancer

Ben Jones :

Hi sorry my connection dropped - how long have you worked there for and the 14 hour shift - what were the hours of that and when were you asked to go in afterwards?

Customer:

One year 2months and the long hrs happen all the time

Ben Jones :

Thank you. The law on working hours is governed by the Working Time Regulations 1998 (WTR).

There are various laws relating to normal day work and the maximum hours one can be asked to work and separate regulations for night work. However, regulation 21 of the WTR identifies a number of special categories of worker (known as "special case" workers) to whom the limits on night work, and the entitlements to rest breaks and daily and weekly rest periods do not apply, although compensatory rest should "wherever possible" be granted to these workers. One of the excluded cases of special workers is those who provide services relating to the reception, treatment or care provided by hospitals, residential institutions and prisons (thus covering most nursing and medical staff based in hospitals, care homes, etc).

In general the law limits working hours to having an 11-hour rest period after a shift and an uninterrupted 24 hour period of rest every week (or it could instead be 48 hours every 2 weeks). If someone works nights then they must only work an average of 8 hours of night work. It does not mean you cannot have a shift longer than 8 hours as long as the average night work is less than 8 hours. So you could have shifts of 10, 12 or even longer hours but if the average over 17 weeks is less than 8 then that is allowed. Also this does not include the special worker cases I mentioned above which you appear to fall under so these limits do not apply to you. So what the employer has done is likely not illegal as you would be exempt from these limits due to the nature of your work.

I hope this clarifies your position? If you could please quickly let me know that would be great, as it is important for us to keep track of customer satisfaction. Thank you

Customer:

But I don't get that time in between shifts I get home some times at 9 30 ish and have to b back out for 6 at night

Ben Jones :

I understand but you are exempt from these limits due to the nature of your work - you would fall within the 'special worker' cases to which the limits I mentioned do not apply. So nurses, carers, doctors - they are not covered by these specific limits I mentioned and all the employer is expected to do is give you compensatory rest at some later point in the week to compensate for the fact that you have not had these limits applied to you, but the law does not specify when that must be done or how long it should be

Customer:

Ok so I can't say that my mistake with the meds was dew to over work and long hrs

Ben Jones :

if that had an effect on your judgement then you can certainly raise it as an argument but it does not mean that what the employer did was illegal - it can be legal but still had an effect on what you did - every person is affected differently so for you the hours may have been too long considering your mental and physical state at the time - you can certainly argue that whether the employer was right or wrong in what they did

Ben Jones :

Does this clarify thing for you?

Customer:

Ok thank you

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