Thank you. Your rights in this respect will be mainly contained in the Working Time Regulations 1998. They state that a worker is entitled to:
· A daily rest period of 11 hours' uninterrupted rest per day
· A weekly rest period of 24 hours' uninterrupted rest per week (or, at the employer's choice, 48 hours' per fortnight)
· A rest break of 20 minutes when a day's working time is more than six hours
However, there are exceptions to this and ‘special cases’ workers can be exempt from these rights and not be entitled to the usual rest breaks and periods.
Special cases include workers whose activities involve the need for continuity of service or production, such as medical or care staff, who may need to provide a 24-hour service. Ach workers are not entitled to the usual rest periods mentioned above and the employer can require them to work longer hours without breaks or not give them the required days off, as long as they are given compensatory rest.
Where any special case worker is required to work during a period that would otherwise have been a rest period or rest break, the employer "shall wherever possible allow the worker to take an equivalent period of compensatory rest, and in exceptional cases in which it is not possible to grant such a period of rest, the employer shall take steps to ensure that the worker’s health and safety is protected in the circumstances”.
So as you can see it is not guaranteed that you will get the usual rest periods due to you being a special case worker, but you are still entitled to receive an equivalent period of compensatory rest at a later stage to make up for the fact you were not given your usual rest periods.
This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the options you have to challenge the employer over this, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you