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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 49820
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Hello My significant other half works for a security firm.

Customer Question


My significant other half works for a security firm. He works as a CCTV controller. There are 3 members of staff that cover the shifts. Days are 1600 - 2300 during the week and 0800 - 2000 at weekends. Nights are 2300 - 0900 during the week and 2000 - 0800 at weekends. The rota pattern is supposed to be 3 Days, 3 Nights, 3 Rest Days. If the days shifts cover Friday and Saturday this means the guys are finishing at 2300 and are back in again at 0800, just a 9 hour rest period.

When a member of the team of 3 puts in holidays the remaining 2 have to cover the absent employee's shifts. This means that they quite frequently work 12 or even 15 shifts in a row without a rest, or like what has happened this time, my other half will start his shift pattern on days on 18th July, nights on 21st July, have 1 rest day on 24th July and then work nights through to 1st August.

Quite a few people have said to me that it is illegal for company to have the guys working these hours but I'm not sure if the rules are different for security industry.

My other half and I have had to cancel umpteen prior engagements due to shifts being changed, the latest one being our first 'date night' in 17 months and its gone way beyond a joke now.

I look forward to hearing from someone who can give us some advice.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones : Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long has she worked there for?
JACUSTOMER-oo04wuhh- :

Morning Ben, he has he started on 14th February 2012.

JACUSTOMER-oo04wuhh- :

Hi Ben, I've been asked to leave feedback but I haven't received any advice yet!!

Ben Jones :

Hi, apologies for the delay in responding, the system had not informed me that you had replied.

The Working Time Regulations deal with the rules on working time and it is there you will find the main laws on what hours people can work and their entitlement to rest breaks, etc.

The general position is that workers are entitled to 11 hours rest between the end and start of work and that they should also get an uninterrupted 24h break every week, or instead it could be an uninterrupted 48h break every 2 weeks.

However, there are certain ‘special cases’ which are exempt from these general rules and one of these is where the worker is "engaged in security and surveillance activities" requiring a permanent presence in order to protect property and people.

In the case of these special cases, entitlements to rest breaks and daily and weekly rest periods do not apply, although compensatory rest should "wherever possible" be granted to these workers. Compensatory rest is where employers are allowed to require workers to work during periods that would otherwise be a rest period or a rest break.

How compensatory rest should be applied is not defined anywhere in law, and the Government did publish some guidance on this as follows:

“"Compensatory rest is a period of rest the same length as the period of rest, or part of a period of rest, that a worker has missed. The Regulations give all workers a right to 90 hours of rest in a week. This is the total of your entitlement to daily and weekly rest periods. The exceptions allow you to take rest in a different pattern to that set out in there. The principle is that everyone gets his or her entitlement of 90 hours rest a week on average, although some rest may come slightly later than normal".

Hope this clarifies your position? If you could please let me know that would be great, thank you

Ben Jones :

Hello, I see you have accessed and read my answer to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? I just need to know whether to close the question or not? Thanks