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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50184
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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My working contract says I should work 40 hours a week but

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My working contract says I should work 40 hours a week but doesn't say anything about lunch , should I just work from 8am , my starting time, to 4 pm
Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Is your employer trying to make you take lunch?

Customer: No they are not doing that specifically, The problem is that I start work at 8 AM and I am now being asked to work until 5 PM. My contract it says I have to work 40 hours a week. There is no other reference in my contract to lunch breaks or any other sort of breaks so I am wondering whether I should start work at 8 AM and finish at 4 PM and that the lunchbreak should be included in the eight hours of work
Ben Jones :

How long have you worked there for?

Customer: The last seven years, The first five years were with Morrison facilities services, But then the contract was given to Mears
Ben Jones :

what has been the arrangement around lunch breaks until now?

Customer: Sorry it has taken some time to get back to you, the phone battery went low
Customer: There has previously been no set arrangement around lunch breaks because we are mobile maintainance operatives, we usually just take them as and when
Ben Jones :

Any lunch breaks would generally be unpaid unless the employer makes a provision for them to be included in your normal hours of work, although that is not that common. So the usual arrangement in a situation such as yours is that you work 8 hours a day, in the sense that you are actually carrying out your duties during that time, and get an unpaid hour’s lunch in the middle. There is no legal right to have the lunch break included in your working hours or be paid for it.

However, you would generally expect to see the arrangements around lunch breaks included in the contract. For example it could say something along the lines of 40 hours a week plus an hour’s unpaid lunch break every day. In the absence of anything in the contract this would really be down to an arrangement between you and the employer. They could request that you take an hour’s lunch break in the middle of the day because at the end you would still be working 8 hours and be paid for them and that is what you are contractually entitled to receive. If you are unhappy with this arrangement you need to raise it directly with them and try to come to some sort of an arrangement.

Ben Jones :

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

Customer: Nothing was written into the contract, I am now discussing it with the managent but I only wish to take a half hour break as that would mean I can finish work at four thirty instead of five pm. Do the employers have the right to stipulate the length of the lunch break at this point, I think under working regulations a minimum of half an hourust be taken every eight hours but am not sure
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