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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50161
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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Can my employer stop me leaving the premises on my 15 minute

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Can my employer stop me leaving the premises on my 15 minute breaks?

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

What types of breaks are these, are they the minimum breaks you get by law?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Ben, we very seldom get breaks at work but occasionally we do have time to take 5-15mins. It has never been said before that we can not go outside in that time. I have now been told I can not leave the premises in this time. I explained that I do not want to sit in the staff room and listen to idle chat and just want 10 mins to myself to re-charge. I am a medical receptionist in a very busy GP practice, sometimes I just need a little breathing space to myself. I work from 8am to 6.30pm get an hour for lunch, which I am allowed of the premises. 2 days I work from 12.30-6.30pm very seldom get any breaks but when I did I used to just go and sit outside, or sit in my car. Which I have now been told I can not do. I just want to know can they actually do this?Thanks

Hi there Pauleen. Thank you for your response; please leave it with me. I am in court today so will prepare my advice during the day and get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Thank you.

Many thanks for your patience. Under law workers have the right to a rest break of 20 minutes if you work at least 6 hours a day.

Workers can be required to remain in or about their workplace (but not at their workstation) while taking a rest break, provided that they are not still having to perform any duties (Regulation 12(3) of the Working Time Regulations 1998).

So as long as you are not expected to remain at your workstation or perform any duties, the employer can ask you to remain in the workplace.

I'm sorry if this is not necessarily the answer you were hoping for, however I do have a duty to be honest and explain the law as it actually stands. This does mean delivering bad news from time to time. I hope you understand and would be happy to provide any further clarification if needed. If you are still satisfied with the level of service you have received I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page. Thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your response. I do understand if its the law then its the law, just annoying that after a year they have just decided not to allow it.Thanks for answering my question.Kind regards

You are most welcome. If your original question has been answered I would be grateful if you could please quickly rate my answer by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page - it only takes a second to do and is an important part of our process. I can still answer follow up questions afterwards if needed. Thank you

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