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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50178
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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If I finish work at 20.30 in the evening is it legal for my

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If I finish work at 20.30 in the evening is it legal for my employer to detail my next shift to commence at 07.00 the following morning ,this is not a one- off this is a regular pattern on my detail ? I was under the assumption that there should be 11 hours between shifts.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long have you worked there please?


2 years and in that time management have changed our detail several times - each one worse than the one before


I have received an e-mail saying that my question has been answered and asking me to rate this service in order for my expert to receive this credit ,however I have not received an answer and therefore cannot rate this service

Ben Jones :

Hello, apologies for this – I posted my answer earlier but for some reason it appears that it did not register. I will therefore post it again for your attention:


You are correct that in general, the law entitles workers to a minimum 11 hour daily rest period in any 24 hours, from the end of one period of work, until the start of the next one.


However, the Working Time Regulations 1998 allow employers, in limited circumstances, to require certain workers to work during periods that would otherwise be a rest period. The circumstances when this may occur are:

  • The worker is a "special case" worker (there is a long list of what may be included in this definition, but it would generally include security guards, caretakers, medical staff, airport/dock workers, media workers, agriculture, transport, etc)

  • The worker is a shift worker changing shifts, such as from days to nights

  • The work involves periods of work split up over the day, for example in the case of cleaning staff


If any of the above apply, the employer could ask their employee to work through a period that would usually be their daily rest and offer them ‘compensatory rest’ at a later time to make up for the fact they were working when they should not have been.


If none of the above exceptions apply, the employer would not be able to ask its employees to work through what would be their daily rest period and such a request would be unlawful. The affected employees could then consider taking the matter further, for example by raising a formal grievance with the employer to have this dealt with officially.

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