Nhs Mealbreaks

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feebletoe1492 | 21:18 Fri 15th Jan 2021 | Law
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Hi I work in the NHS as an ambulance driver. Today I came back to my base for a meal break halfway through my shift to find our tables and chairs we're gone. So nobody can sit or eat anymore due to what they say as social distancing. I couldn't believe my eyes. Now my question is.. Can they do that? It would also mean eating in our vans of which is frowned upon???


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We must all bow down before the mighty COVID.

People are going to forge careers on the back of idiotic behaviour like this.
Question Author
All very well but can they do it?
I suspect that your employers would argue that the law says that they MUST act in the way that they've done. i.e. they have a statutory duty, under Section 2(2)(e) of Health and Safety at Work Act, to ensure that your workplace is safe.

You need to get your union rep (UNISON?) to take up the matter with your bosses as soon as possible.
Have had to eat lunch in my car at work sometimes ( gives me time to go on AB though) as the rest room that used to hold maybe 15 crowded in now has a limit of 6 at anyone time due to social distancing, so its not unusual ( as the great sir Tom says).
Agree about asking your union but it may just be unavoidable. look on the bright side, its hard work but we're still working.
One can sit on the floor.
Or they can stop frowning at eating in the van.
Or maybe drive home for lunch.
"All very well but can they do it?"

They have.
All the tables and chairs in our staffroom have been taken away too. It's not too bad for me as I have my own office and eat at my desk anyway, but some staff it might cause a problem for. Though I haven't heard of anyone having a moan about it.
i can only assume that all the chairs and tables have been removed from the house of commons restaurant . . .

Question Author
As NHS front line we are out on the road for long shifts and are not allowed to eat in our ambulances. Are only respite is going back to base (if possible) and eating there. We have a fridge, hot water and microwave there. Canteens aren't always open and not an option besides some staff cannot afford it. The bosses haven't removed their chairs (4 in a small room) and continue to eat in their office... This can't be right.
We had to social distance in our hospital during dinner and some of the tables were removed to allow them to be further apart and only one person per table.
Have you taken it up with someone who may actually know, rather than asking a random group of people on an Internet forum?

Keep up the good work!
Question Author
It's a perspective view of others I need. It happened after shift on Friday.. Just to make this clear it is all tables and all chairs removed...
Surely they have a set capacity for the room which should not involve removing every piece of furniture? We are supposed to have staggered lunch breaks to help out with this, but to be honest with you, so many staff are off sick we rarely have to do this

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